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HISTORY OF SOHO - THE FIRST TWENTY YEARS

Twenty Years of Preservation Efforts in San Diego - 1970
By Kathleen Flanigan

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chairman Nicholas Fintzelberg
Co-Chairman Denise Gonzales
Secretary Kathy Murray
Treasurer Carol Lindemulder
Carolyn Hay
Sally Johns
Claire Kaplan
Lynn Kaplan
Randall Olsen
Miles Parker
Barry Worthington

At a January 12 SOHO meeting, plans were made for a Preservation Council with architect John Henderson and Kay Porter in charge. The purpose of the council was fourfold: 1) that interested persons such as SOHO be notified when an important structure was threatened with demolition; 2) to urge a tax break for those persons undertaking the maintenance of particular structures; 3) to encourage the granting of leeway in bringing historic buildings up to code; and 4) to maintain a list of prospective buyers and sellers of historic properties. The ideas set the stage for SOHO's later involvement in many historic preservation projects. Concurrently, SOHO members were meeting with County Supervisors DeGraff Austin and Jack Walsh to secure a Victorian Preserve of 7.8 acres in Old Town at the intersection of Juan and Harney Streets with the aid of a federal grant.

Fund raising continued in February with special shows of silent screen movies offered at the Solomon Little Theatre on the Cal Western Campus in Point Loma. Such classics as D. W. Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation," and "The Phantom of the Opera," with Lon Chaney were highlighted. Admission was $1.50 per show or $5.00 for the series.

In April, SOHO members identified the Jesse Shepard Victorian mansion, also called the Villa Montezuma, on 20th and K Streets as their next historic preservation project with plans to restore it on site to a neighborhood cultural center. Working with SOHO was the Historical Site Board, the A.I.A. and the San Diego Historical Society, which eventually acquired the property in 1971 and renovated it.

Victorian fun prevailed once again on May 24, when Save Our Heritage Organisation hosted a grand celebration in the Sherman-Gilbert residence in honor of the anniversary of Queen Victoria's 151st birthday. An open house from 2:30 till 7:30 p.m. was offered the public with the hope that San Diegans would become better acquainted with Victorian homes, and strive to restore and preserve them. Visitors paid 15 cents for ice cream cones, 25 cents to see the film "The Convict," and a nickel for home-baked cupcakes. The event was hailed a success!

In September, Nicholas Fintzelberg, was elected chairman of the group. He promulgated his goals for 1970-71 which included: 1) the removal of the Sherman-Gilbert house to the "Victorian Preserve"; 2) support for the proposed legislation that would give the Historical Site Board, which designated historic sites in the City of San Diego, the authority to place 100-day demolition moratoriums on historic structures; and 3) the desire that SOHO become a non-profit organization for tax reasons and to enhance its eligibility for federal grants.

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ABOUT SOHO

HISTORY OF SOHO
- THE FIRST 20 YEARS

Preface | Beginnings | 1969

1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974

1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979

1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984

1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989

- THE SECOND 20 YEARS

Four Decades of Historic Preservation
in San Diego County

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