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San Diego High School “Whole Site Modernization Project”

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  Historic Preservation

I nominate that San Diego High School’s “Whole Site Modernization Project” receive an Onion for Historic Preservation. San Diego High School is described as “San Diego’s oldest high school”  according to the article with “140 years of history”, but according to the video “3-D flyover” news release, the older buildings will be demolished and completely rebuilt rather than restored or renovated.  Although the historic location is utilized, nothing else appears to be preserved. San Diego Unified School District’s Propositions S and Z, and Measure YY are local bond measures approved by San Diego voters to repair, renovate and revitalize neighborhood schools. I am not opposed to modernization, and might have also nominated it for an Orchid Award, if it were built on a separate vacant lot. However, I prefer more landscape architecture, retaining the baseball fields and other open spaces, and selectively revitalizing certain buildings rather than demolishing all the original buildings. Perhaps one of the more prominent historic buildings could be converted into a small museum to house alumni memorabilia from famous San Diego High School alumni, such as Kate Sessions of Balboa Park.

Please refer to the following link:


San Diego High School, 1405 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101

Project Owner/Developer:
San Diego Unified School District

Contact Name/Email:
MEDIA CONTACTS: Jamie Ries, Facilities Communication Liaison, San Diego Unified, 619-855-9283, jries@sandi.net. Samer Naji, Facilities Communication Supervisor, San Diego Unified, 619-548-3388, snaji@sandi.net.

Project Architect/Designer:
Mosher Drew Architects

nomination photo nomination photo


  1. Catherine McCullough

    I have to respectfully disagree. The current site is comprised of many eras in the life of the high school. Sadly, very little history is left to be saved. Agreeably, the original “Castle” was torn down years ago due to earthquake safety and replaced with “modernized” buildings of that time. There are so many different styles of architecture on the campus that it’s impossible to establish cohesion to an updated design. The only true historic elements on the site, the Balboa Stadium and the Gargoyle Planter at the entrance, as well as the baseball fields, have been retained in the new plans.

  2. edward m. holakiewicz

    It is unfortunate that the recognition states all historic buildings are being removed and replaced, where in face the historic buildings are long gone and what remains are some very aged 1970s and 1980s structures. Yes, the feature building is a modern look, but please out to see what is actually there. The few historic items remain are being preserved.


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