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The city of San Diego has always been a popular site for tourists. Balboa Park is one of the main tourist sites that is home to an enormous collection of art, history and science museums, galleries, and the old globe theatres and the world famous San Diego zoo. Many of these buildings and musuems are based on Aztec and Spanish architecture.
Unlike other buildings in Balboa Park, the Speckles Organ Pavilion has a unique blend of ancient Roman and western architecture. The Pavilion was designed by architecture Harrison Albright in 1914, a native San Diego. The Pavilion has remarkable resemblance to the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. Although the Organ Pavilion and the Colosseum are not exact duplicates, they are alike in basic structure format and share a purpose for similar contributions to the city.
The Colosseum was an enormous entertainment center. Roman audiences watched a variety of athletic events and spectacles, including animal hunts, fights to the death between gladiators or between gladiators and wild animals, performances of trained animals and acrobats, and even mock sea battle. The colosseum is designed in an oval shape, like many stadiums today, and seats up to 50,000 spectators. The concrete core, with its vaulted corridors and stair ways is devised to ensure the smooth flow of traffic to and from the arena. The semi-circle outer walls of the Colosseum consist of three levels, the three Classical orders are superimposed according to their "weight": Doric, the oldest, on the first level, it's followed by the Ionic, then the third level the Corinthian capitals. These are the basic structures of the Colosseum in Rome.
The Organ Pavilion is not a exact duplicate nor does it look anything like the Colosseum. There are some similarities between the the two architecture. For instance, the stage is elevated beneath a detailed arch, the arms "a Corithian peristyle effect" that curve out on the south side to encircle the outdoor audience. Along the arms are two row of 12 Corithian columns on each side. There are no vaults that are formed, the roof top is flat. This creates a walk way leading to the stage. The amphitheater can seat up to 2400 people. The seats are metal seats laid across a flat plane. This was hard for people in the back to see from the back because the seats were not elevated from the back.
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As a result the Colosseum and the Organ Pavilion shared a similar goal, which was to provide the citizens with live entertainment. These shows also brought the city together as a whole. Whether it was some gladitors killing each other or a Christmas gathering on a Sunday afternoon, live entertainment provided a different atmosphere for the citizens. It was something that a person can look forward to on a weekend. For the Romans this was very exciting to go and watch a show. There were no other form of live entertainment that brought all the citizens together. This is similar for Americans to goto a baseball game or a football game. The thrill spirit of the game brings us all in one big stadium and bond to one another. For the city of San Diego, the Organ Pavilion is a place of cultural awarness and a historical monument.