I came across a great quotation in July about Balboa Park, first set aside in the 1800s as a 1,400-acre natural preserve.

“Yes, San Diego got a park in 1868,” said University of San Diego law professor Nancy Carol Carter, “but from that day forward the question of whether or not we can keep it has been on the table.”

Under that banner, we dove in this summer to the stories from Balboa Park’s history of controversies and big changes. As we unraveled story after story, we heard from many of you that we were uncovering episodes you’d never heard about. Our mission: To understand how Balboa Park got to be the way it is. And we started to ask how it might look in the future, particularly so we could better understand the controversy and deep passion stirred up by a current plan for the Plaza de Panama and what it reveals about San Diego’s relationship with this park, its cultural heart.

Below is a graphic guide, organized as a timeline, to the stories we’ve found. (Technical note: You may need to download Adobe Flash Player to view the graphic in your browser.)

I’m Kelly Bennett, reporter for Voice of San Diego. You can reach me directly at kelly.bennett@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0531.

And follow Behind the Scene on Facebook.

Disclosure: Voice of San Diego members and supporters may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover. For a complete list of our contributors, click here.

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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