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California Pacific Exposition San Diego 1935-1936
Night-lighting brought new life to Balboa Park
The night lighting during the second season literally outshone other aspects of the Exposition. Lighting in 1935 was stunning, but technicians went all out to make it better. Water gushing from all sides formed an arch in the center of a Rainbow Fountain, located on the site of the 1935 Firestone Singing Fountain. Red, yellow and blue lights reflecting off the water gave it the appearance of a rainbow. Dimmer lights at the base of buildings cast waves of moving color on cycads, ferns, palms, azaleas and hibiscus. Technicians chose different plants and colors for each building. The effect was most noticeable in the Palisades where the General Exhibits Building and the California State Building complemented one another across the broad Plaza de America.
In contrast to fluctuating pastel hues reflected from the surfaces of the General Exhibits and California State Buildings, the Palace of Transportation, at the south end of the Plaza, stood alone in luminescent grandeur. A half mile of light tubing behind blue fins on the facade cast a polar blue light on flutes as they rose to join a wide, unfluted rim. Two thousand bulbs behind the rim crowned the tower with an intense and eerie orange corona.