Casa del Rey Moro, Garden

Seen From Restaurant Above
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The garden lay behind the Prado restaurant external link in Balboa Park. This was the view looking down at the garden from the restaurant above.


Casa del Rey Moro Garden (House of the Moorish King) external link   •  1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California external link   •  (Photo posted Saturday 5 February 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:28:12 Tuesday 12 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_9637
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Head In Fountain
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The fountain in the garden featured a single stylized head spitting a continuous stream of water into the basin.


Casa del Rey Moro Garden (House of the Moorish King) external link   •  1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California external link   •  (Photo posted Saturday 5 February 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:28:30 Tuesday 12 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_9638
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View Looking Up
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The view looking back up at the Prado Restaurant. Notice the levels and stairs. Also notice the wonderful black cast iron railings.


Casa del Rey Moro Garden (House of the Moorish King) external link   •  1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California external link   •  (Photo posted Saturday 5 February 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:28:45 Tuesday 12 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_9639
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Pepper Canyon Below
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The view down from the back of the garden was of Pepper Canyon and new construction below.


Casa del Rey Moro Garden (House of the Moorish King) external link   •  1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California external link   •  (Photo posted Saturday 5 February 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:28:55 Tuesday 12 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_9640
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An Urn
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One of two urns that flanked the back of the garden. They were empty that day, but were likely filled with flowers later in the season.


Casa del Rey Moro Garden (House of the Moorish King) external link   •  1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California external link   •  (Photo posted Saturday 5 February 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:29:12 Tuesday 12 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_9641
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The Lower Path Out
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There was one lower path out of the garden, and it ran east just above Pepper Canyon and toward parking lots.


Casa del Rey Moro Garden (House of the Moorish King) external link   •  1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California external link   •  (Photo posted Saturday 5 February 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:29:27 Tuesday 12 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_9643
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The Path Below The Restaurant
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The upper path that ran just below the Prado Restaurant. This path led to a ramp that led back up to El Prado Street.


Casa del Rey Moro Garden (House of the Moorish King) external link   •  1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California external link   •  (Photo posted Saturday 5 February 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:30:50 Tuesday 12 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_9644
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Upper Fountain Dribbled
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In the upper level, just below the Prado Restaurant, another small fountain was embedded in the wall. It was a slow fountain just dribbling water into a shallow basin.


Casa del Rey Moro Garden (House of the Moorish King) external link   •  1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California external link   •  (Photo posted Saturday 5 February 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:31:09 Tuesday 12 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_9645
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Stairs West
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Stairs lead out of the upper level westward back toward Pan American Road. Below the stairs (off screen to the left) was a ramp.


Casa del Rey Moro Garden (House of the Moorish King) external link   •  1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California external link   •  (Photo posted Saturday 5 February 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:31:16 Tuesday 12 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_9646
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A Sign Told The Garden's History
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A sign at the east entrance into the garden detailed its history.


Casa del Rey Moro Garden (House of the Moorish King) external link   •  1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California external link   •  (Photo posted Saturday 5 February 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:32:18 Tuesday 12 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_9647
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Beginnings...
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The first bit of history read:

In 1926 the monolith Portland Cement Company commissioned Richard S. Requa, a prominent San Diego architect, to travel to the Mediterranean parts of Europe, to take notes, photographs and gather ideas with which to develop a San Diego style. Requa did so, authoring two wonderful books external link on the subject.


Casa del Rey Moro Garden (House of the Moorish King) external link   •  1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California external link   •  (Photo posted Saturday 5 February 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:32:30 Tuesday 12 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_9648
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A Small Town In Southern Spain
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The second sign read:

"In my travels about the world, I had found three gardens of outstanding interest and beauty...

"The finest of these is in a small town in southern Spain... called Ronda. Viewing it for the first time, there came instantly to mind the spontaneous... exclamation, 'I hope to die before I see anything more lovely.'

"The building is called 'Casa del Rey Moro' (House of the Moorish King) and is a well preserved relic of Moorish times. The garden, however, is a comparatively recent addition, the inspiration of a famous French garden architect."

Inside Lights on the Building of San Diego's Exposition, 1935 external link Written and published by Richard S. Requa, A.I.A. 1937


Casa del Rey Moro Garden (House of the Moorish King) external link   •  1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California external link   •  (Photo posted Saturday 5 February 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:32:32 Tuesday 12 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_9649
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Recent History
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The last sign described recent history:

Shortly after the outbreak of World War II, when the Navy had occupied Balboa Park, the garden became a popular wedding place for military personnel. This custom grew over the next 50 years into San Diego's premier public outdoor wedding venue.

By the late 1970's the garden had declined to the point where the central parterres of the middle and lower terraces were paved over, replacing the original planting design. The decorative lighting was abandoned. Even the planted urns and flower pots were removed. Although its popularity as the site of weddings and the terrace cafe continued, it could hardly be called a garden anymore.

Early in 1993, the City began planning the reconstruction of the House of Hospitality, returning it to Requa's original design. In 1995 as the dismantling began, the Casa del Rey Moro Garden was added to the reconstruction effort. The whole project was a tremendous undertaking, involving hundreds of laborers and craftspersons; not complete until the autumn of 1997.


Casa del Rey Moro Garden (House of the Moorish King) external link   •  1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California external link   •  (Photo posted Saturday 5 February 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:35:55 Tuesday 12 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_9650
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Stairs Back To Road
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Just east of the garden was the ramp and stairs leading back up and out. The Botanical Garden internal link could be seen just beyond the archway exit.


Casa del Rey Moro Garden (House of the Moorish King) external link   •  1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California external link   •  (Photo posted Saturday 5 February 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:33:55 Tuesday 12 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_9653
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