The new downtown San Diego Public Library opened at 12:00 the day we were scheduled for a 12:05 tour. We thought we could park in their basement parking lot about a half hour ahead of schedule but we were told it would not open until ll:55 so we parked across the street and used the time to explore Petco Park baseball area and the Padres store.
It was amazing to see what the library offers: book stacks at every level, computers, children’s area, teen area, art gallery, reading rooms, baseball research center, handicap area, & an auditorium. There are incredible views of the city from every direction. An outdoor café will open soon.
In 1986, the San Diego Chinese Historical Society formed to preserve and share Chinese and Chinese American history and culture. They rescued the Chinese Mission building built in 1927 that was designed by the nephew of famed local architect Irving Gill. It was relocated and opening in 1996. With many donations from supporters. The director Alexander and his wife Agnes came from their office to talk with us for a while. Alex worked with Ed when he donated some Ming bowls and vases to the museum. A second space across the street has a modern gallery for rotating exhibits, a library and a lecture hall. There is a third area for storage and conservation.
One new exhibit featured chairs from many periods and cultures from simple stools to mid-century modern styles by American and European designers. Another exhibit showed metal works by C. Carl Jennings that included gates, headboards, chandeliers and free-standing sculpture.
We also stopped in at the Timkin art museum where they had a famous Gainsborough painting “A Peasant Smoking at a Cottage Door” on loan from UCLA’s Hammer Museum. Gainsborough’s Cottage Door will be displayed together with Corot’s View of Volterra, painted 50 years apart, to demonstrate how landscape painting changed at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the We finished the day with dinner at China Max and later watched a DVD of Don Quixote (Don Quichotte), an opera by Massinet.