The Class 1 Streetcars Return to the Del Mar Antique Show!

We had so much fun the last time Class 1 streetcar #138 was at the Del Mar Antique Show, we decided we needed to come back! Between the influx of enamored San Diego citizens and the great photo shoot with the San Diego Steampunk community and the folks with the Costumed Walkabout, there was a lot of excitement to behold. We can’t wait to do it all again!

If you missed us last time, here’s your chance to see a true historic treasure of San Diego. Come see us at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on April 15th, 16th, and 17th to get a glimpse into San Diego’s past– and learn what we’re doing to make it a part of San Diego’s future.

To get to the Calendar Antique Show at Del Mar, just exit the I-5 freeway at Via de la Valle, head west and enter at either the main gate on Jimmy Durante Blvd or the Solana Gate which is straight ahead on the left hand side of Via de la Valle.

Hope to see you all there!

A Perfect Match: The Historic Class 1 Streetcars & The 2015 Centennial Celebration at Balboa Park

This is no time to think small.  Great cities are built with great ambitions— and with great effort.

– Jerry Sanders, Mayor of San Diego

In the dialogue surrounding the centennial of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition and the year-long celebration set to take place in Balboa Park, the common theme expressed in virtually all viewpoints is the desire to transform Balboa Park into a world class tourist destination, all the while celebrating and preserving San Diego’s rich history and unique beauty. If we all agree on this ambitious and worthy goal, then it seems that the historic Class 1 streetcars would be a natural fit for Balboa Park and the centennial celebration. And right now there’s nothing driving our local government to develop a comprehensive streetcar system any time soon. We can’t wait until 2050. The Class 1 streetcars belong at the centennial celebration.

What better way to help preserve the history and enhance the quality of Balboa Park than with practical public transportation provided by the streetcars that were originally developed to move the massive crowds of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition? As we’ve mentioned before, if these streetcars return to any original route — the line that began at Santa Fe Depot, ran down Broadway, and then up to Balboa Park seems particularly ideal — they would be eligible for state and national historic designation, bringing in federal funds for historic preservation to develop and maintain the line and any potential expansions. More importantly, this is a unique opportunity to enhance the Panama-California Exposition centennial celebration with a streetcar line that at once adds a complementary historical element that is distinctly tied to San Diego’s history and helps solve the persistent problem of parking in Balboa Park.

There’s no doubt that the public would be behind such an undertaking. In his most recent “State of the District” address, Todd Gloria asked his constituents in District 3 if they want a historic streetcar line– the overwhelming response was “Yes!” Furthermore, in their official report “The Future of Balboa Park: Funding, Management and Governance”, the Balboa Park committee stated that participants at a centennial kickoff event suggested that Balboa Park still needed “another ‘wow’ factor” to further solidify its status as a world class park. Those participants went on to say that “Balboa Park needs to exceed expectations, not just meet a baseline condition.”

We completely agree. Balboa Park deserves a world class historic streetcar line that will compliment its beauty, history, and preserve the park. The Class 1 streetcars have the potential to bring in cultural heritage tourism on the level of San Francisco or New Orleans’ landmark streetcar systems and are the only truly historic streetcar option in San Diego. This would be an investment in San Diego’s future and a great way to advertise the city and the centennial. With their unique and specific historical connections to Balboa Park and the Panama-California Exposition of 1915, the Class 1s are the obvious choice for public transit to the park and could fit in perfect synergy with all other aspects of the centennial celebration.