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Teachers Training Annex #1

Completed in 1910 in the Italian Renaissance Revival Style, the State Normal School Training Building on Park Boulevard is one of the most striking architectural landmarks in University Heights. It has been the focus of concerted community based historic preservation efforts for years. A National Register site, currently owned by the San Diego Unified School District, the building is located on what are now the grounds of the District's Education Center Complex. It is the only structure remaining from the 1897 San Diego State Normal School's University Heights campus, the forerunner to present day San Diego State University. Originally functioning as a living laboratory for student teachers, it was transferred to the City of San Diego Schools in 1931 and served as the original Alice Birney Elementary School until 1951. It was eventually delegated for records storage and has been left to steadily, and visibly, deteriorate for decades.

The community has lobbied to see this jewel of University Heights become a new library or community center, but even with the completion of a Historical Significance Assessment and an Adaptive Reuse Analysis performed by the City in 2004, there seems to be no serious plans to restore and adaptively reuse the building. The powers-that-be appear to simply be waiting until it's conveniently too late to save this uniquely grand piece of local history.

Photo by Sandé Lollis

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2476 San Diego Avenue · San Diego CA 92110 · Phone (619) 297-9327
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