1. El Prado Designation Area

El Prado, Balboa Park, 1911-1915, 1935

exposition 1935 balboa_park

El Prado is a designated historic district in Balboa Park in San Diego, California. The large complex includes 13 contributing buildings and one contributing structure, all built around ‘El Prado,’ a rambla (promenade, pedestrian mall). Most were built as temporary structures for San Diego’s Panama-California Exposition of 1915–16, and were refurbished and re-used for the California Pacific International Exposition of 1935–36.

The Spanish Colonial Revival buildings now house the San Diego Museum of Man, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the San Diego Art Institute, the Natural History Museum, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, and Timken Museum of Art.

The original architects were Bertram Goodhue and Carleton Winslow, who mixed Spanish Baroque and Mission Revival styles into their own, unique architectural style for Balboa Park. They broke ground on the construction in July 1911.

The area was designated a San Diego Historical Landmark in 1967, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

El Prado Cabrillo Bridge 1915

Crowds on Cabrillo Bridge, El Prado, Balboa Park, 1915. Photo, BalboaPark.org.