Guide to the Helen Bloomenshine Balboa Park Protective Association Collection MS 171

Finding aid prepared by Jennifer Ho
Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.
San Diego History Center Document Collection
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101
October 20, 2011

Title: Helen Bloomenshine Balboa Park Protective Association Collection
Identifier/Call Number: MS 171
Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 1.5 Linear feet (3 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1896-1983
Abstract: This collection contains items relating to the Balboa Park Protective Association that document their efforts for the preservation of San Diego’s Balboa Park.
creator: Bloomenshine, Helen

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research. Care must be taken when handling scrapbooks to maintain original order.

Conditions Governing Use

The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Jennifer Ho on October 20, 2011.
Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

Preferred Citation

Helen Bloomenshine Balboa Park Protective Association Collection, MS 171, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

Biographical / Historical Notes

The Balboa Park Protective Association was formed in 1947, and sought to preserve the prevailing architecture in Balboa Park while preventing further incursion of peripheral roads, encroachment by other buildings and organizations, and the increased sprawl of parking lots. The Association worked to subvert various plans and projects that called for further development of the park and its grounds. Helen Bloomenshine was a co-founder of the Balboa Park Protective Association (along with Eleanor Edmiston). She and her associates lobbied politicians, organized concerned citizens and placed petitions on the ballot in an effort to enact the desired preservation, but the Association “achieved only slight success,” as Bloomenshine stated. They succeeded in preventing the incursion of roads called for in the controversial Bartholomew Plan, but failed in thwarting further development of the park, such as the construction of the Timken Museum building and the relocation of the U.S. Naval Hospital onto Park grounds. After the Association was ended in 1967, its work and efforts were continued by the Committee of 100.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of documents related to a variety of projects against which Balboa Park Protective Association rallied. These items include correspondence, newsletters, mailings, court documents, and speeches. There is also information about club membership, brief reports about the various projects, and local election information and bond propositions. Scrapbooks include correspondence with city officials, newspaper clippings, and ephemera. Projects mentioned in the collection include: Maple Canyon Road; Naval Hospital Expansion; Fine Arts Gallery; Timken Museum; Florida Canyon; and Bartholomew Plan.


Items in the collection are arranged by subject. Scrapbooks retain their original order.

Immediate Source of Acquistion

Accession number 830624A.

Separated Materials

Original photographs of Eleanor Edmiston and Harry Haelsig, and Point Loma Junior-Senior High School Student Body (1941) now in SDHC Photographic Department, OP12590 and OP12591, respectively.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Balboa Park Protective Association.
Bloomenshine, Helen
Citizens Coordinate for Century 3.
Citizens Coordinate.
Committee of 100 (San Diego, Calif.).
Edmiston, Eleanor
Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego.
Fine Arts Society of San Diego (Calif.).
Harland Bartholomew & Associates.
Hatch, Ruby
Jacot, Henri
Marston, Hamilton
Martin, Philip P.
Putnam Foundation.
San Diego Museum of Art.
San Diego Museum of Man.
Sessions, Kate Olivia, 1857-1940
Tharp, Ross
Timken Museum of Art.
Architecture -- Conservation and restoration
Architecture -- Societies, etc.
Balboa Park (San Diego, Calif.)
History -- Societies, etc.
Maple Canyon
Public architecture
Ron Pekarek plan
San Diego (Calif.)
Urban parks

Box-folder 1:1

History and administation, 1960–1983 May 15


Aims and Objectives document, 1960
“How It All Began” by Eleanor Edmiston, 1983
Box-folder 1:2

Membership, 1961–1982 May 15 and undated


BPPA membership cards
Membership listings, undated
Box-folder 1:3

Member index cards (Set 1, A-W), 1961-1964

Box-folder 1:4

Member index cards (Set 2, A-K), 1961

Box-folder 1:5

Member index cards (Set 2, L-Y), 1961

Box-folder 1:6

Member index cards (Set 3, A-H), 1961

Box-folder 1:7

Member index cards (Set 3, I-W), 1961

Box-folder 2:1

Member index cards (Set 4, miscellaneaous information), undated

Box-folder 2:2

Finances, 1961 February 11–November 1


BPPA Financial Report, August 12, 1961
Box-folder 2:3

Reports, 1963–1974 September


“Temporary Paradise?: A look at the special landscape of the San Diego Region”, September 1974 (in Oversize Collections D6)
Report from James Abbey regarding the legal status of Balboa Park, February 22, 1963
Box-folder 2:4

Maps, undated


"Balboa Park Activity Center” map with guide, undated (in Oversize Collections D6)
Box-folder 2:5

Correspondence, 1961 May 2–1983 May 18 and undated


Correspondence with various city and county officials
Box-folder 2:6

Outreach and meetings, 1961–1983 March 7 and undated


Form letter (with meeting announcement) to be sent to City Wide Committee, regarding sewage treatment plant in Pt. Loma, 1961
Meeting announcement from Citizens Coordinate, undated
Letter to members from Committee of 100 President, May 15, 1982
Summary of City Council meeting, March 7, 1983
Box-folder 2:7

Elections, 1961–1964 March 21 and undated


Petition for ballot amendment, election date April 18, 1961
Letter to BPPA members regarding BPPA President’s candidacy for Assembly, March 21, 1964
Box-folder 2:8

Articles, press releases, letters to the Editor, 1960–1981 June 21 and undated

Box-folder 2:9

Scrapbook 1, 1955 August 30-1975 and undated


Document by Helen Bloomenshine regarding founding and success of BPPA and compilation of scrapbooks, 1983
Will of Amy Putnam, August 30, 1951
Maps of Balboa Park and surrounding area, undated (in Oversize Collections D6)
Box-folder 2:10

Scrapbook 1, 1960 December 21–1961 February 16 and undated


City Council meeting minutes, November 20, 1958
Box-folder 2:11

Scrapbook 1, 1961 February 10–April 12 and undated


Club and meeting information from Citizens Coordinate, March 9, 1961
Box-folder 2:12

Scrapbook 1, 1961 April 13–1962 and undated


Petition for ballot amendment, signatures dated February 24-28, 1961
Amendment to City Charter, election date April 18, 1961
Box-folder 2:13

Scrapbook 2, 1961 May 6–September 16 and undated


Maps of Balboa Park and surrounding area, undated (in Oversize Collections D6)
Fundraising flyer for Fine Arts Gallery (now San Diego Museum of Art), undated (in Oversize Collections D6)
Box-folder 2:14

Scrapbook 2, 1961 September 14–1962 April 27 and undated


Statement of BPPA at public hearing, September 14, 1961
San Diego History Notes by Helen Bloomenshine, undated
Box-folder 3:1

Scrapbook 2, 1962 March 19–1964 February 11 and undated


Bond issue brochures and questionnaire
Court documents, BPPA vs. City of San Diego, February 11, 1964
Box-folder 3:2

Scrapbook 3, 1964 January 9–1965 March 9 and undated


Election brochure for BPPA member Florence Abbey, March 1964
Invitation to BPPA annual dinner, January 8, 1964
Box-folder 3:3

Scrapbook 3, 1964 November–1966 May and undated


“Recommended Priority of Balboa Park Projects for Bond Issue,” August 30, 1965
Special Report from Citizens Coordinate, May 1966
Box-folder 3:4

Scrapbook 3, 1966 May 16–1970 June 21 and undated


Announcement and registration form for Balboa Park Arcade Competition, 1966
Box-folder 3:5

Scrapbook 4, 1965 March 11–1972 July 3 and undated


Interim Report to Balboa Park Sub-Committee Park and Recreation Commission, undated
Fundraising flyer for Fine Arts Gallery (now San Diego Museum of Art), undated (in Oversize Collections D6)
Box-folder 3:6

Scrapbook 4, 1896 May 26–1978 and undated


Copy of document regarding agreement between City of San Diego Board of Trustees to designate specific lots for a park, undated
Box-folder 3:7

Scrapbook 4, 1980 January 28–1983 March and undated


Balboa Park Defense Fund outreach materials
Court document, Committee for Charter Protection for Parks vs. City of San Diego, February 17, 1982
Box-folder 3:8

Miscellanea, 1961-1981 and undated


City Manager’s Quarterly Report, May 1961
Obituaries for BPPA member Ruby Hatch, April 4, 1983