In 1868, Alonzo Horton convinced the city to use 1,200 acres of public land for a park, and officials named it “City Park.” Luckily, commissioners thought the land deserved a more creative name and eventually changed it to Balboa Park, after Vasco Núñez de Balboa who, in 1513, was the first European explorer to set eyes on the Pacific. No one thought about the powerful impact this park would have on San Diego, with many working for free and the community putting money into it to make it a success. It worked! Today, Balboa Park is twice as big as Central Park in New York City and proudly presents the theme “The Story of Man Through the Ages” through is architecture and landscape. Thus San Diego was changed forever.