Balboa Park’s centennial is less than three years away, and planners have big hopes to make it a year-long celebration that will rival the original Pan-American Exposition in 1915-1916.
If successful, hundreds of thousands of additional visitors could flood the park, creating logistical challenges for parking and public transportation.
Christian Chaffee says he has the solution — streetcars. For the past 15 years, the University Heights resident and antique dealer has been pushing the cause to bring back the original Class 1 streetcars that ran from Santa Fe Station in downtown to Balboa Park and beyond, starting in 1912.
Chaffee’s organization, San Diego Historic Streetcars, owns the last three remaining cars and hopes to someday re-open the streetcar lines on roughly the same tracks, which once ran to North Park, Normal Heights and Kensington.
But first, he wants the streetcars to run through Balboa Park for the year of the centennial.
“Our city needs something special for the centennial celebration,” Chaffee said on June 1, at an event at Trolley Barn Park to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the streetcar’s original launch.
Chaffee has worked out the entire plan. Read more here.