The Ford Building, Balboa Park, San Diego, California 1935
The two postcards, day and night views, above have photos of the Ford Building from the California Pacific International Exposition that was held in San Diego, California in 1935 and 1936. The Expo was held in Balboa Park to promote and support economy in San Diego. When the first year proved to be a financial success the decision was made to hold it over for a second year.
There were buildings left from the 1915-16 exposition also held in Balboa Park even though originally they had been designed as temporary structures. By adding a few new buildings and moving some exhibits from the Chicago “Century of Progress” fair that was just ending the San Diego fair ended up with hundreds of exhibits on history, the arts, horticulture, ethnic cultures, science and industry. The fair was profitable bringing in $37 million dollars. Admission was 50 centers for adults and 25 cents for children 2-11. There were four restaurants, an amusement area, and 21 nations participating with exhibitions.
The Ford Building, by architect and industrial designer Walter Dorwin Teague, is described as “Streamline Moderne.” It was styled to resemble a V8 engine with two different sized circles in the shape of n “8” and a fountain shaped like the Ford V8 logo in a courtyard that was lit by valve shaped lights. A mural depicting the history of transportation from the beginning of time through 1935 was along an interior wall of the outer ring. Today the building houses the San Diego Air & Space Museum and is also used for weddings and other occasions.
Some of the fair buildings were rebuilt or replaced in the 1960s which caused a protest by local citizens and resulted in the preservation of remaining buildings and a condition that any new buildings would have to be designed in the Spanish Colonial Revival Style. In 1978 the remaining original buildings were declared a National Historic Landmark.
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