Fresco Seccos Unveiled


During the restoration of the Victorian building, an original ceiling fresco from 1888 was discovered in the vestibule of the Ocean Ballroom. As the last surviving fresco at the hotel, its historical importance is very high.

The Hotel del Coronado originally had several plaster ceilings that were decorated with fresco murals, including the Music Room and Ladies Parlor. These frescos were the work of William Busch and Jacob Gumpertz and were painted between September 1887 and April 1888.

According to the March 29, 1888 San Diego Union and Daily Bee: “The decorations were designed and executed by William Bush [sp], a graduate from European art schools. The beauty of the designs, as well as the artistic finish, are much admired and form one of the principal attractions of the hotel.”

In consultation with preservation specialists, the fresco is currently being restored in place by a team of conservationists specializing in plaster and frescos. The restoration is expected to be completed by August 2024 and the fresco-secco will remain in the Ocean Ballroom once the Victorian reopens to maintain its historic relationship to the building.

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