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Preservation Action Update

Rosario Hall, clearly showing the original intact siding with original window and door placement.


Here showing the addition of smaller sized cheap pine siding with new window and door openings cut into the original fabric.


The Preservation Action Committee (PAC) is the activist arm of SOHO. The committee tracks historic properties that are in jeopardy and works proactively to preserve them. Below is an update of several ongoing PAC issues:

Rosario Hall
Rosario Hall is a small, two-story meeting hall from the 1880s that is one of the oldest and most culturally important surviving buildings in all of downtown San Diego. The hall was relocated to a new site in East Village and was handed over to a private developer for "restoration" and adaptive reuse.

Unfortunately, the developer is trying to cut corners, and he's made many bad decisions, including covering up the original redwood clapboards with non-matching pine boards. The effect of this and other changes has threatened to alter Rosario Hall beyond recognition. SOHO is actively pushing CCDC and the developer to do the right thing and to comply with their own signed agreement. SOHO is also hoping that legal action can be avoided.

Old Police Headquarters
The future of the 1939 Old Police Headquarters is still very much in doubt due to a decision by the Port Commissioners to demolish the garage, assembly building, and at least one jail cell block. This destruction of 40% of the historic landmark is to make room for an imaginary "Pier Walk" promenade that makes no practical or design sense. SOHO helped create a coalition of groups who sent a joint a letter to the Port asking that the headquarters and landscaping be beautified and that no demolition of the historic portions of the building occur - especially before the Port's South Embarcadero design competition is complete. The Port chose to ignore the coalition's recommendations and also dismissed an excellent solution by Dianne Powers to relocate Bazaar del Mundo to the OPHQ and use as much of the historic structure as possible. It was made clear to the Port Commissioners by their own staff that they did not have the financial resources available to move ahead with this demolition. The Commissioners voted in direct opposition to the views of their constituency. We believe that a new EIR must be completed before any demolition occurs.

Red Roost and Red Rest
The 1894 cottages are La Jolla's oldest surviving examples of late-Victorian beach bungalow architecture. In an effort to prevent "demolition by neglect," SOHO filed suit in September 2002. Based on recent cooperation between SOHO, the owners, and the City of San Diego, SOHO has dismissed its lawsuit "without prejudice," meaning that it can be re-filed at any time.

The owners have made various assurances that they would proceed with a development plan for the site that would include adaptive reuse of both of the cottages. The owners have promised to protect the cottages from further decay, and they have committed to continue meeting with SOHO to work out an amicable solution. SOHO will remain diligent and will continue to monitor all developments.

Station B
Station "B" is the old SDG&E power-generating station that covers an entire block at the corner of Kettner and Broadway, south of the Santa Fe Depot. The vacant structure will be adaptively reused for residential units, including a high-rise tower from the center of the block. SOHO is trying to prevent a Planning Commission's scheme to cut several holes in the first floor for "display" windows along Broadway. The windows would significantly alter the massive castle-like feel of the building, and the windows are not needed or desired by the housing developer or his future tenants.

HRB Suspension of Voluntary Designations
SOHO and several San Diego historians were very vocal in our opposition to the City of San Diego Historical Resources Board's suggestion to suspend voluntary historic designations for one year due to a lack of City staff. Voluntary designations are needed to comply with the Mills Act and to establish historical districts.

The Land Use and Housing Committee recognized the value of the program and recommended against the suspension. They directed staff to look into a fee structure and to ascertain what additional staff would be required to process the applications.

Postcard courtesy Coons collection, circa 1920s


Sunset Cliffs Park
The City of San Diego is in the process of doing work at Sunset Cliffs Park where remnants of historic wooden bridges, quaint palm-covered huts, and other site features still can be found. SOHO is talking with the City to convince them to restore some of these important features instead of building something insensitive in their place.

Coronado Railroad
After three hours of presentations before the Historical Resources Board, the vote was 9-1 on all criteria, A, B & C, for historical designation. This was a big win after years of battles with over 50 people from different organizations and the community present to voice their support.

Rawson Residence
The Historical Resources Board unanimously rejected the development that would have pasted the front of this Victorian building onto a new glass box. The building will now be moved to the corner facing other Victorians on Union Street and rehabilitated.

Methodist Church, North Park
SOHO received many calls from the community on this wonderful historic church at Park and Lincoln, now demolished. California state law does not allow us to designate churches. It exempts them from the environmental process, thereby tying our hands.

2004 - Volume 35, Issue 1

MORE FROM THIS ISSUE

VIEW digital online version


Coronado Railroad Designated Again


Cinderella Story


Old Enough


The strength of a nation lies in the homes of its people
SOHO Becomes a Partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

A Partnership to Preserve America


Preservation Action Update


After the Fires


Port Votes to Demolish 40% of the OPHQ


San Diego to Host OHP and CPF Training Workshops

From Lemons to Locomotives & Beyond


Know something About the Hemphill Dance Studio?
S. Kathleen Flanigan Preservation Revolving Fund

A Memorial to a Friend in Preservation


A Formal Groundbreaking


1950s Wrestling & Roller Rink Building to be Razed

SOHO Forms Modernism Committee


Herbert Kunzel Residence Receives Historic Designation
Identification & Evaluation of Mid-20th-Century Buildings

Events & Education Update


Letters to the Editor


2004 Craftsman-Spanish Revival Weekend


People In Preservation


Strength in Numbers


Lost San Diego


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