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HISTORY OF SOHO - THE FIRST TWENTY YEARS

Twenty Years of Preservation Efforts in San Diego - 1971
By Kathleen Flanigan

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chairman Barry Worthington
Co-Chairman Sally Johns
Secretary Carolyn Hay
Treasurer Nicholas Fintzelberg
Don Covington (Alternate)
Harry Evans
Larry Ford
Claire Kaplan
Lynn Kaplan
Donald Mitchell
Miles Parker
Patricia Roll
Tom Shepley (Alternate)

Good news came at last on the historic preserve. In early 1971, the County Board of Supervisors finally purchased the 7.8-acre site at the intersection of Juan and Harney Streets for the sole purpose of creating "an 1880's-style Victorian Preserve." Called heritage Park, the $265,000 acquisition was financed with matching county and H.U.D. funds.

In April, SOHO received notice that the Sherman-Gilbert house would have to be demolished. To date, the group had raised about $6,000, which was insufficient for the projected $11,000 move to Heritage Park. Through an emotional plea to the County Board of Supervisors, an emergency loan of $5,000 was granted to SOHO to assist with the relocation, with the assurance to the County that the loan would be repaid by the end of the 1971 fiscal year. The group hosted "an old-fashioned party to say farewell to an old-fashioned house" on Sunday, April 30.

On May 20, the house was removed in two portions from Fir Street. The San Diego Union reported that traffic jams occurred along the route and wires had to be raised by utility crews to permit passage. The most difficult part of the move came in the final few blocks as the individual sections were eased down the steep grade at the Juan Street hill. Three trucks were used for each section during the hill descent; one was used to guide the structure and two trucks were used behind it to insure a safe speed. Costing approximately $2,000 per mile for the five-mile route, the structure was emplaced at the end of the day in Heritage Park. Chairman Fintzelberg said, "Now we have the responsibility of maintaining the house until the County takes over at Heritage Park. We won't attempt permanent restoration for about 18 months because the house will have to be moved one more time." The final site for the redwood Victorian building was only a few yards from its temporary location.

With the Sherman-Gilbert structure secured in Heritage Park, a series of fundraisers ensued to gather cash to restore the old Victorian and to repay the County Board of Supervisors for the move. An Indian curry dinner held at the Café del Rey Moro in Balboa Park, complete with Indian entertainment and fashions from the country, started the ball rolling on October 10. Tickets sold for $6 each, and the organization netted $122.44 from the event.

On October 26 and 31, SOHO provided Victorian architectural tours for the delegates of the 25th annual meeting of the National Trust for Historic Preservation held at the Hotel del Coronado. The home tour commenced with sightseeing through the Golden Hill area and a visit to the recently restored Villa Montezuma in neighboring Sherman Heights. From there, the group strolled through the Timken house at 1st and Laurel, the Britt-Scripps residence at 4th and Maple, and the Long-Waterman dwelling at 2408 1st. Participants were then shown the downtown area with a concentration on theaters and other buildings of architectural interest.

Next, SOHO, in conjunction with the San Diego alumnae chapter of Alpha Chi Omega, organized a formal historical and architectural public tour of Victorian homes on November 21. The excursion began at the Sherman-Gilbert house where hostesses greeted guests in Victorian dress, then proceeded by bus to the Timken house, the Livingston house at 24th and J, and the Quartermass-Wilde residence at 24th and Broadway where refreshments were served. Other Victorian structures were viewed from bus windows. Set up outside the Sherman-Gilbert structure, an Art Mart featured art objects and Christmas decorations.

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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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