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House of Hospitality Historical Reconstruction and Renovation Balboa Park
Historic Renovation/Public Works

House of Hospitality Historical Reconstruction and Renovation Balboa Park

Project Description

This project involved the historic reconstruction of the House of Hospitality in Balboa Park, San Diego, designed to replicate the 1935 appearance of the Spanish Colonial Revival style structure and serve as a museum and courtyard. Originally built in 1915 as the centerpiece of the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition, this Registered National Landmark was remodeled in 1935-36 to add an inner courtyard for the California Pacific International Exposition. It is noted for its Spanish-Renaissance architecture and features a courtyard fountain with the Woman of Tehuantepec sculpture by San Diego sculptor Donald Hord, making it one of the most photographed sites in the park.

Authentic replication was employed, which involved creating exact matches of the original building components and re-using as many original elements as possible. Each room, containing over 4,000 historical features, was extensively surveyed and documented. Skilled craftspeople were selected to restore, replicate, and reconstruct the building’s artistic elements, using cast molds and glass-fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) for the exterior plaster ornamentation.

Now a pivotal element in the Balboa Park renaissance, the House of Hospitality attracts over 500,000 international visitors annually. It houses the Balboa Park Visitors Center, a police storefront, offices of cultural and educational organizations, and a public restaurant, The Prado at Balboa Park.

Project Location: San Diego, CA
Delivery Method: Design-Bid-Build
Owner: City of San Diego
Value: $13,401,428
Square Footage: 67,300 sq.ft.
Market: Government Public Works
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