Red Roost & Red Rest Legal Campaign
By Barry Hager
For many years the Red Roost and Red Rest cottages have appeared on SOHO's Most Endangered List. However, the cottages are now at a critical crossroads in their history.
The Red Roost and Red Rest cottages, built in 1894, are rare surviving examples of late nineteenth-century beach cottages that once proliferated in La Jolla and are the oldest structures there. With their wide verandas and simple construction, the cottages enjoy a spectacular site at the cove. The Red Rest and Red Roost cottages tell the story of the history and origin of La Jolla, like nothing else. The design for these bungalows is also regarded as a precursor to the California bungalow popularized after the turn of the twentieth century.
The fate of the Red Roost and Red Rest over the last thirty years is less romantic. Shortly after the cottages were designated as historic landmarks in January 1975, the Heimburge family, owners of the cottages and the adjoining La Jolla Cove Suites, sought to demolish the Red Roost and Red Rest. Failing that, the owners have instead played a waiting game, allowing the ravages of time and weather to take their toll on the cottages. The owners stopped using the cottages as rentals and ceased maintaining them, allowing vines to grow over the cottages and debris to accumulate on the roofs, leading to their dilapidated present condition. With holes in their roofs, the cottages have reached a critical stage. Most agree, however, that the cottages are not beyond repair.
Despite a local San Diego ordinance that prohibits "demolition by neglect" of historically designated properties, the owners have still not been forced by the City of San Diego to maintain the cottages and prevent their continued decline. Save Our Heritage Organisation, has decided to take action to prevent the loss of these landmarks. SOHO believes that these important, historic cottages should be saved and can easily be adapted for productive re-use.
Support is needed for this cause. The City of San Diego, including the City Council, should be made aware of the dire need to preserve and maintain the Red Roost and Red Rest cottages before it is too late. Send a letter or make a telephone call to your councilperson to let them know your concern about this issue. Additionally, SOHO needs to raise funds to take legal action to compel the City of San Diego to enforce the laws and to force the owner to maintain the cottages. Please contribute to this very important cause. Any amount of contribution is welcome and will assist in this effort.
Photos seen here were not included in the original article.
MORE FROM THIS ISSUE
VIEW digital online version
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
SOHO Thanks Longtime Members
Strength in Numbers
VIEW digital online version
DOWNLOAD full magazine as pdf (3.9mb)