From Balboa Park Committee of 100: The revival of the Palisades continues! Begun in early January, contractors and artisans have now restored the long-lost grand tile murals and bold bas-relief ornamentation to the Automotive Museum’s façade.
Lost to decay after the conclusion of the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition, the original faux tile painted murals were recreated with real glazed ceramic tiles by RTK Studios in Ojai, Calif. The 576 tiles were boxed and numbered and carefully shipped to the park for installation.
Like the original murals, the lightweight ornamentation also did not last long after the expo. The ornamentation – bold friezes along the parapet and over the doorways, and obelisks crowning the entry, have been recreated in durable glass-fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) by Bellagio Precast. These restored features will finally make permanent what was once only imagined to be temporary.
Also restored were key elements of the building’s illumination. These lighting features will recreate the evening drama (and added safety) that the fairgoers once enjoyed, and aid in re-activating the Palisades area long after sunset.