For the introductory blog post to San Diego’s historical landmarks, click on San Diego’s Historical Landmarks.
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 1
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 2
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 3
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 4
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 5
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 6
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 7
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 8
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 9
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 10
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 11
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 12
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 13
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Next up on our trek through the El Prado Area Designation is Casa de Balboa:
Of all the buildings in Balboa Park, I visit Casa de Balboa most often because my three favorite museums in all of Balboa Park are there:
San Diego Model Railroad Museum
Museum of Photographic Arts
San Diego History Center
The San Diego Model Railroad Museum has one of the largest model railroad layouts in all the world, is the only accredited model railroad museum in the United States, and is the largest permanent operating model railroad exhibit in North America with over 27,000 square feet of exhibit space.
The museum is particularly popular with children, especially the Toy Train Gallery, home to several model towns with multiple train lines. The towns get decorated for the seasons, which makes the fall colors and Christmas particularly colorful. Several of the train lines can be operated by the kids (or adults like me!) with pushbutton controls.
The museum gift shop has a great selection of railroad memorabilia, including vintage railroad posters, for railroad lovers like me. Sadly, my budget won’t let me buy the whole dang store…. If you are into railroads and history, you can easily spend days on end in the Erwin Welsch Research Library.
The museum and gift shop are open Tuesday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors 65 and older, $3 for students with ID, $4 for all military with ID, and free for children 14 years and under when accompanied with an adult.
The purpose of the Museum of Photographic Arts is to inspire, educate, and engage the broadest possible audience through the presentation, collection, and preservation of photography, film, and video. They do a great job, and I often get inspiration for my own Photographic Art by visiting the museum.
Earlier in the 21st Century I tried to volunteer at the San Diego History Center. At the time, there was a long waiting list for opportunities to volunteer. Sadly, my name never made it to the top of the list after a year of waiting, so I took it off.
The interesting thing about San Diego history is that there are three organizations that seem to own every historical image of San Diego: Google Images, San Diego U-T, and the San Diego History Center. All three organizations make it prohibitively expensive to use one of their images, effectively shutting out little people like me who want to do Then & Now pictures. That’s the only reason why I don’t do more blog posts featuring then and now pictures. I have no desire to infringe on the copyrights of others, and my budget doesn’t allow me to buy permission nor does it have a slush fund for paying the penalty for using copyrighted images illegally.
Need a unique gift?
Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.
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I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!