Photo of the Week
August 17, 2014

Something different this week!  I was going through my thousands of 35mm slides this past week and found this priceless capture in time.  The date on the slide is October '73 and is showing the Balboa Clubhouse (Service Center) being demolished.  I was living on the Atlantic side in '73 and must have been over for a Pacific side visit when I snapped this photo.  You can see that I snapped the photo from the driver's seat of my car.  It must have been a surprise to me seeing the old Canal Zone icon being demolished. many memories for so many people.  The Balboa Clubhouse was the heart throb of the Canal Zone's Capital.

I have been digging around and can't find much information  (yet)  about the this event.  I did find this out of the February 22, 1974 Panama Canal Review:

The new Balboa cafeteria begins to take shape as contracting forces start building the wall on the new structure.  Located on the site of the former service center, the new building will house a modern air-conditioned cafeteria which will be operated on a 24-hour basis.  The contract for this demolition of the old building and the construction of the new was awarded in November to Bildon Ltd., at a cost of $1,286,220.  The new cafeteria should be completed early in 1975.

There is a photo show in the beginning of construction and part of the old building still standing.  I don't have this copy of the Spillway to scan it and it looks pretty bad on newsprint paper.  You can see the article by (clicking here) at the UF / Panama Canal Museum web site.

I posted a great aerial photo of the clubhouse/service center back on May 29, 2005 (Click Here)

If anyone has more information or photos of the demolition of the old building, please let me know.


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