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Ballpark Preservation Program Update

By David Swarens

Western Metal Supply Company building pictured as part of the new ballpark outfield

Design plans of the preservation and renovation of the historic Western Metal Supply Company building, the 90-year-old, 80-foot-tall brick building at the corner of 7th Avenue and K Street that will remain an integral element of the downtown Ballpark and Redevelopment Project. The historic brick structure will be preserved as part of the outfield, housing the foul pole, Padres Store, a restaurant, party suites and rooftop seats.


Tuesday, April second, marked the resumption of meeting of the P.A.G. (Preservation Advisory Group), created by SOHO's landmark settlement agreement with the San Diego Padres baseball team and the City, and which is charged with overseeing the implementation of that agreement. Recent restart of that monumental redevelopment project after over a year of relative inactivity was the opportunity for an update of preservation and restoration projects that have become important components of the new downtown ballpark. Following is a summary of the status of some of these projects:

  • The circa 1870 Rosario Hall has been relocated to a new site, where it will be restored.
  • The disassembled SDG&E Station A is still looking for a place to be reconstructed in the project area.
  • The Farmer's Bazaar, which exists as a remnant wall of a later annex to the Western Metal Building, will be preserved and restored in place. Its parapet will be re-mortared a brick at a time in those areas where the cement has lost integrity, and other areas will be repaired as needed and re-pointed, and a new structural wall will be poured to stabilize the brick on the interior surface. This area will be one of the gateways to the Park, through the Western Metal Building.
  • That building, Western Metal Supply, is being restored and adaptively reused to host the Padres Team Store, boxes, and a restaurant, as well as a Park entry. Paint removal on interior spaces is almost complete, and the spaces look great! The PAG toured this building following our meeting. Some new framing for opening are being developed, as is the "board formed concrete" finish, original to the period, which is being replicated for new construction, both to be approved by our group. Western Metal Supply Company buildingOriginal ceiling panels and beams are being disassembled, and will be reinstalled like a giant jigsaw puzzle in the new structural system to retain the appearance of the historic warehouse spaces. New cement floors will echo the circa 1910 original grid found in the basement area. And original freight elevator, a spiral materials slide (which was used to deliver hardware from the warehouse to the ground floor), safe vaults and doors, the pneumatic message tube, various sign, and other "curiosities" have been salvaged, stored, and will be reused in the final design.
  • The Showley Bros. Candy Factory will be going out for new bids for relocation, because of the time that has elapsed. Its move is planned for February 2003.

The Padres development and design team continues to demonstrate a creative application to the challenges of the preservation and restoration elements of this program. SOHO is proud to be a partner with the San Diego Padres, insuring that important elements of community character and identity are preserved for future generations, even in a redevelopment project of this massive and transformational scope.

2002 - Volume 33, Issue 1

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President's Message


Executive Director Report


Coronado Railroad Receives Historic Designation

Red Roost and Red Rest Legal Campaign


Return of the West Arcade


Theatre at the Whaley House


Daniel Slosberg is Pierre Cruzatte


Living History at the Whaley House


Redevelopment & Black Historic Preservation

SOHO Arts and Crafts Weekend 2002


Old House Fair

Getting to Know Your San Diego


Iron Road of the Californias


Volunteer Profile: Ruth Martinson

Events and Education


Thank You, Jessica McGee


Efforts to Save SS Catalina Continue


Ballpark Preservation Program Update


Four Treatment Approaches for Historic Properties

Proposition 40 Passes


Thank Yous


SOHO Thanks Longtime Members


Strength in Numbers


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