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HISTORY OF SOHO - THE FIRST TWENTY YEARS

Twenty Years of Preservation Efforts in San Diego - 1989
By Kathleen Flanigan

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President David Swarens
Vice President Rick Garbini
Secretary Suzanne Lawrence
Treasurer Charles Sykes
Corey Braun
Bruce Coons
Kathy Flanigan
James Guthrie
Kathleen Kelley-Markham
Angeles Leira
Ann MacCullough
Anna Major
Charles Reilley
Robin Webster
Melinda Williams

In early 1989, SOHO supported the historic designation of Egyptian Revival buildings in San Diego, as well as the creation of an Egyptian Thematic District along Park Boulevard. The fight, which ensued to accomplish such a feat, brought high visibility to a relatively recent architectural style. The issue, supported by the Historical Site Board but overturned by the City Council, emphasized the on-going conflict between preservation for the good of the general public and the right of individual property owners.

SOHO in October 1989, foresees a continuation of programs that have been implemented since its creation, such as home tours, workshops, "People In Preservation" Awards, and general involvement in individual preservation projects. The Board has identified the need to become more involved with San Diego County decision-making bodies, such as the Centre City Development Corporation, the City Council, and the County Board of Supervisors, so that it can perhaps avert serious preservation problems before they begin. In other words, by advance knowledge of redevelopment issues, many political and legal preservation battles can be avoided. The organization would seek the role of "mediator" instead of "instigator" in such cases.

SOHO feels that the education of the public is probably its most substantial tool in saving our architectural heritage. Since 1971, the group has successful drawn people from all walks of life into areas of the County on walking and bus tours, complete with tour booklets. Newspaper coverage of the organization's plans and projects has filled households with information. Restoration workshops provide "hands-on" information for building rehabilitation. The 1988 "Designation Workshop" booklets are still available for $10 for those seeking historic designation for their properties, and in fall 1989, "The Primer for Preservation" will also be available at the Senlis Cottage in Heritage Park. Since 1969, SOHO has offered its newsletter, "Reflections," which highlights preservation issues and the group's plans to members and other interested individuals and organizations. The group will continue to provide publications to the general public on preservation.

This historic preservation organization has come a long way from its grass roots Victorian background. As the times have changed, and the group has matured, it has been faced with the preservation of many architectural styles from all eras. The rapidly redeveloping and growing San Diego County area, has forced the group to realize that not all can be saved, but that some of the best examples of all historic periods should be preserved for posterity. The organization now believes that structures should be preserved on-site and not relocated as in the past. Neighborhood conservation is important as well. The membership, throughout SOHO's history, has contributed historic, moral, financial and legal support to various County preservation struggles. Despite the times and the changes, adversity and battle scars, the city's oldest preservation organization, for twenty years, has always been there to "Save Our Heritage."

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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