Balboa Park was officially augmented Monday when the San Diego City Council accepted the 4.6-acre George W. Marston estate as a gift.
The land, which includes a house, was deeded to the city in a "life estate" in 1974 by Mary G. Marston, the daughter of George Marston, who at one time owned one of the city's largest department stores and was a city councilman early in this century.
Marston made his real mark on the city as a park commissioner, and was later responsible for acquiring the land that became Presidio Park, which he donated to the city. One observer noted that Marston was involved in the development of virtually every park in San Diego County.
The Marston estate reverted to public ownership when Mary Marston died in July.
Mayor Maureen O'Connor hopes to use the house as a place to host city-related receptions, her press secretary, Paul Downey, said. The house and grounds are along the northwestern side of the park on 7th Avenue.