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Save Balboa Park!

By Bruce Coons

When SOHO was forced to take legal action in order to protect Balboa Park, preservation law and public process you stepped up and donated to help offset our legal expenditures, SOHO thanks you for your contribution.

The project is easy to abhor once the facts are distilled using the Jacobs/Sanders team's own blueprints. A two-lane highway and bridge attached to the Cabrillo Bridge, cutting into, through and around the park's iconic entrance; the removal of fully grown specimens of graceful canopied trees between the plaza and the palisades to be replaced with soldier rows of palm trees, a three-story paid parking structure funded by a city bond and general fund, and the construction of concrete retaining walls as high as 24-feet and massive landfills in Palm and Cabrillo canyons. This new road will bisect the central mesa with a massive ditch and destroy the tranquility of Alcazar Garden forever, in one of the most majestic urban parks in America.

I have said that I believe this issue is a character-defining watershed moment for San Diegans. Where one comes down on this issue will likely define them in the eyes of the public from this point forward and history will indeed record who was on the wrong side of this issue. If this project were to be constructed, the Balboa Park we all know and love would be unrecognizable.

A simulated photo using the design team's own image, an earlier version but substantially unchanged today. The new traffic plan will serve only the purpose of bring more automobile traffic into the park along with a need for paid parking and massive landform changes making the park unrecognizable if this project were to be built.

With help from you, SOHO has been able to save the Hotel del Coronado, the Downtown Warehouse District including the Western Metal Supply Company building, Gaslamp Quarter, Horton Plaza, and the Santa Fe Depot to name only a few. SOHO has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds over the years, often for litigation. Successful litigation.

In continuing this battle cost will be substantial. For those who may not know, an advocacy group's successful lawsuit does not come with damages awarded, when SOHO wins a case the losing party pays only for attorney fees, and not always even that. SOHO's reward, your reward is in the saving of the historic resource. We need financial help from you to help us fight the good fight. We strongly believe that we can save this National Historic Landmark and that Balboa Park will indeed win the day, but we need your help.

A concrete river runs through it! This screen shot of the latest version of the Jacobs/Sanders plan shows that no matter how they try to hide it or pretty it up, the new road, bridge, retaining walls and landscaping are impossible to obscure their destructive effects on the park.

Please consider a donation of any amount today to our Balboa Park Legal Defense Fund. You may donate by clicking below, or by sending a check to SOHO at 2476 San Diego Avenue, San Diego CA 92110. Donations may be kept anonymous if you wish.

Thank you and remember your donation is tax deductible and it is essential to winning this David vs. Goliath battle.

It is with much gratitude that we thank the following people who contributed to the legal fund which enabled us to win the case against the illegal action taken by the San Diego City Council, (except for Councilwoman Sherri Lightner) to enter into an inappropriate and illegal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to "grease the wheels," so to speak, to allow for the destruction, redevelopment, and gross disfigurement of our National Historic Landmark Balboa Park. While this first battle is won it will be because of you that we ultimately win this war. (Scroll to view all names.)

Brian & Kimberly Adler
Maryellen Deason & William Alexander
Margaret Arbaugh
Margaret McCann & Jagath Ashirwad
Bonnie Horne & Jan Barnes
Walter & Elena Bartzat
Paula Beck
Lucy Berk
Joan Bigge
Diana Blanton
Lewis & Connie Branscomb
Ina Cantrell
Cathy O'Leary Carey
Rachel & Philip Carpenter
Diane Coombs
Bruce & Alana Coons
Marilyn Crehore
Sharon Crockett
Dondi Dahlin
John & Jeannie Daley
Margaret S. Davis
Gaylyn Boone Dorcy
Jeanette Dutton
Hugh Gaskins, Lillian Endo & Tracey Endo-Gaskins
David Feinstein
Susan Floyd
Dr. Walter E. Weibrecht & David W. Garside
Susan Hoekenga & Edward Gergosian
Dudley K. Graham
Ms. Glenn T. Graham
Hillcrest History Guild
Steve & Katherine Hon
Barbara Angius & Kent A. Houser
Mary Lynn Hyde
Bruce, Diane, Christy, Allison, Frances, & Margaret Jaynes
Rosemarie Kinninger
Bill & Suzanne Lawrence
LB Powers & Son Co. Inc.
Christie Jackson & Stuart MacDonald
Betty Marshall
Margaret & Anne Marston
Ron & Dale May
Loretta McNeely
James Mills
Eleanor Murillo
Jay Neal
Francine Nickell
Peter & Lee Norton
Helen & Jack Ofield
Rosie Hogan & Chuck Patterson
Mary Rabe
Sara A. Raddatz
Martin D. Rosen
Chuck Ross
Sandra Scherf
Jerald Schuldies
Anne Schwartz
Jim Scott & Lois Scott
Ben Baltic and Doug Scott
Nancy G. Shank
Gloria Sterling, Ph.D.
Ione Stiegler
Les & Liz Stiel
Melvin & Ellen Sweet
Judy Swink
Don & Pat Taylor
Dell Cumanay & Ian Trowbridge
Ann Zahner & Rudy Vaca
Christa Vragel
Linda Wilson

Volume 42 - 2011


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From the Editor

Warner-Carrillo Ranch House

Santa Ysabel General Store

The Hawaiian Connection

San Diego's First Chinese Community

Temple Beth Israel

Archaeological Myth Busting

Chicano Park & its Wondrous Murals

Sleeping Porches & Suffragist Banners

Most Endangered List of Historic Resources

Windemere Cottage

People In Preservation Winners

In Memoriam

Preservation Community

Recent Acquisitions

Save Balboa Park

Lost San Diego

Strength in Numbers

Donations 2010-2011


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DOWNLOAD full magazine as pdf (11.3mb)


2476 San Diego Avenue · San Diego CA 92110 · Phone (619) 297-9327
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