Is it true that Balboa Park was designed by the same dude that designed Central Park in New York?
-- Paul Broadway, San Diego
Common misconception. Well, maybe not common, since most people don't know? care? that someone actually arranged the park we see today. The king of American landscape architecture and champion of public green spaces, Frederick Law Olmsted, laid out Central Park in New York City. He was already six feet under the landscape by the time San Diego's city fathers selected a designer for the buildings and layout of the 1915 Panama California Expo. They chose Frederick's company, Olmsted Brothers, Brookline, Mass.; and Olmsted's sons, John C. and Frederick Jr. worked on the Balboa Park project. But when the expo committee decided to develop the north end of the park, not the south as the Olmsteds suggested, they quit. If you'd like to see a little of Daddy Olmsted's work on the West Coast, visit the Stanford University campus.