Plaza De Panama

The Plaza de Panama project is a visionary and transformational return of Balboa Park to its natural beauty, reestablishing pedestrian-friendly parklands and improving public access for all. The Project lead is the City of San Diego in partnership with Balboa Park United, an alliance which comprises the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, The Balboa Park Conservancy, the Friends of Balboa Park, the San Diego Foundation and the Balboa Park Online Collaborative and private community members.

This is an aerial view of the Park from the South.

This is the same view but includes the preliminary design concepts. Of special note is the magnificent rehabilitation of the Plaza de Panama, El Prado, Esplanade and the Spreckels Organ Pavilion Rooftop Park featuring over two acres of reclaimed grassy open space.

This is an eye-level view of the Esplanade. Note the vehicular road and automobiles.

This the same view but with the reimagined design for pedestrian use only.

This is the existing view of the El Prado West, showing current vehicular traffic.

This is the same view of El Prado West, void of cars and pedestrian-friendly.

This is view of the California Tower looking west from the Plaza de Panama.

This is the same view, now a hazard-free, expansive space for visitors to relax and enjoy their visit.

This is the view of Pan American Road East. Again note the vehicular road and automobiles.

This is the view of Pan American Road East in the future with people-friendly walking access.

This is the current view from the Cabrillo Bridge, as automobiles begin their transit through the heart of Balboa Park and present pedestrian hazards and congestion.

This is the approved alternate transit for automobiles through the Park en route to the Alcazar Lot, Organ Pavilion Lot and additional parking in the Palisades. Vehicles will not be permitted beyond the Museum of Man and the archway entrance to the Park.

This is the current view of the Plaza de California, outside the Museum of Man entrance. It is a pedestrian hazard because of the lack of visibility through the archway of pedestrians wishing to cross the road.

The transformed Plaza de California.

The current view of the Spreckels Organ parking lot, a scene of frustration and hazard particularly for visitors walking up or down Pan American Road East attempting to cross the lot entrance.

The transformed Spreckels Organ Lot, a hidden underground parking structure that reclaims over two acres of park land.

The Plaza de Panama project is the most innovative initiative in Balboa Park since 1935. It aims to reclaim the Park’s core for pedestrian traffic, add open and gathering spaces and return the Park to its natural beauty.

The guest experience is enhanced through improved access to the Park’s gardens, elimination of automobiles, which adds both safety and beauty, yet offers more efficient and safer access and increased parking.

We are incredibly excited to see the Plaza de Panama Project advance and look forward to the restoration of San Diego’s crown jewel.

You can read some important frequently asked questions here

We’d love to hear from you! Please tell us what excites you most about the project by taking a brief survey.


Website design and programming, the Balboa Park Online Collaborative.