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Preservation Action Update

The Preservation Action Committee (PAC) is the activist arm of SOHO. The committee tracks historic properties that are in jeopardy and tries to intercept the wrecking balls before they start to swing. Below is an update of several ongoing PAC issues:

SOHO is continuing to press ahead with a lawsuit against the private owners and the City for allowing the 1894 Red Roost and Red Rest bungalows to decay beyond repair. A recent ownership realignment may prove beneficial, but there is still a tough struggle ahead.

The venerable Hotel San Diego remains on the critical list. Currently, the General Services Administration (GSA) of the federal government is attempting to gain approval for demolition of the historically significant hotel as soon as possible. All this despite the fact that the new federal courthouses planned for the site won't be built for another four years. Ironically, most of the ground the hotel sits on won't even be used because the Feds require a 50-foot deep "blast protection zone" along Broadway. Basically, San Diegans are losing their city's namesake hotel to create a car bomb buffer. SOHO is working with the San Diego Historical Resources Board (HRB) to save the hotel or, at the very least, increase the GSA's mitigation requirements.

South of the border, efforts to restore the Tecate Depot are ongoing. Not all of the work completed to date has been sensitive to the historic fabric, but SOHO is assisting in the project so that the final restoration is faithful to the 1914 historic period.

Also in Mexico, the partially submerged S.S. Catalina steamship may have found its savior: Hollywood. It seems that a film production company wants to use the S.S. Catalina for a movie and the profits received could be used to re-float the classic vessel and eventually restore it.

The 1939 Old Police Headquarters appears to have a hopeful future due to a surprisingly accommodating decision by the Port Commissioners. The Commissioners voted to retain the entire building and let prospective developers come up with reuse plans that would keep the building on the National Register of Historic Places. SOHO will keep watch to make sure that the right developer and the right plan is selected.

SOHO continues to closely monitor the 1921 Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) to be sure that Bertram G. Goodhue's military base isn't paved over for more Lindbergh Field runways.

SOHO worked with Christine Kehoe and CalTrans to designate State Route 163 through Balboa Park. The "Cabrillo Parkway" is now a local historic site on the San Diego Cultural State Register of Historic Places. It is hoped that the designation will help protect the beloved trees and landscaping along this scenic entry into downtown.

The historic Showley Brothers Candy Factory is slated to be moved by March. The brick building will be lifted and transported on dollies 300 feet to the east to make way for the "Park at the Park." The park is a public green space which was designed to complement the ball field. The 3-story warehouse is one of several historic structures to be preserved and restored in the area of the new ballpark, thanks to a landmark settlement agreement between SOHO, the Padres, City, and CCDC. The Candy Factory is one of the few, along with Rosario Hall, not being restored on its historic site. The Padres will be generating a lot of publicity for the move, which may qualify as the largest brick building ever moved in the United States, hopefully successfully.

The controversial Museum of Contemporary Art addition to the 1915 Santa Fe Depot Baggage Building appears to be nearing a compromise solution. The museum, responding to vocal complaints by preservationists (including SOHO), has returned the modern addition back to an earlier "boxcar red" color that was previously approved by the HRB. The red color and increased channel glass area has helped relate the addition to the Depot without mimicking the Mission-style design.

With so much new development going on in historic areas of downtown as well as older neighborhoods, the Preservation Action Committee will continue to be busy on the front lines of preservation in San Diego County. If you'd like to visit a future Preservation Action Committee meeting, the PAC meets on the fourth Monday each month at 5:30 pm in the Study of the Derby Pendleton House in Old Town.

2003 - Volume 34, Issue 1

MORE FROM THIS ISSUE

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The Tecate Depot & the Future of the Past in Baja California

A Significant Win For the OPHQ


Coronado Railroad, Politics and the Will of the People

President's Message


South Bay About to Lose Important Transportation Link

SOHO Archivist, a Welcome Addition


New Offices For SOHO


Community Outreach


University Heights Takes Action


Events & Education News


Grants & Donations - Thank You


Preservation Action Update


Planned Giving Program


Volunteer Profile


Interstate 163 Designated Historic Parkway


SOHO Celebrates Two Year Anniversary at the Whaley House

Florence C. Shipek 1918-2003


SOHO's People In Preservation Nomination Form
The All New Sixth Annual San Diego Arts & Crafts Weekend

Red Tile Style Discovery


Strength in Numbers


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