Located on the southeast corner of the Plaza de Panama and utilizing the center portion of the 1915 Foreign Arts Building designed by Carleton Winslow, the original structure was modeled on the Hospital of Santa Cruz in Toledo. Remodeled by architect Richard Requa for the 1935-1936 California Pacific International Exposition, the House of Hospitality patio was inspired by the Convent of Guadalajara in Mexico. On central axis with its entrance and in the center of the courtyard is Donal Hord’s sculpture, the “Woman of Tehuantepec,” made of Indiana limestone. The sculpture rests atop a raised, octagonal central tiled fountain and is framed with dense plant groupings in each corner of the patio, with overarching palms framing the view in all directions. The four planting areas are edged with benches that align with the fountain basin, meeting the patio at 45-degree angles, much like the two fountains Requa inserted into his design for the Alcazar Garden. A second floor with specialty rooms and arcades that overlook the central courtyard was also added with Requa’s plans.
In 1997 the structure was carefully reconstructed and in 1977 was designated a National Historic Landmark as part of Balboa Park.