There is no real future without preserving our history and our culture. ~ Dan Tarnoveanu
House of Hospitality

National Preservation Award

Orchid Award

House of Hospitality, Balboa Park
San Diego, California

Interior Murals and Painted Architectural Elements
and Surfaces Conservation and Replication

Erected for the 1915-16 Panama -California Exposition, the House of Hospitality was intended by architect Bertram Goodhue to be a temporary structure that would be replaced by gardens.

Because the beauty and functionality of this building (and all other buildings in Balboa Park), San Diegans resorted to many campaigns to save the building and is for the last 92 years a prime wedding, dining and meeting spot.

The House of Hospitality (67,392 square feet) was in 1997 the largest reconstruction and restoration project in the US. The project was led by Milford Wayne Donaldson Architect Inc., the project architect was David Marshall.  It involved reconstruction of the entire building, replication of the exterior ornamentation using glass-fiber-reinforced concrete and restoration and replication of the interior spaces.

Renaissance Art Restoration & Architecture performed the restoration and replication of the interior decoration present on proscenium arch, beams, corbels, doors, shutters, spindles, etc., as well as the replication of the geometric decoration on beams and proscenium arch in the ballroom, as well as the replication (on cotton canvas) of the Café del Rey Moro’s ceiling decoration

Restoration consisted of:
  • Removal of multiple layers of overpaint
  • Cleaning
  • Inpainting -- reintegration of the decorative designs
  • Varnishing with UV protective non-yellowing synthetic varnish as needed
The project begun in 1995 and was completed in August 1997.  The building officially opened to the public on September 13, 1997.

This project received two (2) awards:
  • National Preservation Award in 1998, from National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Orchid Award also in 1998, from the City of San Diego

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