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Another Balboa Park Proposal To Be Unveiled

A competing proposal to the city of San Diego's plan to remove cars from the center of Balboa Park is scheduled to be unveiled today.

Architect William Lewis' design will be presented at a meeting of the Balboa Park Committee at 6 p.m.

Preservationists object to the city's plan for Plaza de Panama and Plaza de California because it requires the construction of a bypass bridge that they believe will ruin the character of the west entrance to Balboa Park. Many also oppose a parking garage that would be built near the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

The primary differences in Lewis' proposal, which supporters call Plan B, are a new perimeter road that would run under the Laurel Street Bridge and an 868-car underground parking structure would be located below the central plazas.

The perimeter roads would lead to the international cottages on the south side and a north rim road that could serve as a new entrance to The Old Globe.

"The roads would become part of the park experience,'' Lewis said.

"They will look like they've been there 100 years."

The roads, however, do not account for the steep terrain in that area of the park, said Gerry Braun, who has been leading the effort to win passage for the city's plan.

Irwin Jacobs, the Qualcomm co-founder, has sunk several million into the planning process for the city proposal, including the development of an environmental impact report.

Comments

Avatar for user 'DavidAbramson'

DavidAbramson | May 7, 2012 at 2:39 p.m. ― 2 years, 7 months ago

This article is a bit misleading by saying "Preservationists object to the city's plan for Plaza de Panama and Plaza de California because it requires the construction of a bypass bridge that they believe will ruin the character of the west entrance to Balboa Park. Many also oppose a parking garage that would be built near the Spreckels Organ Pavilion."

THIS PROJECT WOULD INCLUDE DESTRUCTION OF THE WORLD BEAT CENTER AND THE CULTURAL CENTER DE LA RAZA!!!

These are two of the most important cultural centers in all of San Diego. Please follow the link to help save the WBC and CCDLR! Thanks

http://activistsandiego.org/node/3710

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Avatar for user 'ecoholly'

ecoholly | May 7, 2012 at 3:27 p.m. ― 2 years, 7 months ago

Have to agree with David on this one. How can any "upgrade" to Balboa Park be popular when it includes the destruction of the two most well known cultural centers in San Diego? El Centro Cultural de la Raza and the World Beat Center are two of the first meeting grounds I ever touched in San Diego. They have provided empowerment, resources, hope, and entertainment to our community. PROTECT THEM!

I am opposed to any plan which prioritizes parking over the beauty of the people and land that it sits on....open land and natural spaces that we desperately need in this ADD age.

QUE VIVA EL CENTRO! QUE VIVA WORLD BEAT!

Solidaridad.

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Avatar for user 'fungshe'

fungshe | May 7, 2012 at 4:31 p.m. ― 2 years, 7 months ago

Additionally, the city spoke person is misinformed as the plan does in fact take into account the terrain in that area of the park and throughout the park.
Mr. Lewis is a world-class architect who has taken into consideration all aspects of his plan and also the goals and desires of not only Dr. Jacobs plan but also that of the public, the institutions, parks & rec and it protects the historic attributes of the national historic landmark while allowing for future restoration of the park.

Perhaps the city protest so much because the plan meets all the goals and more of the original proposal and is making the Plaza de Panama design team and the city look bad for not finding this elegant and all encompassing solution themselves!

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Avatar for user 'DavidAbramson'

DavidAbramson | May 8, 2012 at 12:25 a.m. ― 2 years, 7 months ago

Funshe, while I believe you that the architect is probably one of the best, I disagree that the goals and desires of the people of San Diego are being met in this plan. The plan calls for the destruction of the World Beat Center and the Cultural Center de la Raza, which are two of the most important cultural buildings in all of San Diego.

When I have talked to people in public to let them know what will happen to these two cultural centers if this plan goes through, most people are anywhere from surprised to enraged and had no idea that this was part of the plan. From what I understand, the city has only begun to "protest" the plan after receiving a lot of concerned calls from San Diegans.

I believe that there is a way that development of Balboa Park can continue without eliminating these two very important buildings and all options need to be considered, but my guess is that people will not stand for the destruction of these important cultural buildings.

Cheers,
David

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