San Diego County Operations Center Complex
County Supervisors recently broke ground for a new $500 million office complex. Lost in the hoopla of speeches praising the largest infrastructure project in county history was the significance of the existing facility.
Built in 1962 and designed by the master architecture firm of Tucker Sadler Bennett, the building complex exemplifies the Mid-Century style of architecture of that time in San Diego. Simple, low-height buildings organized around a series of courtyards linked by stylish canopies and fountains have served employees and the public well for nearly 50 years.
Instead of properly maintaining and renovating these buildings the County chose to neglect and downplay their importance to promote bland, new office blocks.
Without any public input on the historical significance of the existing complex, the County appears to be in violation of the California Environmental Quality Act.
Surely a creative solution for future government buildings could be inclusive and respectful of exceptional architecture from the early 1960's. If our elected officials are allowed to plead ignorance and apathy regarding our recent past history, how can they properly enforce regulations for the private sector? And how many tons of concrete and steel would be kept out of the landfill by saving and renovating the existing operations center?
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