SOHO’s 38th Annual People In Preservation Awards Honors Preservationists

| June 5, 2021 | 0 Comments

Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO), San Diego’s countywide preservation group, celebrated its 38th annual People In Preservation Awards, on Thursday, May 27 during National Preservation Month.

This year’s awards honored twelve distinctive people and projects ranging across multiple historic preservation mediums, from building restorations and adaptive reuse, to historic community traditions and important arts and cultural centers. They include the extensive restoration of a Mid-Century Modern coastal gem, the rehabilitation of a support building at the beloved Hotel del Coronado, and the recognition of a long-time writer especially known for her work in La Jolla.

Each spring, current residents and stewards Susan and Pat James play host to an annual garden party at the turn-of-the-20th-century Wisteria Cottage in Ocean Beach. The community gathers to share its history and greater history of the neighborhood, carrying on a decades-old tradition begun by the Ocean Beach Historical Society in 1994.

Honorees included:

  • Navy Building 158, also known as the Fort Rosecrans Post Exchange, was constructed in 1908 for use as a gymnasium and retail store with goods and services for military personnel and their dependents. 
  • The tale of the formation of Chicano Park, a National Historic Landmark, is one of San Diego’s most moving activist and preservation stories. Author Beatrice Zamora and illustrator Maira Meza tell this important story and share the history of the development of Logan Heights and Barrio Logan in their bilingual children’s book “The Spirit of Chicano Park / El espíritu del parque Chicano.”
  • Homeowners Breeann and Nick Zamonis brought their historic 1925 Spanish Revival style home with Monterey influences in Mission Hills back to life. Using historic photographs, they restored the original entryway, and reconstructed the original cantilevered wood balcony.
  • You will be hard pressed to find another writer who has a better way with words for sharing San Diego and La Jolla history than La Jolla Historical Society historian Carol Olten. The breadth of topics she has written about include discussions of popular architectural styles and building types in La Jolla.
  •  When the iconic Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP) Munk Laboratory at the University of California, San Diego’s Scripps Institute of Oceanography began to show the wear and tear of decades situated on the coast, Sam Farmer, Facilities Management Project Manager at UCSD, and a dedicated team of professionals stepped in to rehabilitate and preserve this important modern resource.
  • Four Balboa Park groups and projects are being recognized. The San Diego Automotive Museum has received a major facelift with the recreation of four historic murals in tile. The work is thanks to the Committee of One Hundred, whose mission is to preserve and protect the park’s Spanish Colonial style architecture. 
  • Centro Cultural de la Raza, the cultural community center whose mission is to create, promote, preserve, and educate about Chicano, Mexicano, Latino, and Indigenous art and culture is being honored as they mark their 50th anniversary in this location.
  • WorldBeat Cultural Center has covered its concrete water tank inside and out with cultural murals, and adaptively reused and converted it for programming through music, art, dance, multi-media arts, and education.
  • The Balboa Park Conservancy organized a collaboration with several key park groups and the city for the restoration of the historic 1935 Alcazar Garden.
  •  Michael Haslett, project lead, and BRE Hotels and Resorts are being recognized for the adaptive reuse and rehabilitation of the single-story brick Laundry Building at the 1888 Hotel del Coronado.

For more information about SOHO, visit

Mission Hills homeowners, Breeann and Nick Zamonis, restored an historic 1925 Spanish Revival style home. Photo is courtesy of Sandé Lollis.

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Category: Architecture, Education, Events, Historical, Local News, Nonprofit

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