The neon masterpiece stood at El Cajon Boulevard at College Ave in San Diego – Razed 1983. The Majorette Portion of the neon was preserved and is presented today by Save our Heritage Organisation at College Grove shopping center.
That relatively small sign on a wooden post reads “Scripps Cove Park.” Documents show that in 1887 it was designated as La Jolla Park. It was also known as La Jolla Shoreline Park. Those names changed on October 18, 1927 – the 91st of birthday of La Jolla and San Diego regional philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps – when San Diego Park Commissions dedicated the park to her and renamed it the Ellen Browning Scripps Park. It was, in a manner of speaking a ceremonial renaming. An official change came in 1961 when it was designated in the charter as Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Park.
Besides being one of the most actively used parks, especially for one so relatively small, it is one of our great cultural landscapes with it’s nature growth of tress and shrubs. The “soldier row” of Mexican palms, the twisted and turning Australian tea trees, and the single-trunk dragon trees.
With a look to the future new plantings of the Mexican fan palms are spaced between their elders as the life expectancy of those historic trees draws nearer. A gift that will keep giving for generations to come.
Special thanks to Historian and Researcher Vonn Marie May for her discussion with me about one of her passions. Historic landscapes. I’ve included her article from La Jolla Historical Society TimeKeeper newsletter below.
Sad to report the nautical Streamline Moderne Bay Theatre sign collapsed on Tuesday January 9, 2018. These photos are from Friday, March 26, 2010
See the video:
Wednesday November 29, 1939 “Up Early and to the park with Sam. To Clement Street – shopped. Matinee at the Alexandria. Nite – read.
Thursday November 30, 1939 “Up early and walked in the park with Sam. Downtown bought hat, gloves and blouse. Very cold! Jeanne came home early with a bad cold – went to bed early. Sam and I drank a quart of Port. Good.”
Model Sailing – Spreckels Lake in Golden Gate Park
Friday December 1, 1939 “Jeanne stayed home from school. We walked along Land’s End – Jeanne napped later. Tony phoned. Nite – read and listened to the radio.
Saturday December 2, 1939 Met Tony downtown. Window Shopped. Nite Sam and I to Fillmore and then downtown. Ran into bar opening – Counihans, Tommy’s father and uncle, cowboy – etc…Fun. Home at 2 AM. Duke over – sent Jeanne a nice bouquet.
Sunday December 3, 1939 Hangover. Duke came over and we all went to Land’s End. Duke here for dinner.
The Palace Hotel, middle. Call Building, distance.
Monday December 4, 1939 Met Tony at 5. To the Palace and then Hoffman’s for dinner. To opening at the Curran. Leo Carrillo in Bumble Bee. Very slow.
San Francisco Landmark #144: Hoffman Grill Building. Historic building got swallowed by a new beast. But at least it got saved.
Tuesday December 5, 1939 To town and did first Christmas shopping. Sam worked overtime. Picked him up and we drank wine.
What about the idea of a Frank Lloyd Wright designed Theatre in Balboa Park?Â That was perhaps on somebody’s mind when he was invited to speak here in 1955 when the idea of building a new civic theater was first being considered.
Frank Lloyd Wright was no stranger to San Diego over the years But the region has nothing to show of his work. This story written by Carol Olten fills in the details of that story.
I had the chance to work with Carol in 2008 as I did research for my documentary film “Four Decades of Historic Preservation in San Diego County.” She’s just the person to talk to about La Jolla History. And about the time Frank Lloyd Wright spent there and in the San Diego region.
I attended the artist’s reception on that night of February 13, 1980. I’d known Belle since 1974/1975. I met her through my school mates David and Erik Swanson. And through their grandmother Alice Sue Hardin, grandfather John Byrd Hardin, grand aunt Ettilie Wallace, and parents Anthony and Peter Swanson.
I probably can’t count the number of family dinners, birthdays, and holidays I shared with this family with Belle right there too. Being I was the teenager with a car I was often tapped to give Belle a ride to here or there on occasion. She loved to hear me play tapes of Bach while driving along.
Belle was part of that dynamic cultural pool of talent in San Diego during the 1940’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond. She knew Lloyd Ruocco, Sim Bruce Richards, Dan Dickey, Donal Hord, James Hubbell, Phil Foster – just to name a few. My list is no where near comprehensive.
As a young teenager I’d hear these names a lot. Saw some of these individualsÂ come and go, particularly at Ettilie Wallace’s house where I twice had a room there. It wasn’t until later in life I began to fully appreciate thatÂ they weren’t your average circle of friends.
Bell had a hearty infectious laugh. Great sense of humor.
All along the long halls of the County Administration building hung Belle’s work. I remember Ettilie Wallace had devoted a lot of her time and energy putting this show together.
I asked Erik at what point in his life did he realize BelleÂ was such a great and important artist. “Tonight,” he said.
And she knew James Britton.
This is a scan from the Sunday November 17, 1985 San Diego Union article written by Kay Kaiser.
A site I remember exploring with my mom and dad in 1966 or 1967. La Jolla was a favorite place for us to explore back then. Still is.
To view larger version of any image or scanned text, just click on it.