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HISTORY OF SOHO - THE FIRST TWENTY YEARS

Twenty Years of Preservation Efforts in San Diego - 1977
By Kathleen Flanigan

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President Mark Tarasuck
Vice President Pat Schaelchlin
Vice President of Education Pat Minnich
Vice President of Government Affairs Matt Potter
Secretary Donna Regan
Treasurer Cia Brown
Rae Berry
Keith Evans
Nicholas Fintzelberg
Ted Foley
Cathy Grigsby
Mike Jones
Bruce Kamerling
Claire Kaplan
Dick Reed

In March, SOHO concerned itself with the fate of Horton Plaza, the half block of park set aside by Alonzo Horton in 1871 and sold to the city in 1895. The organization staged a picnic in the Plaza on March 20 to protest the City Council's renovation plans, which included the removal of the threadbare lawns and the insertion of cold, hard pavement to discourage napping transients. In addition, members negatively responded to a City Council plan to put plants in the 1909 Irving Gill-designed fountain. SOHO envisioned a Horton Plaza like the original: palm tree-lined with lush lawns. They also recommended that the fountain be restored. According to President, Bruce Kamerling, "This is the first truly successful electric fountain in the world." On May 22, members appeared before the city's Public Facilities and Recreation Committee in charge of the fate of the Plaza. The group reiterated its desire to have the Plaza restored to its original turn-of-the-century appearance rather than follow the city plan.

In July, the City Council approved funding for the fountain rehabilitation, and assumed the responsibility for this task. The group engaged architectural draftsman, Michael Harris, to undertake the project, based on Irving Gill plans copied from the archives at the University of California at Santa Barbara. The fountain was thus cleaned and restored and the area eradicated of its moribund palm trees and the chain and bollard fence left intact.

SOHO returned to the Quartermass-Wilde mansion in Golden Hill on August 13 for a champagne reception for current and prospective members. Attorneys Jose Otero and Milton Silverman donated the building for the party. Special guests included Lucille Wilde Miller of Glendale, Mayor Wilde's only daughter who lived in the house in her teens, and a former classmate of Miller's at Russ High School and San Diego Teachers' College, Mary Griner Kelly, of Medford, Oregon.

Californians for Preservation Action chose the Old Spaghetti Factory at 5th and K for its quarterly one-day workshop on August 27. The C.P.A. maintained an active role in influencing public and private policy as it related to preservation, conservation and the reuse of resources. "Neighborhood Revitalization" was the conference theme and cohosts for the event included, the San Diego Historical Society, the American Institute of Architects, the Greater Golden Hill Planning Association, and the Gaslamp Quarter Association. SOHO conducted tours of the Gaslamp Quarter concluding with a wine and cheese tasting party at the Villa Montezuma. The cost was reasonable, $5.50 for members of the sponsoring organizations, and $6.50 for non-members.

In September, Save Our Heritage Organisation located its office in the I.O.O.F. building on 6th and Market in the historic Gaslamp Quarter. Thanks to owner Charles Tyson, was allowed to clean and repair the upstairs of the structure and hold its meetings at this location. Finally, according to president Bruce Kamerling, the group had a secure meeting place where the business of preservation could be accomplished.

The tour for 1977, held in October, highlighted La Jolla homes and landmarks. Held in conjunction with the La Jolla Historical Society, visitors admired the La Jolla Women's Club, Muir Gardens, an Edgar Ullrich house, the old trolley car station at 6063 La Jolla Blvd., and many other structures. Twelve buses shuttled 600 visitors around the community for a three-hour tour.

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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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