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William Black House

Place on the National Register
By Don Schmidt

William Black House (University House). Photo Dan Soderberg

The historic William Black House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A the week of July 16. Criterion A is defined under the National Park Service as "Events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history". The property was designated by the California Heritage Commission under Criterion C (Architecture) and D (Archaeology) as well as Criterion A in November of 2007.

It was immediately listed on the California Register on all three criteria, and subsequently listed on the National Register of Historic Places under Criteria C and D in early 2008 by the National Park Service. The Keeper's Office of the National Register of Historic Places requested more information on Criterion A in 2008 and the amended nomination was submitted to the Keeper in September of 2009.

The house was designed by nationally known architect William Lumpkins, who started his career in Santa Fe, New Mexico and was part of the adobe revival movement there in the 1930's. The house was designed for William and Ruth Black, who developed La Jolla Farms and lived in the house from 1952 to 1967, when they sold it to the UC Regents. The UCSD chancellors occupied the house from 1967 until it was closed in 2004. The property was also a site of an ancient Native American village and is sacred ground to Kumeyaay people.

The La Jolla Historical Society nominated the property under the three criteria, but worked closely with SOHO and the Kumeyaay Cultural Repatriation Committee to save the house and leave the surrounding property undisturbed. A community workgroup (which includes SOHO) has been working diligently for two years assisting UCSD on plans to rehabilitate the house allowing the chancellor occupy the house in the near future.

Volume 41 - 2010

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