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Comments made by starfish

The Plight of the Historic California Theatre

@JeanMarc & Alex To begin with allow prospective buyers into the building. Allow their own designers and architects to imagine and dream. And of course evaluate the possibilities. To allow their own partners to say 'yes, I'll pony up the cash'-- old buildings in this condition have and will continue to speak to people, in a manner of phrasing. And projects just as hopeless have come to fruition. Dawn Griiffin, as example, brings that experience to the discussion having seen hopeless situations turn successful elsewhere. Allow the process of offering and counter offering to happen.

The recalcitrant owner won't do that because of a pre determined decision a long time ago to demolish by neglect. As the article says they are in no hurry to move off the status quo. For shame.

March 6, 2013 at 2:48 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

The Plight of the Historic California Theatre

Alex, your arguments were the same ones heard over the years if not decades concerning the run down theaters of downtown Los Angeles. Once rehabilitation and adaptive reuse for those buildings was mandated, downtown began to revive in a quality way demolition and new construction was unable to achieve. The same has been true in other urban areas. Brooklyn, Chicago, St. Louis. There have been hugely successful adaptive reuses of run down theaters in San Francisco.

As far as the homeless population is concerned, their presence isn't unique at the California Theatre. They surround the downtown library. They're up along the entire length of streets past the County Courthouse and surrounding blocks. They're in east village.

March 6, 2013 at 12:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

The Plight of the Historic California Theatre

@JeanMarc I didn't say the California Theatre is the Bamiyan Buddha statues. Get real. The point, which you failed to see: while one instance of cultural destruction is blatant and obvious, the other is more devious and protracted over a long period of time--and they're getting away with it. That is the point.

As for your very narrow analysis of the potential use of the California Theatre, you only see it in the realm of a stage and or movie theatre. You are apparently not aware the expressed array of interest in the building by new potential owners over the years. Two key words which you failed to mention, Adaptive reuse.

A number of investors with excellent creative proposals have come forward. The Griffin proposal for a Jazz cultural center is only one of them. But as I said, the owner has made it nearly impossible for interested investors to even view the building. Like you, the owner only sees demolition as the only solution. Terribly unimaginative and narrow minded. Even Nancy Graham, the former head of CCDC, saw the value in potential of the California Theatre. She had in fact stated commitment to finding a way to save the building--which she could see every day from her office across the street. Sadly other issues forced her to leave and her leadership on this issue is gone too.

An example of proper investment and management by comparison (please read interpret carefully this time) of historic sites can be found in Los Angeles. They've abandoned the demolition moniker for their opulent but run down downtown historic theaters and have mandated adaptive reuse. It is working well.

March 6, 2013 at 11:27 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

The Plight of the Historic California Theatre

The condition of this building is a result of an obvious deliberate strategy by the owner. "Demolition by Neglect," is illegal in San Diego. But the City does not enforce the code! City staff concedes the owner has been issued a stack of code violations, but no enforcement through either substantial fines or prosecution has taken place.

Several prospective purchasers have stated the owner has made it nearly impossible for anyone interested in the theater itself to actually enter and see the building. In short, the owner years ago decided the value of the site is not the building, but the empty lot. In lieu of not being able to demolish the historic theater outright, they opted to let weather elements demolish it. Let the roof leak. Let the pigeons in through broken windows. Let mold eat away at the once lavish interior.

In 2001 the world was outraged when the Taliban army used the great rock sculptures of the Buddhas of Bamiyan for target practice. However in San Diego another crime of cultural destruction is on going and continual with the California Theatre. And nothing has been done or is being done to stop it. Shame on both ownership and City government.

March 6, 2013 at 9:47 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Filner Has New Plans For Plaza de Panama

AccessSanDiego you haven't seen the details of the plan. It is a disservice to make such statements without the facts. The plan will actually increase and improve ADA access.

March 4, 2013 at 7:49 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Filner Has New Plans For Plaza de Panama

TD the ruling is project and impact specific. It would not apply to a project with a negative declaration of impact. Of course if you think the ruling applies the way you think it does, it is your right to litigate your argument. Good luck with that.

March 4, 2013 at 7:44 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

National Park Service Says Balboa Park Plan Could Risk Historical Designation

Mark Johnson must need new pair of glasses. The National Park Service letter is clearly loaded with compelling reasons why his project will ruin the National Landmark.

May 11, 2012 at 7:27 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Which Candidate Will Get Your Support In The 52nd District Congressional Race?

I'm for Saldana. Peters is one of the architects of San Diego's pension mess and financial debacle. First he voted to underfund the pension. Then as As City Council President he lied about the accounting, basically sweeping his dirt under the rug. Furthermore he killed any item for consideration on City Council agenda that would expose the truth or open discussion of the fiasco.

We're still trying to pull ourselves out of the mess helped create. Why should we reward him with another chance to screw things up again--and at the Federal level, no less?

Peters was a terrible City Councilman.He got appointed to the Port Commission through cronyism. In addition he came in a weak third in his bid for City Attorney. I don't see a candidate with such a poor track record getting very far against Bilbray.

March 5, 2012 at 4:06 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

State Official Says Balboa Park Could Lose Historic Designation

The artists rendering makes the plaza look like a new shopping mall.

February 7, 2012 at 10:18 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

SD Councilman Vows Plaza de Panama Will Be Ready For 2015 Celebration

I agree completely with Councilmember Gloria. Balboa Park doesn't need radical surgery and tons of new construction work. And his call for community wide involvement I wholeheartedly support. I know I'll do what I can.

June 10, 2011 at 8:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal )