The Old Globe in Balboa Park in San Diego

San Diego Historical Landmarks — #1: El Prado area designation, part 5

San Diego Historical Landmarks

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

El Prado Area Designation

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Behind the California Tower and the Museum of Man is the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center:

Conrad Prebys Theatre Center in Balboa Park, San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Conrad Prebys is one of the top two philanthropists living in San Diego today, the other being Irwin Jacobs, a co-founder of Qualcomm and the current Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Salk Institute.

Other facilities that I am aware of having benefitted because of Conrad’s financial generosity are:

  • Conrad Prebys Polar Bear Plunge at the San Diego Zoo
  • Conrad Prebys Elephant Care Center at the San Diego Zoo
  • Conrad Prebys Australia Outback at the San Diego Zoo (opening May 24)
  • Africa Rocks! at the San Diego Zoo (renovation to be completed in 2016)
  • Conrad Prebys Music Center at the University of California San Diego
  • Prebys Cardiovascular Institute at Scripps Health
  • Salk Institute ($2 million for an Endowed Professorship in Vision Research)
  • San Diego Opera ($1 million).

The Chronicle of Philanthropy lists Conrad Prebys at #24 in its Philanthropy 50 list. We are fortunate to have such a philanthropist with a wide variety of interests living amongst us.

The Conrad Prebys Theatre Center in Balboa Park comprises the Simon Edison Centre for the Performing Arts, itself comprising three theatres: Old Globe (600 seats), Lowell Davies Festival Theatre (615 seat outdoor theatre), and the Sheryl & Harvey White Theatre (250 seat theatre in the round).

The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Lowell Davies Festival Theatre in Balboa Park in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sheryl & Harvey White Theatre in Balboa Park in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Old Globe was built in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition, San Diego’s second World’s Fair, and presented Shakespeare plays on a daily basis during the Exposition run. It is a copy of Shakespeare’s Old Globe in London, England. The Old Globe was destroyed by an arson fire in March 1978, rebuilt and reopened in 1981. Another arson fire destroyed the Lowell Davies Festival Theatre in 1984.

The Old Globe was led by Craig Noel for more than sixty years, fostering the careers of many people, but a couple of people you definitely should know: Marion Ross and Kelsey Grammer.

The Old Globe has been home to some of the most acclaimed artists, designers, directors, and playwrights in the Theatre industry. More than twenty productions produced at The Old Globe have gone on to play on Broadway and off-Broadway, such as Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (nominated for 11 Tony Awards in 2005), and The Full Monty (10 Tony Award nominations for its successful Broadway run in 2000). The Old Globe’s annual production of Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! should not be missed, especially if you have children.

The Old Globe is one of San Diego’s largest arts institutions, its leading arts employer, and among the nation’s top-ranked regional theatres. More than 250,000 people annually attend Globe productions and participate in the theater’s education programs and outreach services.

I have had the privilege of performing on stage at the Old Globe while a member of the Gay Men’s Chorus of San Diego. I sang there three times.

The Old Globe in Balboa Park in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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20 thoughts on “San Diego Historical Landmarks — #1: El Prado area designation, part 5

  1. Darlene Jones

    I love historical buildings etc., but I’m glad I live now with modern medicine. Does Old Town still exist with the hacienda and jade plants taller than my children? I haven’t been there for years, but loved it.

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Kind of. The State of California decided back around 2001 that Old Town was broken. It was anything but broken, being the most popular California State Park. Unfortunately, they fired the person responsible for its popularity, Diane Powers, and hired a commercial outfit from Delaware that totally destroyed what it was. That outfit was fired a couple of years later, but the damage was done. It’s just a shell of what it once was and I rarely go down there anymore. All of the restaurants (all owned by Diane) moved elsewhere. One is out here in La Mesa by me, another is up in Oceanside…..

      Most of the jade plants, considered overgrown, were taken out. The biggest ones now are over in Balboa Park.

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  2. melanietoulouse

    Hi from Toulouse, France, “old Europe”! 🙂 Wonderful pix… I visited California several years ago and I loved San Diego! I lived in the US for 5 years, Houston, TX(NASA-area), but nothing in common with your awesome state! 🙂 Thanx for dropping by our international “playground”, my very best and good night over the ocean… 🙂 Respectful regards, Mélanie, catlover – à la vie, à la mort… 🙂

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      My mom was one of the pianists and organists for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She taught all of us kids piano beginning at age 2. When we went off to kindergarten, we had to choose a second instrument to play. I chose violin. Then I started singing when I was in third grade. I liked singing because I could sing in the bathtub, then later on the shower………..lol

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  3. Pingback: San Diego Historical Landmarks — #1: El Prado Area Designation, part 6 | Russel Ray Photos

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  12. Pingback: San Diego Historical Landmarks — #1: El Prado Area Designation, part 15 | Russel Ray Photos

  13. Pingback: San Diego Historical Landmarks — #1: El Prado Area Designation, part 16 | Russel Ray Photos

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  15. Pingback: San Diego Historical Landmarks — #1: El Prado Area Designation, part 18 | Russel Ray Photos

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