Architect who worked on Hotel La Jolla dies following attack

Graham Downes

Architect and developer Graham Downes, who worked on a remodel of Hotel La Jolla and designed the Sauvage swimwear shop on Prospect Street, has died. He was 55.

Higinio Salgado, 31, an employee at Downes’ architectural firm, is in custody on suspicion of attempted murder, after a fight in Downes’ Bankers Hill neighborhood.

Police were called to a residence in the 200 block of West Juniper Street near Front Street about 1:10 a.m. Friday, April 19. The two men were on ground on the south side of the street, San Diego police said.

Downes was unconscious, with severe facial and head injuries, police said. He was taken to a hospital, where he died on Sunday.

Officers took Salgado to police headquarters, where he was booked into jail.

Downes started his architecture firm on a credit card in 1994 and grew it into one of San Diego’s most respected and sought-after design firms.  Graham Downes Architecture is known for its work at several local hotels and restaurants including the Bali Hai, the Hard Rock Hotel and Tower 23 hotel. Many of his urban mixed-use projects have served as catalysts for neighborhood renaissance in areas such as Downtown San Diego, Barrio Logan and Banker’s Hill.

Born the second of four boys, Downes arrived in San Diego in 1986 from Durban, South Africa, where he enjoyed a stellar rugby career after graduating from the University of Natal with a degree in architecture. He worked as an architect by day and sportsman by night, making a name for himself on the rugby field with the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club, and finally representing the United States at the 1987 Rugby World Cup. Though his capacity for work and the intensity he brought to the office and the sports field are legendary, friends and colleagues say he will be remembered most for his vision, design talent, generosity and humanity.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

–City News Service/Staff Reports

Related posts:

  1. Motorists vs. Pedestrians: La Jolla survey says distracted driving is chief cause of accidents
  2. Proposed power plant near UTC and La Jolla raises residents’ ire
  3. Mayor’s $75 million allocation includes several La Jolla projects
  4. La Jolla group still pushing for village to secede from San Diego
  5. Election 2012: Who is Lori Saldaña?

Short URL:

Posted by Pat Sherman on Apr 21, 2013. Filed under La Jolla, News, Region. 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.

1 Comment for “Architect who worked on Hotel La Jolla dies following attack”

  1. Paddy Pereira

    RIP Graham – you were a legend in prop circles around Natal . Clearly this continued into the US Eagles and the respected architectural circles in the USA . Society has been robbed of a contributor to society . Gone but never forgotten .

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar


Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • Author, illustrator to launch new children’s book at Solana Beach Library August 30, 2014
    Meet author Tonton Jim and illustrator E. Felix Lyon as they launch “Harold and the Hot Rod” (Hound’s Glenn Series Book Two) at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, at the Solana Beach Library. There will be readings from the book, illustration demonstrations, Q & A with the author, illustrator and publisher, and refreshments and door prizes. […]
  • San Dieguito Union High School District Superintendent Rick Schmitt’s Monthly Update August 30, 2014
    On behalf of our Board of Trustees, I want to welcome you and our 12,400-plus students to the 2014-15 academic year. The start of a new school year is always exciting. We have spent the summer eagerly preparing for your student’s return on Aug. 26 and look forward to sharing new learning experiences with each of you. For parents/guardians whose students are […]
  • To your health: 5 questions to ask your new doctor August 30, 2014
    At some point, nearly everyone will need to choose a new physician, perhaps because of a change in insurance, a move to a new city, or simply a feeling that it is time to make a switch. Your relationship with your physician is perhaps one of the most important in your life, and you want a provider who is not only highly knowledgeable and experienced, but als […]