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Katherine Olivia "Kate" Sessions was an American botanist, horticulturalist, and landscape architect closely associated with San Diego, California, and known as the "Mother of Balboa Park."
Born: November 8, 1857, San Francisco, California, United States
Died: March 24, 1940, San Diego, California, United States
Education: University of California, Berkeley
Lived: 4016 Randolph Street, San Diego
Buried: Mount Hope Cemetery, San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA, Plot: Division 5
Find A Grave Memorial# 75383463

School: The University of California, Berkeley, (also referred to as Berkeley, UC Berkeley, and Cal, Berkeley, CA 94720) is a public research university located in Berkeley, California. Founded in 1868, Berkeley is the oldest of the ten research universities affiliated with the University of California system, and is often cited as the top public university in the United States and around the world. Notable queer alumni and faculty: Barbara Macdonald (1913-2000), Cora Du Bois (1903–1991), Florence Yoch (1890–1972), Helen Jacobs (1908–1997), Jessica Blanche Peixotto (1864–1941), Kate Sessions (1857–1940), Lillian Faderman (born 1940), Lucy Ward Stebbins (1880–1955), Mark Bingham (1970–2001), Pauli Murray (1910–1985), Robert Duncan (1919–1988), Susan Sontag (1933–2004), Walter Plunkett (1902–1982), William “Bill” Colvig (1917–2000).

Queer Places, Vol. 1.1: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
ISBN-13: 978-1532901904 (CreateSpace-Assigned)
ISBN-10: 1532901909
CreateSpace eStore: https://www.createspace.com/6228297
Amazon print: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1532901909/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Amazon kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IZ1BU9K/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

House: Lee and Teats were companions who lived together from 1902 through 1943, when Lee died. Teats continued to live in their house until she died in 1952. The women were important in the early XX-century San Diego social scene, and entertained two US presidents in their home.

3574 7th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103 (32.74269, -117.15871) - Alice Lee Residence
3560 7th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103 - Katherine Teats Cottage
3578 7th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103 - Alice Lee Cottage
Gay Village: Hillcrest (San Diego, CA 92103)

Built in 1905, Design by Irving Gill with Lloyd Wright. Gardens by Kate Sessions
Known as the Teats Cottage, the Prairie-style house was built for Katherine Teats, the domestic partner of prominent San Diego socialite Alice Lee. Originally was part of a compound with three residences sharing a garden designed by noted botanist/landscape architect Kate Sessions. In May of 1906, Alice Lee granted the property of the Teats Cottage to her companion Katherine Teats. Misses Lee and Teats lived in the main house and used the other two for rentals. Miss Lee was close friends with both Mrs. Grover Clevelend and Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, and often dined at the White House. President and Mrs. Roosevelt, Mrs. Cleveland, and other distinguished visitors were often guests at Miss Lee's Seventh Avenue home.

Who: Alice Lee (May 27, 1854 - February 18, 1943)
Alice Lee was born in Westport, NY, and throughout her life was surrounded by individuals passionate about the Progressive movement including Teddy Roosevelt, who was married to her second cousin; Florence Nightingale; Ralph Waldo Emerson; and the Bronson Alcott family. When Lee moved to San Diego in 1902 for health reasons she became friends with the Marston Family who were involved with the Progressive movement in San Diego. Alice Lee became very involved with different organizations in San Diego including the First Unitarian Church, the Wednesday Club, the Civic Committee of the Chamber of Commerce, and other local civic and cultural groups. She took leadership positions as President of the San Diego Museum, Honorary Director of the Women’s Civic Center, Director of the Natural History Museum, President of the Balboa Park Auditorium Association, and President of the Balboa Park Commission. Alice Lee founded the group “Open Forum”, which was a public forum to openly talk about social, political, and international issues. According to a newspaper article from the San Diego Union, by 1935 the group had become one of the “oldest continuous non-legislative forum of free public discussion in the United States” before being disbanded sometime in the 1970s. Lee was also a leader of the Progressive movement in San Diego organizing Progressive thinking women to get out and vote for Teddy Roosevelt in 1932. She was recognized by the Progressive Party by being chosen to represent California at the National Convention for the Progressive Party in Chicago. Lee was the leader of the “Save the Beaches” campaign in San Diego which resulted in the city acquiring miles of beach for public use. She was also instrumental in developing the public playground system. Alice Lee was praised as a Civic leader in several publications including the San Diego Union, the Ticonderoga Sentinel, the Boston Globe, and a book entitled “Women of the West: A Series of Biographical Sketches of Living Eminent Women in the Eleven Western States of the United States of America.” Lee lived in the home at 3574 Seventh Avenue from its year of construction in 1905 until her death in 1943. Alice Lee is buried at Hillside Cemetery (165 Ridgefield Rd, Wilton, CT 06897), established in 1818.

Queer Places, Vol. 1.1: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
ISBN-13: 978-1532901904 (CreateSpace-Assigned)
ISBN-10: 1532901909
CreateSpace eStore: https://www.createspace.com/6228297
Amazon print: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1532901909/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Amazon kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IZ1BU9K/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

National Park: Named for the Spanish maritime explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, Balboa Park hosted the 1915–16 Panama–California Exposition and 1935–36 California Pacific International Exposition, both of which left architectural landmarks.

Address: San Diego, CA 92104 (32.73414, -117.14455)
Phone: +1 619-239-0512
Website: www.balboapark.org
National Register of Historic Places: 77000331, 1977

Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre (490 ha) urban cultural park in San Diego, California. In addition to open space areas, natural vegetation zones, green belts, gardens, and walking paths, it contains museums, several theaters, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. There are also many recreational facilities and several gift shops and restaurants within the boundaries of the park. Placed in reserve in 1835, the park's site is one of the oldest in the United States dedicated to public recreational use. Balboa Park is managed and maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of San Diego. Balboa Park is a primary attraction in San Diego and the region. Its many mature, and sometimes rare, trees and groves comprise an urban forest. Many of the original trees were planted by the renowned American landscape architect, botanist, plantswoman, and gardener Kate Sessions. An early proponent of drought tolerant and California native plants in garden design, Sessions established a nursery to propagate and grow for the park and the public. For the first few decades of its existence, "City Park" remained mostly open space. The land, lacking trees and covered in native wildflowers, was home to bobcats, rattlesnakes, coyotes, and other wildlife. Numerous proposals, some altruistic, some profit-driven, were brought forward for the development and use of the land during this time, but no comprehensive plan for development was adopted until 1902. Nevertheless, some building were constructed, including an orphanage and women's shelter (later burned down), a high school (Russ High School – later San Diego High School), and several gardens maintained by various private groups. One of the most celebrated of these early usages was a 36-acre nursery owned and maintained by local horticulturist and botanist Kate Sessions, who is often referred to as "the mother of Balboa Park." Although owned by Sessions, by agreement with the city the nursery was open to the public, and Sessions donated trees and plants to the city every year for its beautification. Sessions is responsible for bringing in many of the different varieties of native and exotic plants in the park. Her work was so progressive that she was in fact the first woman awarded the Meyer Medal for "foreign plant importation" by the American Genetic Association. The Exposition's lead designer and site planner was architect Bertram Goodhue, well known for his Gothic Revival Style churches in New York and Boston, who sought a regionally appropriate aesthetic to use in Southern California. Goodhue and associate architect Carleton Winslow chose to use the styles of highly ornamented Spanish Baroque architecture with the Spanish Colonial architecture created during the Spanish colonization era in New Spain-Mexico and the lower Americas, with Churrigueresque and Plateresque detailing "updating" the already popular Mission Revival Style—to create the Spanish Colonial Revival Style. The buildings and the style were extremely well received by the public and design professionals in California and nationally, becoming a reigning style for decades, and still the primary vernacular style in much of California. Goodhue's associate architect was Carleton M. Winslow, who is solely credited with the lattice-work Botanical Building and other structures. Goodhue's team, which included Kate Sessions and Lloyd Wright for landscape design, had won out over the local and more modernist Irving Gill to get the commission. One of the most significant improvements to the park from that time was the construction of the Cabrillo Bridge across a major canyon in the city. The bridge connects the main portion of the park with the western portion and with Laurel Street.

Who: Katherine Olivia "Kate" Sessions (November 8, 1857 – March 24, 1940)
Kate Sessions was born in San Francisco, California and educated in Oakland. At the age of six, she moved with her family to a farm next to Lake Merritt. She attended the University of California, Berkeley in 1881 with a degree in natural science. While attending a San Francisco business school, at the request of a friend, she moved to San Diego in 1883 to work as an eighth grade teacher and vice principal at Russ School (now San Diego High School). She worked at the school for over a year before she left due to health problems. In San Diego, Sessions quickly moved on to her true interest, the cultivation of plants. In 1885, she purchased a nursery; within a few years she was the owner of a flower shop as well as growing fields and nurseries in Coronado, Pacific Beach, and Mission Hills. The Mission Hills Nursery, which she founded in 1910 and sold to her employees the Antonicelli brothers in 1926, is still in operation. In 1892 Sessions struck a deal with the City of San Diego to lease 30 acres (120,000 m2) of land in Balboa Park (then called City Park) as her growing fields. In return, she agreed to plant 100 trees a year in the mostly barren park, as well as 300 trees a year in other parts of San Diego. This arrangement left the park with an array of cypress, pine, oak, pepper trees and eucalyptus grown in her gardens from seeds imported from around the world; virtually all of the older trees still seen in the park were planted by her. Among many other plant introductions, she is credited with importing and popularizing the jacaranda, now very familiar in the city. She also collected, propagated, and introduced many California native plants to the horticulture trade and into gardens. In 1900, she took a trip to Baja California to find a palm tree not native in San Diego to be planted at the park. She would also later take a seven-month trip through Europe where she collected multiple plant varieties that she eventually helped plant in the park. Together with Alfred D. Robinson she co-founded the San Diego Floral Association in 1907; it is the oldest garden club in Southern California. The garden club was influential in teaching San Diegans how to grow ornamental and edible plants, at a time when most San Diego landscaping consisted of dirt and sagebrush. Sessions worked with architect Hazel Wood Waterman on the garden design for a group of houses built by San Diego socialite Alice Lee near Balboa Park. Dedicated to her plants, Kate never married. It’s been rumored that she was a lesbian, but in her younger years she also had a long list of male suitors, included John D. Spreckels. She lived to be 82, when she died in San Diego on March 24, 1940. Her office was at 4016 Randolph St, San Diego, CA 92103. She is interred in Mount Hope Cemetery (3751 Market St, San Diego, CA 92102).

Queer Places, Vol. 1.1: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
ISBN-13: 978-1532901904 (CreateSpace-Assigned)
ISBN-10: 1532901909
CreateSpace eStore: https://www.createspace.com/6228297
Amazon print: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1532901909/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Amazon kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IZ1BU9K/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

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