The photo above shows how the historic Cabrillo Bridge was conceptualized to serve as the grand and ceremonial entrance to Balboa Park. The bridge was designed by Bertram Goodhue for Panama California Exposition of 1915. It has fulfilled its concept admirably. However, a bypass bridge will soon mar the bridge in such as way that defeats the intended effect of the design, i.e., the lone elegant arched viaduct entrance into the park. [Read more…] about What San Diego will soon mar for a parking garage
With its current leasing notice, the McMillin Company has every intention of gutting the North Chapel at Liberty Station (San Diego) and replace it with a restaurant. As an artist in the (slowly-disappearing) NTC Foundation’s Arts District at Liberty Station, I am leading an effort among my fellow artists to stop this outrage from coming to fruition.
First, an update:
Since my first Op Ed for UrbDeZine, I’ve made the successful transition in careers I aimed to achieve: on December 21st, 2016 I celebrated my graduation as a Peer Support Specialist, a position that requires lived experience and empathy to assist and empower peers in their transition to wellness from mental challenges. [Read more…] about San Diego Architectural Foundation’s Open House tour with Orlando
This morning the Court ruled Measure “I” [A proposed City Charter amendment weakening existing City Charter protection for dedicated Park Lands and authorizing a give-away of 34 acres of Balboa Park to the San Diego Unified School District] may be placed on the November, 2016 ballot. Park advocate David Lundin and his counsel Craig Sherman contended the City Council failed to comply with state laws governing the Charter amendment process requiring a series of well-noticed public hearings before a proposed Charter amendment may properly be placed on the ballot. In this pre-election expedited hearing, those claims were denied without prejudice to these and additional legal hurdles being raised after the November election. Balboa Park Heritage Association strongly supports this continued legal and political challenge. Lundin stated “As the City Attorney himself argued,these challenges may properly be brought after the election results are counted. That will be done.” [Read more…] about Court Rules that transfer of 34 acres from Balboa Park to School District may go on ballot but . . .
The following text and images comprise the East Village Draft Focus Plan released on July 30, 2016, including subsequent minor corrections and additions made by its authors. It has been reconstituted here from the PDF original version to enable web and mobile viewing (there are formatting variations from the original). To view a gallery of images, or view any image in its full size, click directly on the image. The original version may be downloaded from this PDF link (warning: downloading PDF may require high capacity broadband connection).
Not long ago, the future was looking pretty dire for the Hotel Churchill in downtown San Diego (9th & C). It sat vacant and neglected, with its redevelopment uncertain. Along came the San Diego Housing Commission and Housing Development Partners of San Diego (HDP), which in addition to providing housing to some very vulnerable people, has also been one of the City’s leading saviors of historic properties. The historic Mason Hotel on Fifth Ave. and A St. in downtown San Diego was another property recently restored by the Housing Commission and HDP. [Read more…] about The new historic Hotel Churchill unveiled
The Salk Institute is an other-worldly place as I had seen it on posters and calendars for many years before I experienced it first hand. At certain times of the day, nearer sunset, the space can take your breath away. The concrete and granite buildings and plaza are much more transcendental than harsh. [Read more…] about Beyond Lou Kahn
An invitation was emailed last week for a ground breaking ceremony to be held on Wednesday Oct. 8, at 10:00 AM for a new Pendry Hotel to replace the parking lot of 5th & J. The invitation was ground breaking in more than one way. This parking lot was the site of one of the most egregious abuses of eminent domain under the California Community Redevelopment Act, and became one of the poster-children of the property rights – anti-eminent domain movement. Many believe it also played a role in Governor Brown’s repeal of the redevelopment law. [Read more…] about Parking lot no more at Fifth & J in the Gaslamp Quarter?
For the last half century, cities have attempted to repair the damage to their urban cores from migration to suburbs and exurbs. Redevelopment has evolved into smart growth, transit oriented development, and complete streets. In the last 15 years or so, the urban renewal efforts have had a receptive audience as people, tired of the car oriented lifestyle of the suburbs, are returning to urban cores and older urban neighborhoods. However, while cities get the big picture, too often in my 25 years as a land use attorney, I have seen the same mistakes repeated. [Read more…] about 6 Common Mistakes Made By Cities and Towns in Urban Renewal.
The long vacant ground floor of the TR Produce Building (888 J Street) may finally receive an occupant under a proposal before Civic San Diego. However, because the prospective tenant is primarily an office use rather than a retail use, it will require a conditional use permit (CUP) subject to certain findings being made. The prospective tenant, Underground Elephant, “focusses on providing enterprise marketing software solutions to companies. . .” The company has 85 – 90 employees and is currently located in 600 B Street. To mitigate its non-conforming use, Underground Elephant proposes a “Coffee bar” at the front of business, which will be open to the public. [Read more…] about TR Produce Creative Space Proposal Another Example of City Council’s Folly in Approving Demolition of Other Creative Space.