La Jollans attend vigil for Irving Gill’s ‘Windemere’

La Jollans light candles and share memories in front of a makeshift, mobile altar to Irving Gill’s demolished Windemere cottage Jan. 27. Pat Sherman

More than 40 La Jolla residents and preservationists attended a “vigil” Sunday evening for Irving Gill’s “Windemere” cottage, which was demolished Dec. 23, 2011 via an emergency demolition permit.

“We were happy to see the diversity of those who attended — from Bird Rock to the Shores, La Jollans and San Diegans who want to work together to stop the continuous elimination of our cultural, architectural history and community memory,” La Jolla Historical Society (LJHS) Preservation Committee Chair Leslie Davis said.

In an effort to preserve Windemere, historic preservationists sought to have the 1894 structure moved to the LJHS grounds on Prospect Street, but negotiations with the current property owner came to an impasse.

Sunday’s event was organized to draw attention to the loss of La Jolla’s historic homes and architecture, and city procedures relating to historic or potentially historic architecture, which preservationists say too often favor development over preservation.

The LJHS’s Preservation Committee contends the city did not follow proper procedure in the demolition of Windemere. It has retained an attorney to appeal a recent city decision stating that the city acted correctly by allowing the demolition without a Coastal Development Permit.

The committee also contends that the new owner is liable for “project splitting” by not disclosing his intent to build a home on the site when applying for the demolition permit.

Pat Sherman

The Windemere vigil, held in front of Windemere's final resting place.

Community Planning Association to consider proposed new development at former Windemere site
What: A Public Hearing regarding the issuance of a Coastal Development Permit for the construction of a new home at 1328 Virginia Way, La Jolla
Where: La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect Street
When: Thursday, February 7th, 2013.  6:00p.

The La Jolla Community Planning Association (CPA) will hear public testimony regarding a Coastal Development Permit Application for construction of a new 4,918-square-foot home and 924 square feet of detached structures on the now-vacant lot at 1328 Virginia Way, where Windemere once stood.  The historic home was demolished by the current owner, who made no mention of his intention to develop the site when applying for an “Emergency Demolition Permit” in December of 2011.  Local preservationists contend that, due to this omission, the applicant is in violation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  In December of 2012, La Jolla’s Development Review Committee — a subcommittee of the CPA — determined that the proposed project is not in conformity with the specified implementation program and that, without further action by the applicant, a Coastal Development Permit could not be issued.

—Staff Reports

Related posts:

  1. La Jolla’s beach cottages: An issue of integrity
  2. Workshop fills La Jollans in on historic home designation
  3. War Stories: Historical Society exhibit paints portrait of La Jolla during WW II
  4. Irving Gill-designed home in La Jolla torn down
  5. Walking tour provides a look at La Jolla history

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Posted by Pat Sherman on Jan 29, 2013. Filed under Featured Story, La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

5 Comments for “La Jollans attend vigil for Irving Gill’s ‘Windemere’”

  1. Bob Roberts

    If you bother to look at the houses nearby, the demolished house was an eyesore and probably a huge risk for fires and other issues which justified both the demolition and the desire to rebuild with more modern construction. People need to stop trying to control what others do with their property. Were the “negotiations” with the current owner demands that owner spend huge sums to do what these people wanted done? If they were willing to assume all costs and liabilities and compensate him for the lost use of the property during the time involved in moving the existing structure then perhaps they have an argument, but I doubt it.

  2. Bob Roberts

    By the way, looking at the first photo included with the story (Windmere Vigil 5), the blue truck is parked an illegal distance from the curb, creating a significant hazard in a public right-of-way that is a clear danger to public health and safety and the activities on the sidewalk also appear to be clearly an illegal obstruction of a public right-of-way which also very well could cause a serious injury or accident. Where are the police when you need them? Do these people involved have jobs/lives?

  3. Erik

    Bob: now you are really fishing. I was there the whole time and only about 5 cars passed down Virginia Way. The truck was probably a few inches past the limit. The street is extremely wide. If that hour-long event is the biggest safety hazard you can find in La Jolla, I’m guessing you haven’t spent more than three minutes looking. Nobody was endangered and people were keeping their kids in check and out of private property. Any objective person would say it was you who had “no life” to make those comments. And, yes, we do have jobs and places we would have rather been, were there no need to be there.

  4. Carter Haven

    Why not have the owner build a duplicate of the old structure, but up to current code specs? Most likely the owner does not surf, does not swim, does not ride a bike and obviously has no interest in preserving the context of Old La Jolla, when the Green Dragon colony, founded by Anna Held, governerness to the children of President Grant, retired to La Jolla by purchasing land and inviting the artists she had met while touring with Grant, thru Europe to come to La Jolla, and build homes on the land she had bought. That is the back story to this whole debacle with Windemere.

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