Category Archives: Manmade

San Diego Historical Landmarks—#4: Site of the Presidio of San Diego, part 2

San Diego Historical Landmarks

San Diego Historical Landmark #4 is the site of the Presidio of San Diego. Read part one here.

On the grounds where the Presidio of San Diego was existed—nothing but bumps in the landscape now—stands the Junípero Serra Museum, one of the most familiar landmarks in San Diego.

Junipero Serra Museum in San Diego California

Junipero Serra Museum in San Diego California

Junipero Serra Museum in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The museum was built in 1928-1929 to house the collection of the San Diego Historical Society (now named the San Diego History Center), which was founded in 1928.

The museum is open only on Saturdays and Sundays.

If you love history, wandering about the museum for a couple of hours is a great way to spend some time.

Although the museum is small, it has lots of great documents, pictures, and archaeological findings.

Junipero Serra Museum in San Diego

Junipero Serra Museum in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

In a previous post, I mentioned the El Jupiter cannon which I knew was located in the museum:

El Jupiter cannon in the Junipero Serra Museum in San Diego

El Jupiter cannon in the Junipero Serra Museum in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

View of Fashion Valley Mall and the University of San Diego from the Serra Museum tower:

View of Fashion Valley Mall and the University of San Diego from the Serra Museum tower .

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For the introductory blog post
to San Diego’s historical landmarks,
click on San Diego’s Historical Landmarks.

For previous posts in the
San Diego Historical Landmarks series,
go here.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Need a unique gift? Have Bare Wall Symdrome?
Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.
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History Through Philately—The Gateway Arch

History Through Philately stamp

On this date in 1965, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, was completed.

Scott #4044 Gateway ArchScott #4044, Gateway Arch
Issued May 27, 2006

The Gateway Arch is the tallest memorial in the United States, the tallest stainless steel monument in the world, Missouri’s tallest accessible building (you can go in it and up to the top), and the world’s tallest arch.

It is 630 feet wide at the base and 630 feet tall at its peak. My mathematics skills, admittedly lacking in today’s world of computer calculators, tells me that something 630 feet wide by 630 feet tall is a square. So why does this look like an arch?

Tidbits

  1. It was designed in 1947. Construction began on February 12, 1963; it was completed on October 28, 1965; and it opened to the public on June 10, 1967.
  2. The proposal to build a memorial on the St. Louis riverfront was first suggested in late 1933 during the Great Depression.
  3. Construction costs were estimated at $30 million, an unbelievable expenditure during the Great Depression, and an estimated 5,000 jobs were to be created for three to four years. Actual construction costs came in at $14 million, but only 100 jobs were created.
  4. On December 31, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 7253 to declare the 82-acre site as the very first National Historic Site. The Order also provided $3.3 million through the Works Progress Administration and another $3.45 million through the Public Works Administration.
  5. The City of St. Louis acquired the 82 acres through public condemnation rather than purchase.
  6. A design competition for the memorial was suggested in November 1944, and such a competition opened on May 30, 1947. Submissions were first received on September 1, 1947, and the winner was announced on February 19, 1948.
  7. Not everyone supported construction of the arch. Many St. Louis residents considered it a “stupendous hairpin” and a “stainless steel hitching post.”
  8. During the height of the railroad building empire, railroads bought or were given prime property in many cities. Such was the case with St. Louis with railroad tracks passing between the location of the memorial and the riverfront. Ultimately, the tracks of the Missouri Pacific Railroad were relocated 105 feet west and lowered 18 feet below ground.
  9. Moving the railroad tracks was first suggested in early 1949. It took another ten years before an agreement was reached between the city and the railroad, and funds were made available.
  10. Construction bids were accepted through January 22, 1962. As seems to always be the case with, the lowest bidder won. Ground was broken in 1959, the foundation was completed in 1961, and construction on the actual arch began in 1963.
  11. The arch is resistant to earthquakes and is designed to sway up to nine inches in winds up to 150 mph.
  12. MacDonald Construction Company won the construction bid. Hmmm. MacDonald building a huge McDonald’s arch……………

Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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San Diego Historical Landmarks—#4: Presidio of San Diego site, part 1

San Diego Historical Landmarks

San Diego Historical Landmark #4 is the site of the Presidio of San Diego.

Presidio of San Diego site

San Diego Presidio Site
Soldiers, sailors, Indians, and Franciscan missionaries from New Spain occupied the land at Presidio Hill on May 17, 1769 as a military outpost. Two months later, Fr. Junipero Serra established the first San Diego mission on Presidio Hill. Officially proclaimed a Spanish Presidio on January 1, 1774, the fortress was later occupied by a succession of Mexican forces. The Presidio was abandoned in 1837 after San Diego became a pueblo.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Only ruins of the Presidio remain, simple bumps in the ground:

Site of the Presidio of San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

A walk around the surround grounds finds many items of interest, such as a statue of “The Indian” by Arthur Putnam (1873-1930)….

The Indian, by Arthur Puinam, in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

….a statue of “The Padre,” also by Arthur Putnam….

"The Padre" by Arthur Putnam in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

….and a hugemonstergiganticreallyreallybig cross made out of bricks:

The Cross in Presidio Park in San Diego California

The Cross in Presidio Park in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Wouldn’t it be neat if we discovered that the bricks are from an old building in the area? Sadly, I could find nothing about the cross other than what is told on a plaque at the base:

In this ancient Indian village of Cosoy
Discovered and named San Miguel by Cabrillo in 1549
Visited and christened San Diego de Alcala by Vizcaino in 1602
Here the first citizen
Fray Junipero Serra
Planted civilization in California
Here he first raised the cross. Here began the first mission.
Here founded the first town, San Diego, July 16, 1769
In memory of him and his works. The Order of Panama 1913.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Just across the street from the ruins of the Presidio is the Junípero Serra Museum, one of the most familiar landmarks in San Diego.

Junipero Serra Museum in San Diego California

Junipero Serra Museum in San Diego California

Junipero Serra Museum in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Junípero Serra Museum is often mistaken for Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá—indeed, for many years, I counted myself among the mistaken.

The Serra Museum was built in 1928-1929 for the purpose of housing the collection of the San Diego Historical Society (now named the San Diego History Center), which was founded in 1928. William Templeton Johnson was the architect and used Spanish Revival architecture to resemble the early missions that once dominated the Southern California landscape.

Following are three pictures from the Museum’s collection of the Museum in 1929:

Architect’s elevation drawingElevation of the Junipero Serra Museum in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Project completedJunipero Serra Museum in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Dedication DayDedication day of the Junipero Serra Museum in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Prior to the Great Recession, the Museum was open seven days a week. Now, sadly, it is open only on weekends.

There are other markers from the past, and I’m sure I missed some because they are located in strange places, places which probably weren’t so strange many decades ago. An example is this tree, possibly as old as the ruins:

Presidio Hill in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

See the crooked gravestone-like marker at the right of the trunk? Obviously I had to go see what it said:

Presidio Hill in San Diego California

Dedicated in memory of
Father Francisco Palou
Biographer of Fr. Serra

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I also discovered a huge statue of a man on a horse:

Presidio Hill in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The plaque on the base is in Spanish:

DONADO A LA CIUDAD DE SAN DIEGO
POR EL SEÑOR LICENSIADO
GUSTAVO DIAZ ORDAZ
PRESIDENTE DE LA REPUBLICA MEXICANA
NOVIEMBRE DE 1970

Wikipedia tells me that Gustavo Diaz Ordaz (1911-1979) was president of Mexico from 1964 to 1970. That, however, doesn’t explain anything about this statue and why it is there. Research for another day….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

As I said earlier, the Junípero Serra Museum is open only on Saturdays and Sundays. I went a couple of weeks ago, and in my next posting about San Diego Historical Landmarks, I’ll take you inside the Museum. It’s quite beautiful and should not be missed if you make a trip to Presidio Hill.

The San Diego Presidio Site is also California Registered Historic Landmark #59. Considering that this is where California was founded, what 58 sites could be more important?

Junipero Sera Museum in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For the introductory blog post
to San Diego’s historical landmarks,
click on San Diego’s Historical Landmarks.

For previous posts in the
San Diego Historical Landmarks series,
go here.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Need a unique gift? Have Bare Wall Symdrome?
Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.
photograhic art taking pictures making art

2015 Photographic Art calendars—Little Cats

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I made a calendar today featuring little cats, but I have so many great pictures of little cats that I’m thinking of doing one of two things: (1) make several calendars featuring little cats, or (2) letting people choose which 12 pictures of the little ones they want on their calendar. I’ll have to think more on #2 and figure out a way to make it easy to choose. I’ve found throughout life that if you give people too many choices, they just leave. Anyways….

Here’s my calendar featuring little cats:

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Surprisingly, I haven’t found enough good pictures of butterflies to make a butterfly calendar. I know I have enough; it’s just a question of finding which directory they have been misfiled in….

Current list of calendar subjects:

Birds
Butterflies
Little cats
Big cats
Dogs
All other wildlife
Sunrises & sunsets
Orchids
Roses
Hibiscus
All other flowers
Scenes from San Diego County
Railroads & Trains
Great houses (idea provided by a reader)
Stamps (pictures will be framed like stamps)
More little cats

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Have Bare Wall Syndrome? Need a unique gift?Photographic Art logo
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

SNIPPETS (10-21-14)

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

For the past six months, I have been visiting up to 400 blogs a day and leaving likes and comments. That takes time.

With Julian gone (see Someone’s missing from Photographic Art), I need to use the four hours a day that he was working to find a substitute for home inspections (my main source of income) that will pay my bills. That means I’m going to have to cut down on blog visits.

Since I’m following 3,302 blogs, the result is that it’s going to be a longer time between my visits to your blog.

My records (yes, I really am that AR!) indicate that over the course of my WordPress blogging (since January 7, 2012), I leave one comment for every four LIKEs. I’m going to change that and try to make it one comment for every like.

For the near future, then, blog camping is on an extended vacation, but I hope to make up for it by leaving more comments when I do visit.

SNIPPET 2

Ever since Random Acts of Kindness came about (Wikipedia says it was 1982 or 1983), I have been a huge fan.

Well, last Thursday at 2:40 p.m. I had a tire blow out at a high rate of speed. Having never experienced that before but having visualized it hundreds of times, I had no problem slowing down and getting off the freeway.

I pulled onto a side street in front of a high school and proceeded to try to change the tire. My left shoulder is not capable of provide the torque necessary to operate the jack to raise a 4,400-pound car and untighten the five lug nuts.

I was hot and sweating by the time school started letting out at 3:00. A teenage girl stopped, said hello as she was looking in her backpack, and pulled out a bottle of water, giving it to me along with her kind words, “I know it’s hot out here and you look like you’re struggling.”

Well, I was struggling so I gave up and called AAA to change the tire for me.

I don’t know the girl’s name or even the name of the high school, but I wanted to give a shout-out to some fine parents raising that girl, not to mention to that fine girl herself.

SNIPPET 3

I moved to San Diego in April 1993 specifically so I could live my life as an openly gay man, something I didn’t see myself doing in my native Texas.

Never in my wildest dreams 21 years ago did I think I would ever be legally married, yet that happened when Jim and I got married, legally, in California on October 30, 2008. Prior to that, we had dated for 2 years, lived together for 9 years, and were domestic partnered (such an ugly term) for 5 years.

As of a few days ago, gay marriage is now legal in 31 states and the District of Columbia, covering about 61% of the American population.

gay marriage

It’s only a matter of time before gay marriage is legal across the land. I’m going to guess less than two years.

What amazes me is that gay marriage was legal in Iowa before California, and that Utah won’t be the last state carried screaming and kicking into the modern world. I’m predicting that the southeast will be last, all joining at the same time due to an Appeals Court decision covering those states, basically a repeat of history from June 12, 1967, when the United States Supreme Court declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional:

Interracial marriage

SNIPPET 4

California allows permanent voting by mail:

California mail ballot

It doesn’t mean that I have to return my ballot by mail, but I can. I usually simply drop it off at a polling place on election day since there’s one just two blocks from me.

I was a registered Republican from 1976 to September 2013. I was trying to work within the system to change the Republican Party, but with the advent of the so-called Tea Party taking over control of the Republican Party, I finally gave up and registered as a Democrat last year.

Today I will be filling in those little dots on my ballot.

SNIPPET 5

I have finished my first Photographic Art calendar. This will be the one that I print and hang on my wall:

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I plan on creating several more calendars:

Birds
Butterflies
Little cats
Big cats
Dogs
All other wildlife
Sunrises & sunsets
Orchids
Roses
Hibiscus
All other flowers
Scenes from San Diego County
Railroads & Trains
Custom (you pick any 12 Photographic Art from my Fine Art America galleries)
Double Custom (you provide 12 of your own pictures)
Stamps (pictures will be framed like stamps)

Note that calendar weeks begin with Monday and end with Sunday, keeping the weekend together.

I will be offering two versions: one without designations such as New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day…. Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. and one with such designations.

I have plans for one other version but it will be complicated to produce so I’ll not announce that yet, waiting until I’m sure I’m going to do it. I’ll do January this week and then decide.

I have looked at calendar-creating software online and am not happy with any of it. I have also looked at prices to buy calendars and can assure you that I will price my digital calendars for less. I am also considering having some printed for promotional purposes, maybe even for sale. I’ll keep everyone informed.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Have Bare Wall Syndrome? Need a unique gift?Photographic Art logo
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

She was the sweetest docent ever!

curtains coming soon

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If you made a request for a calendar page or a stamp and you have not received yours yet, have no fear. Demand was greater than I expected! I’m still working through them, so bear with me.

If you haven’t requested a calendar page or a stamp, why not? They are

Free

For instructions on making a request, see these posts:

Free calendar page, any month, any year

Free stuff for my loyal readers

To see an actual sample of calendar pages created for readers, go here: 2015 Photographic art digital calendars are on their way

Meanwhile….

Here is Photographic Art of a little sweetie from a home inspection a couple of days ago:

Docent cat

The property I was inspecting had four structures on it. She met me at the front door of the first one, and then walked me through it, out the back door to the next one, and on and on. Once we finished mapping out the structures and the interior rooms, she determined that her job was done and she went outside and sat there by the fence until I finished. As I gathered up my tools and ladders, she got up to say goodbye and went back inside.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Have Bare Wall Syndrome? Need a unique gift?Photographic Art logo
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

2015 Photographic Art digital calendars are on their way!

curtains coming soon

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I have been cataloging pictures like crazy this past week, and with the response I got from offering free calendar pages (choose month, year & picture!), I have decided to make a 2015 digital calendar. I will be offering five different calendars:

1. Scenes from San Diego County
2. Little cats
3. Big cats
4. Birds
5. Wildlife from the San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, & SeaWorld
6. You choose 12 pictures from my galleries at Fine Art America
7. You provide up to 12 pictures and choose the others

These calendars, while digital, are sized for 8½x11-inch paper, so they can easily be printed. If you’re in a country where paper size is slightly smaller, you can easily have your printer scale the page to fit your paper size with no loss in quality.

For this first iteration, I will be be selling #1 through #5 for $9.99 each, payment via PayPal preferable, but check, cash, and money order also accepted. Payment with credit card can be done through PayPal, and PayPal does not require you to have an account to send money to someone.

I will be selling #6 and #7 for $19.99. Same payment methods.

Here are two calendar pages that I made for a couple of my blog readers:

January 2015 Photographic Art calendar page

Photographic Art logo

June 2015 Photographic Art calendar page

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

All pages will have six weeks, filled in as displayed. No need to flip backward or forward to see the most recent past or future. Note that the week starts on Monday so that Saturday & Sunday are together, like weekend days should be!

You can print one page and hang it on the wall, or print all pages and hang them on the wall. No more having a calendar that is too heavy and constantly falling off the wall!

In future posts for the next couple of weeks, I will be featuring some of my best Photographic Art that I am considering using for calendar pages, such as this one of a spoonbill:

Spoonbill

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Have Bare Wall Syndrome? Need a unique gift?Photographic Art logo
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.