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Drew Ford Round House Auto Dealership

Onion Icon  Onion

Another 1960’s icon demolished. The Penske Ford dealership has destroyed its own heritage by tearing down the only interesting, creatively-designed auto showroom in the area. The Round House was a perfect example of Mid-Century Modernism and now it’s lost forever. Whatever replaces most it likely will be cheaply-built and forgettable. The La Mesa Historic Preservation Commission failed miserably by letting this happen. Shame on Penske for their narrow-minded decision to send this building to the landfill.

This is a big, fat, smelly Onion!

8970 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91942

Project Owner/Developer:
Penske Ford

Contact Name/Email:

nomination photo


  1. gregoryagogo

    The Drew Family owns the property, and are every bit as involved as the “Penski” and Ford companies.

  2. Rob

    Stupid move. Wont be shopping there at all. Such a iconic landmark off the 8 for generations..

  3. David Marshall

    That showroom could have easily been adapted to a new use without losing its design character. Tearing it down was completely idiotic. San Diegan’s won’t forget you did this Drew/Penske.

    • Eva Thorn

      Apparently the structure had been designed with disassembly in mind – sounds like a relocation could have been relatively easy.

      • gregoryagogo

        LEAVING IT THERE would have been much easier all the way around. No vision, no creativity… a reflection of the boring car designs we see today.

  4. David Marshall

    According to the U-T:

    “The iconic structure, built in April 1967, was designed by La Mesa architect James Hurley and built to resemble the Ford Rotunda from the
    World’s Fair in New York in 1964. It originally was known as the Drew Ford Rotunda and was renamed the “Roundhouse of Values” in the early 1970s, according to Jim Newland, a La Mesa planning commissioner and president of the La Mesa Historical Society. ‘Many fondly remember not only purchasing cars, but attending high school proms and other community events at the iconic building,’ he said.”


  5. bfm01

    Tragically short sighted. Gone forever.

  6. ufocafe

    Regardless of how one feels about this building. It was a memorable building seen by tens of thousands of drivers passing by every day. I will remember it fondly.

    • gregoryagogo

      …yes remember The Roundhouse fondly, and shop for a car at any other dealership besides Penski!

  7. writerink

    Very said to see this iconic structure demolished. Penske also ended Drew Ford’s long time sponsorship of the Kiwanis soapbox derby. I used to have a Ford serviced at Drew but would not want to do business there after this, and I’m old enough to remember when there used to be a roller skating rink at that location before this, until its roof collapsed. It seems the location is doomed to impermanence.


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