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HISTORY OF SOHO - THE FIRST TWENTY YEARS

Twenty Years of Preservation Efforts in San Diego - 1984
By Kathleen Flanigan

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President Mary Joralman
Vice President Joe Jones
Vice President of Education Bruce Herms
Vice President of Government Affairs Robert Miles Parker
Secretary Paula Stober
Treasurer David Goldberg
Bill Bolen
Harry Evans
Cathy Grigsby
Karen Johl
Carl Luhman
Pat Schaelchlin
Sue Skala
Catie Somers
Gary Thomas

In February, a "Neighborhood Network" was established by SOHO to alert citizens when a historic building was threatened with demolition. SOHO President, Mary Joralmon, said the system helped save the Greg Rogers house in Chula Vista, which later became Historic Site #1 in that city. She explained that a Chula Vista resident alerted SOHO, who in turn called the mayor, the Chula Vista Historical Society, and then the owner. The structure, temporarily moved to city property, then moved again, was saved intact as a result.

The restoration of an Irving Gill house in Coronado prompted the owners to consult SOHO. They ultimately joined the organization, and then opened their house to SOHO workshops. The Percival Thompson house at Isabella and Ocean was open to SOHO members and the public to view the restoration process on March 18. Gill expert, Bruce Kamerling, talked about the architect and his work, then craftsmen demonstrated their skills in wood refinishing, stenciling, and wallpaper removal in various areas of the home. Refreshments were served, and then the group retreated to the Livingston residence next door to learn how the much-publicized Victorian was floated across the bay and emplaced on its current site.

A Homeowner's Legal Forum, presented by SOHO on March 24, offered instruction to homeowners on the ins and outs of façade easements and application for historic registry status. Dr. Ray Brandes of the University of San Diego and attorney Marie Burke Lia conducted the workshop.

Although SOHO had convinced city officials in 1978 to restore the historic Horton Plaza fountain, retain the threadbare grassy area and chain and bollard fence, the area was still unsightly and overrun by transients. As a result, CCDC asked San Francisco landscape architect, Lawrence Halprin, to redesign the small park. He projected a clock tower, the relocation of the historic Gill fountain to the west end, and drastic landscape and fencing changes. SOHO maintained again an alternate stand, which supported the historic elements of the park. Local preservation architect, Wayne Donaldson, unveiled his detailed plans on June 7, which featured "a spruced up status quo." The Gill fountain would remain in the center of a grassy area and only a number of queen palms would be added to the landscaping which Kate Sessions originally accomplished. In addition, SOHO's design would cost $500,000 compared to Halprin's $2.4 million project. On November 6, the City Council approved the SOHO plan which most nearly replicated the one devised by Irving Gill and Kate Sessions back in 1909, complete with the chain and bollard fence around the perimeter.

The annual home tour, held on October 20, focused on the Chula Vista/ National City areas. The homes visited included the Dickinson-Boal mansion, the Bronson house, the Burch and Gould craftsman structures and other historic sites.

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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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