Updated: Jan 26, 2022
The coming Comic-Con® Museum will welcome thousands to this new Balboa Park attraction in November, but first, the 86-year-old building sorely needs a new paint job.
That's why the Balboa Park Committee of 100, the park's oldest support group, is kicking off a GoFundMe campaign with Comic-Con to raise the necessary funds for paint and equipment. City facility crews will then paint the 71,000-square-foot building over the next few weeks. The goal is to raise $20,000 in the next 30 days.
"All it takes is a bucket of paint to make a big difference," said Roger Showley, president of the Balboa Park Committee of 100 (C100).
The building will be painted the historically accurate, original color, a bagel-like hue called "Palisades Tan."
To participate in this worthy goal, park lovers, and Comic-Con fans everywhere can make a direct donation of any amount at the GoFundMe donation site. Donors of $50 or more will receive a souvenir Comic-Con pin and tote bag while supplies last.
"A big thank you to the Committee of One Hundred for initiating this campaign," said Rita Vandergaw, Interim Executive Director of the Comic-Con Museum. "This effort quickens the pace toward making the building not just presentable, but a shining example of the beauty of Balboa Park."
The museum, located in the park's Palisades area, south of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, will join the San Diego Air & Space Museum, San Diego Automotive Museum, Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater, Starlight Bowl, Municipal Gymnasium and House of Pacific Relations international cottages.
Originally built as the Federal Building, it housed exhibits of federal agencies at the 1935-36 California Pacific International Exposition. After the fair, it was an adjunct to the neighboring gym. In the 1990s it was remodeled and expanded to house the Hall of Champions and Sports Museum until 2017. Designed by expo architect Richard Requa, it was modeled after the pre-Columbian Mayan governor's palace in Uxmal in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.
Comic-Con, the nonprofit that runs the annual San Diego convention for fans of comics and popular art forms, has held various events in the building since assuming the lease. The museum is scheduled to open officially Nov. 26 with various improvements continuing over the next few months.
The Balboa Park Committee of 100 has championed the restoration of buildings, grounds, and public spaces in the park since its founding in 1967. It initially focused on the El Prado area, site of the 1915-16 California-Pacific Exposition, and in 2015 turned to the Palisades. It restored the exterior of the San Diego Automotive Museum this year and is moving forward with the Municipal Gym next year. In both cases, it also underwrote the materials for city crews to paint the buildings the original bagel-like tan color of 1935, the same planned for Comic-Con.
The painting project is part of an ongoing partnership with the city that C100 is calling the "Balboa Park Bucket of Paint Club." Any excess donations will be retained for the next park painting candidate.
Available images, photo credit: Comic-Con®