on the wings of…

on the wings of…

– St Paul’s Cathedral at Sixth and Nutmeg in Hillcrest will expand by 50,000 square feet and have two new mixed use buildings built on site. At 13 and 15 stories, the latter building has had its height reduced from 180 to 158 feet, and the project won community approval as a result. The buildings will include administrative offices and affordable housing, along with retail in the shorter, southern building.

– All-electric car-share company car2go is coming to San Diego and kicks things off with an introductory event featuring 30 minutes of free drive time from 10-4 on November 19th, downtown at Broadway and Pacific Highway. 300 vehicles will be positioned around the city for rental by members by the end of the year.

The Painted Lady is a Grant Hill Victorian built in 1909 that’s recently been restored by Tom Tarrant. Check out Tom’s website for a video of the restoration job, which was done as part of a flip of the property (in escrow last we heard). Located at 405 27th St., it’s the oldest Victorian in the neighborhood, and only 2-story. The area has been named a historic district, with a set of design criteria and guidelines.






– A different kind of structure will be going up in La Jolla, where architect Zaha Hadid’s 12,700 sq. ft. house design has been approved. Hadid has won two British architecture Stirling Prizes for her work, which includes this crazy Hong Kong building. Now if only we could get her to design this next project…

– You have to give credit to the Navy Pier Veterans Park folks for proposing a 500-foot sculpture to a city not exactly known for that “vision thing” – until you see the winged-scuplture itself, which looks like a giant set of playboy bunny ears rising out of the bay (headed downtown to stomp the Hustler store?). Personally, I’m not crazy about the overly patriotic title, “Wings of Freedom”, and that the design looks like Sydney Opera House-lite. But hopefully this is just the first step to building a privately-funded work of public art that becomes a major attraction for San Diego.  Public meetings are scheduled, with the first set for 6:30 pm on 11/29 at the port HQ.  And don’t let the sculpture overshadow the rest of the project, which builds a park deck on top of the existing parking lot, and includes a home for the San Diego Symphony. Hopefully this song won’t be on the set list.

– Just down the harbor front, a 40-million dollar makeover is set for aging Seaport Village, with the architectural train-wreck eastern half of the complex set to be torn down (including Harbor House, thankfully) and replaced with a new restaurant, retail and clock building.  An 82-room boutique hotel is set for the southwest corner of the site, and national retailers are being courted.

6 thoughts on “on the wings of…

  1. good point dan, it’s hard to beat the view the harbor provides. haven’t we learned our lesson just down the harbor with that clownish gigantic sailor and nurse art piece, and their ridiculous oversized shoes at the viewer’s eye level?

  2. hey tyler, we stopped in there saturday night and chatted with joel, the owner… place looks great, big square bar on the right and a large dining area on the left, divided down the middle with some swank 60’s-style couches. like the big tree art piece too. overall it feels like a restaurant you’d find in an upscale vegas casino or nyc.

  3. Hooray that the downtown partnership is finally going to explore bike sharing programs! and p.s. wangs in north park opening today! whoo hooo.

  4. An unobstructed view of the western horizon is what should be celebrated as a priceless work of art. The waterfront should NOT be treated as an old TV set with a giant rabbit ear antenna stuck on top. I’m surprised they don’t want to put such a thing in Plaza de Panama. Ooops–I shouldn’t say that too loudly!

  5. thanks for your comment andrew… it is good that at something big is being considered, but the sculpture has kind of been twisted from its original intention, see: http://www.kpbs.org/news/2011/nov/17/origins-wings-freedom-sculpture/

    would be nice if there were more options – how about a competition for the best art piece? unfortunately when it’s private money funding it (the only way to get a san diego civic project done nowadays), it’s the benefactor that decides. see: jacobs/balboa park bypass bridge. so more and more, wealthy individuals are deciding what the future of san diego will look like, not its citizens.

    the downtown partnership said earlier this week they are exploring bike sharing programs (finally!): http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/nov/15/hed2-xx-xxxxx-xxxxxx-xxxxx-xxx-xxxx-xxxxxx-xxxx/

  6. The wings are…. bizarre. And the name leaves a little (lot) to be desired. But, I suppose it’s at least something. San Diego is at least thinking about making better use of its waterfront, and having some kind of iconic sculpture and/or building could do wonders for the city’s branding.

    The car sharing program is great – but do you know of any bike sharing programs in the works for the city? It seems like with our climate, short term bike rentals covering the toursity areas, Uptown, and the beaches might be a great way to get around for cheap. And get a bit of exercise in…. I mean, if they can do it in DC and Montreal, for god’s sake…..

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