House of Hospitality Reconstruction

Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

The House of Hospitality is a contributing historic structure to the Balboa Park National Historic Landmark District. Originally constructed as a temporary building in 1915 for the Panama-California Exposition, the design was completed under the supervision of Exposition architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, FAIA. The reconstruction is a replication of architect Richard Requa’s 1935 remodel of the original 1915 building. The current building’s use closely approximates that of the 1935 version and contains a large ballroom, food catering services, a restaurant, visitors center, several meeting rooms and tenant office spaces.

Several years of research was conducted by our architectural team to locate historic photographs, documents, drawings and missing features. Over fourteen design and engineering firms were coordinated as a team to solve a wide variety of technical issues, including how to fit in new HVAC and fire sprinkler systems into a highly decorated historic shell without altering the historic appearance. The project included removal, restoration and reinstallation of over 6,000 features of the building, such as doors, windows, light fixtures, railings, fountains, beams and hardware. Incorporating seismic design and disabled accessibility also posed significant challenges. The completed reconstruction garnered over 20 design and preservation awards.

  • City of San Diego, Park Planning Division
    • HABS Documentation
    • Historic Features Survey
    • Construction Documents
    • Construction Observation
  • 1997
    • ♢National Trust for Historic Preservation Honor Award
    • ♢Outstanding Project of the Year American Public Works Assoc. San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter
    • ♢Governor's Historic Preservation Award
    • ♢American Institute of Architects California Council (AIACC) Honor Award
    • ♢American Institute of Architects San Diego Chapter Merit Award
    • ♢California Preservation Foundation Design Award
    • ♢Associated General Contractors of America National Build America Award
    • ♢International Illumination Design Awards Special Waterbury Citation Historical Replication of Original Exterior Illumination
    • ♢AIA Orchid Awards (two) Historic Preservation and Lighting Design
    • ♢San Diego Historical Resources Board Grand Award of Excellence
    • ♢SOHO People in Preservation Award Reconstruction