John D. Spreckels

The Board of Directors of the Panama-California Exposition Company, on September 10, 1909, elected John Diedrich Spreckels (1853–1926) as the first vice-president of the company. Spreckels, son of sugar king Claus Spreckels, owned San Diego real estate, hotels, newspapers, banks and utility, water, transit and railroad companies. In 1914 Spreckels-owned San Diego Electric Railway Company installed a double-track to the Exposition, starting at Twelfth and Ash Streets. The line stopped before a multi-arched station at the east gate, making it convenient for visitors to reach the Exposition grounds from downtown San Diego.

John D. and his brother Adolph B Spreckels donated an outdoor organ and organ pavilion to the City of San Diego. Located south of the Plaza de Panama, it was designed by Spreckels’ architect Harrison Albright. The Spreckels Organ Pavilion has been restored and continues to host Sunday organ concerts throughout the year, in addition to other events. The Spreckels brothers paid the Austin Organ Company $33,500 for the electric-pneumatic organ and F. Wurster Construction Company $66,500 for construction of the pavilion.

…adapted from the book Balboa Park and the 1915 Exposition by Richard W. Amero.

See brief bio and photo in “Makers of the Exposition”