Conference Information & Schedule

Join the centennial celebration of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition at our annual conference in San Diego’s Balboa Park. Known as “the Garden Fair,” the 1915 Exposition unleashed a century of  influence over California architecture and landscapes.




Oct. 2, FRIDAY at Marston House Museum & Gardens
3525 Seventh Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103

[4:00 – 7:00 p.m. registration and reception]  Opening event offers wine and hors d’oeuvres at Marston House, an important Arts & Crafts property built in 1905 and now a part of Balboa Park. Tour the house and gardens and enjoy a special exhibit of “Balboa Park Architects and Designers” commemorating San Diego’s 1915 and 1935 world’s fairs. Shopping alert: The charming carriage house gift shop will be open.
More information:



Oct. 3, SATURDAY at Balboa Park’s Museum of Photographic Arts Theater in Casa de Balboa

[9:00 a.m. registration, 9:30 CGLHS Annual Business Meeting & Election]

[10:00 – 3:30 conference speakers, with lunch on your own, noon – 1:30]:  CGLHS partners with the venerable San Diego Floral Association for a day-long program headlined by Professor Robert Z. Melnick, cultural landscape and preservation expert, and Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, founding president of New York City’s Central Park Conservancy. See next page for additional program and speaker information.

[3:45 – 4:20]   A short walking tour will explore Balboa Park’s central mesa, highlighting gardens and buildings of the 1915 Panama-­California Exposition.

[6:30 – 8:45]  Enjoy an informal Mexican fiesta dinner at Old Town State Park San Diego. The Barra Barra Saloon (4016 Wallace St, San Diego, CA 92110) is a short walk from the conference hotel. Two special guests will offer brief updates on preservation activities in Balboa Park and wider San Diego.



Oct. 4, SUNDAY at Balboa Park’s Botanical Building – POST CONFERENCE  Zoo tour

[9:00 – 10:30]  Coffee, pastries, music and a tour of Balboa Park’s iconic Botanical Building. Conference concluded.
Enjoy Balboa Park’s, gardens, hiking trails and 15 museums.

The following post-­conference special event is available to the first 35 conference registrants only:

[10:30 – 1:45] Short walk to the famous San Diego Zoo for a private tour of its world-­class botanical garden. With 700,000 plants, the landscaping provides animals with familiar habitats, produces tons of browse for the resident vegetarians and delights human visitors. Afterwards, join a CGLHS group for lunch or begin your own exploration of the zoo (closing time is 6:00 p.m.).

[11:45 – 1:30] “Dutch treat” lunch at Albert’s, the restaurant in a treehouse, located in the Lost Forest at the heart of the San Diego Zoo. More information:



Best Western Plus Hacienda Hotel Old Town
4041 Harney Street, San Diego, CA 92110
Conference rate through August 31 ($129 + $7 fee)
(Mention “California Garden and Landscape History Society.”)
Reserve by phone:  619-­298-­4707
Hotel parking is $15 per day


Saturday Conference Program

Oct 3, SATURDAY at Balboa Park’s Museum of Photographic Arts Theater in Casa de Balboa on the Prado
CGLHS partners with San Diego Floral Association for a day-­long program, followed by a Balboa Park tour.

9:00 a.m.     Registration, 9:30 CGLHS Annual Business Meeting & Election

10:00 ‐ 3:30  Conference speakers, with lunch on your own, noon ‐ 1:30*

3:45 ‐ 4:20    Walking tours highlighting gardens and buildings of the 1915 Panama-­California Exposition.


SATURDAY PROGRAM SPEAKERS in order of presentation:

KIM DUCLO has served as a San Diego City park ranger since 1996. He is a beloved representative of Balboa Park and a keen student of its history. “Ranger Kim” will welcome us to Balboa Park and display some precious artifacts of early park history from his collection.

VONN MARIE MAY is a landscape historian and cultural landscape specialist. She has authored several successful National Register nominations and contributed to preservation and restoration projects at Mills College, Oakland; the University of California, Berkeley; the Naval Training Center, San Diego; and at the Rancho Santa Fe Covenant.

She will set out the subject of the day by describing the meaning of the term “cultural landscape.”

PROFESSOR ROBERT Z. MELNICK, SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AND ALLIED ARTS, UNIVERSITY OF OREGON is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in cultural landscape evaluation and historic landscape preservation planning.

A Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, he publishes widely and speaks at events and conferences worldwide. He is the co-editor of Preserving Cultural Landscapes in America (2000).  Professor Melnick will discuss his recent research and thinking on the challenges of cultural landscape preservation in an era of climate change.

ELIZABETH (BETSY) BARLOW ROGERS is a landscape designer, landscape preservationist, teacher, lecturer and writer.

She is president of the Foundation for Landscape Studies, served as the first Administrator of Central Park, and was the founding president of New York City’s Central Park Conservancy.  She has written several books on the history of landscape design and the cultural meaning of place and is the recipient of numerous awards for her scholarship and preservation work.  She will speak on the value of public-private partnerships in the strengthening and preservation of cultural landscapes.

NANCY CAROL CARTER is currently focusing her historical research on Balboa Park and regional horticultural history.

She is an associate editor of California Garden and has published in Pacific Horticulture, the Journal of San Diego History, and Eden. Using historic photographs, she will recount the pre-1915 landscape history of Balboa Park and discuss the landscape and architectural influences of the Panama-California Exposition.


* Saturday Lunch: Conference registration packets will include a list of six convenient eateries in Balboa Park. For attendees desiring a sit-­down lunch at the Park’s leading restaurant, advance reservations are highly recommended. Visit The Prado Restaurant website or call the reservation line.

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