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Casa de Balboa, Balboa Park
www.sandiegohistory.org/bpbuildings/casabalb.htm

You can't touch them and you won't see any suckling infant, but there they are -- big, pendulous breasts -- out in the open for the whole world to see. Where? Go to the Casa de Balboa building in Balboa Park and look up! Constructed for the Panama-California Exposition, the building has had numerous names and served a myriad of roles since 1915. Originally planned as a temporary building, more than one architectural design was considered and rejected before the construction finally began in 1913. The key man behind the not-so-little women was Frank P. Allen, Jr., who seized the opportunity to direct the building's design while others were still busy knocking heads. It's believed that Allen got the idea for the women from the design of Casa Consistorial at Palma de Mallorca, where figures of both men and women, known as hermes, appeared to support the structure. On the San Diego Historical Society's website, Richard Amero writes, "Allen's hermes were naked, muscular women who appear as busts beginning at the waist over the pilasters and as kneeling whole figures over the windows between the pilasters. In each case, the women hold their arms horizontally above their heads. It is the arms clasping one another that presumably hold up the eaves. This task is, however, really done by concealed beams that project from the walls."

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