The Botanical Building – Balboa Park
The building I had to visit for G was the Botanical Building. I had actually forgot that it was a lath house instead of a glass house so I was a little surprised when I first saw it. It is one of the largest lath houses in the world and given the warm temperatures of San Diego, it makes much more sense than a glass house which would be extremely hot.
The Botanical Building was built in 1915 as part of the Panama-California Exposition. It has a somewhat checkered history which can be found on the San Diego History Society pages. It does remind me somewhat of the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park which is a glass house.
The Laguna de las Flores, also known as the lily pond, is located in front of the building which is stocked with Koi and dotted with water lilies. In the past, the pond bottom has been cemented and it has been used for training naval personal or hospital therapy pool. A strange use to me. Today it is a beautiful reflecting pool although it is somewhat marred by the cement bottom and piping.
There are towering palms and tree ferns inside the greenhouse. There are displays of colorful orchids and other interesting tropical plants. A local elementary school was holding a drawing class and it was fun to see the kids scattered throughout the building painting the flowers.
G would have loved it.