La Jolla homes receive historic designations

This 1928 WindanSea cottage, with its notable cobblestone chimney and wall, has been designated historic and will be incorporated into new design plans for the property. File

By Pat Sherman

Two La Jolla properties received historic designations during the San Diego Historical Resources Board’s (HRB) Jan. 23 meeting.

First, the HRB granted designation to the William and Ruby Snell Cottage in WindanSea — a feather in the cap of the La Jolla Historical Society (LJHS) and architectural preservationists who fought to save the early 20th Century Tudor-style cottage and its rear companion at 337 and 341 Playa Del Sur. The property owners had planned to demolish both cottages to build a duplex.

Through a compromise with the owners, the LJHS and San Diego’s Save Our Heritage Organisation were able to save the street-facing — and most historically significant — of the cottages and have it designated. The property owners, Jack and Karen Visin, will demolish the rear cottage and build a three-story modern structure in its place.

A planned two-story addition to the rear of the front cottage that will replace a 1979 addition must first be approved by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to assure it maintains architectural continuity with the existing cottage.

The designation was granted based on the 1928 cottage’s period of significance, reflecting the early historical and architectural development of WindanSea.

Leslie Davis, chair of the LJHS’s Preservation Committee, said the cottage might not have been saved without the assistance of the late Charles Snell, who lived in the cottage with his parents, William and Ruby Snell, in his youth.

This 1936 home designed by architect Cliff May received a historic designation from the City of San Diego on Jan. 23, despite opposition from the property owner. File

Snell, who died in October 2013, just shy of his 85th birthday, provided a photo that proved the LJHS’s assertion that the cottages’ details were original. “This designation is truly due to him being a steward of his family’s history,” Davis said.

The HRB also granted a historic designation to the George and Marion Cottrell/Cliff May Home at 7727 Lookout Drive in La Jolla (parcels one and four).

The designation was grated based on its type of construction and the significance of its architect, Cliff May (1909-1989) — considered the father of the California Ranch-style home.

The designation is a bittersweet victory for preservationists, who lament the loss of an arguably significant palm tree grove there that was not properly assessed for historic value before being felled by the property owner last summer. Several neighbors attended the HRB meeting to support designation, which the property owner opposed.

Preservationists feared the home would be either demolished or closed off by new development.

Speaking with the Light last year, the property owner, David Mandelbaum, said that if the property received a designation, he would “restore it to its former glory.” He said he is not certain whether he will sell the subdivided property as “one estate or four houses.”

“There will be nothing that I will do to hurt the (Cliff May) house in any way,” he assured.

Related posts:

  1. Congressional Reprieve: task force continues fight to save La Jolla’s post office
  2. Owners of ‘Windemere’ property in La Jolla are suing city
  3. La Jolla cottages survive another day as preservationists gain ground with the city
  4. Postal Service mailer sent to La Jolla merchants raises suspicions
  5. Historical Resources Board hears input on two La Jolla properties

Short URL:

Posted by Pat Sherman on Feb 4, 2014. Filed under 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.

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

  • Surf Soccer Club Academy GU9 team tops in division at 2014 Albion Cup July 25, 2014
    The Surf Soccer Club Academy GU9 team took first place in the 2014 Albion Cup (Girls U9 Cup) on July 18-21. They beat Carlsbad United’s top GU9 team in the semi-finals and went on to shut out Strikers FC in the finals, 4-0. Awesome tournament play by the entire team! […]
  • Surf Academy Select BU9 win it all at Albion Cup July 25, 2014
    San Diego Surf Academy Select BU9 won it all at the Albion Cup July 19-21! After winning their Showcase division by going unbeaten all weekend, they defeated Legends FC 4-1 in the finals on Monday. This is the second year in a row this team has won the Albion Cup. […]
  • Pushing boundaries July 24, 2014
    Few issues cause parents more distress than changes in school boundaries. Who can forget the tumult when in 2002 the Del Mar Union School District moved hundreds of families from one attendance area to another? Resentment still lingers, 12 years later. The San Dieguito Union High School District created its system of boundaries nearly 18 years ago that has w […]