Richard Bundy & David Chau
Landmark Restoration Award
Get ready to put on your dancing shoes. The Silverado Ballroom was "where couples met in the 1930s and kids learned to dance in the '50s," as Roger Showley wrote in the San Diego Union-Tribune when the ballroom reopened in February. Also a place to hear music during the big band era, the building has been restored inside and out, including its maple dance floor with "bounce."
Built in 1931 on the prominent corner of University and Euclid Avenues in City Heights, the landmark's restoration is especially welcome and important because it is one of San Diego's rare remaining Art Deco buildings. Actually, the University Avenue façade of this unique building is split in two: it's Art Deco style to the west and Streamline Moderne to the east. A flamboyant entry tower that separates the two sections leads to the second-floor ballroom. Originally, a pharmacy and shops filled the first-floor storefronts. They've been renovated for the new Lotus Garden restaurant and small businesses.
The owner and his family, refugees from Vietnam, bought the building in 1989 and planned to demolish it to build an Asian grocery. After they learned of the building's cultural value, they decided to restore it. How often does that happen? The ballroom is available for rent for weddings, parties and dances, but it will cost a little more than it did in the 1930s, when admission for gents was 40 cents and 30 cents for ladies.
For foresight, a sensitive restoration and community spirit, the Landmark Restoration Award honors Richard Bundy and David Chau.
Photo of award winners Richard Bundy and David Chau, and after photos by Sandé Lollis; before photo courtesy award winners
PAST PEOPLE IN PRESERVATION AWARD WINNERS