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Red Roost & Red Rest Legal Campaign

By Barry Hager

Red Roost
Red Roost
Red Roost
Red Roost

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.

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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