|Chazy Central Rural School, 1919|
Neither Townsend nor Miner seem to have left any definitive statement on the matter, so we’ll probably never know for sure, but one influence may have been the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in San Diego. The Panama-California Exposition was one of two world’s fairs held that year to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal. The other, in San Francisco, was much larger, but San Diego found ways to differentiate its exposition from its northern neighbor.
|Promotional pamphlet made by the |
San Diego Board of Supervisors
|The Varied Industries building and gardens|
|Originally the Indian Arts Building,|
rebuilt in 1996 and now home to the
San Diego Art Institute
Visitors and critics alike agreed that the Exposition’s vision of “Old Spain” in California was a success. However, it also raised some questions about the uneasy place that the Spanish and Native Americans occupied in Anglo Americans’ conception of national history. It was generally acknowledged that the unique qualities of Spanish Colonial architecture came from the combination of Spanish design with Native American materials and labor. This was something to be proud of, something that set the buildings of the Americas apart from their European counterparts. At the same time, most writing about the fair also produced the clear impression that Spanish and native contributions were part of the past. Exhibit material stated in no uncertain terms that while there once had been great indigenous civilizations in Mesoamerica, the great days of the Maya were long past by the time the Spanish arrived. Present-day Indians were described as “living just as they have lived and their ancestors have lived for centuries.”
|Zuni women making pottery as part of the|
“Painted Desert” exhibit
|CCRS under construction, 1916|
You can still visit many of the Panama-California Exposition’s original buildings in Balboa Park, as well as others that were rebuilt in the 1990s.
Panama-California Exposition Digital Archive
Frank P. Allen, Jr., “San Diego Exposition: Development of Spanish Colonial Architecture,” Fine Arts Journal 32, no. 3 (March 1915), 116-126.
Christine Edstrom O’Hara, “The Panama-California Exposition, San Diego, 1915: The Olmstead Brothers’ Ecological Park Typology,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 70, no. 1 (March 2011), 64-81.
Hal K. Rothman, “Selling the Meaning of Place: Entrepreneurship, Tourism, and Community Transformation in the Twentieth-Century American West,” Pacific Historical Review 65, no. 4 (November 1996), 525-557.
Christopher Schmidt-Nowara, “Spanish Origins of American Empire: Hispanism, History, and Commemoration, 1898-1915,” The International History Review 30, no. 1 (March 2008), 32-51.
Abigail A. Van Slyck, “Mañana, Mañana: Racial Stereotypes and the Anglo Rediscovery of the Southwest’s Vernacular Architecture, 1890-1920,” Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture 5 (1995), 95-108.