An Irving Gill-designed home named Windemere at 1328 Virginia Way in La Jolla considered historic by many in the community that did not pass muster with the City of San Diego Historical Resources Board was torn down Dec. 23.
In 2009, the new owner of the 1328 Virginia Way home, an 1890s all-wood Redwood beach cottage, hired Ron May of Legacy 106 to research its historicity. Once the residence of a best-selling author and alleged to be the oldest occupied residence in La Jolla, the city of San Diego failed to concur. On Aug. 11, city staff denied the application for historic designation of Windemere.
The Historical Resources Board’s main reason for rejecting the well-preserved Windemere was “due to a lack of integrity.”
But some atttribute the decision of the homeowner who originally applied for historical designation to sell the house, rather than restore it, for its ultimate demise.
Created in 1895, Windemere was one of several cottages built by Gill along Prospect on the cliffs overlooking the Cove. It was inhabited for a time by British-native Beatrice Harraden, a writer and suffragist. Subsequent owners of the home moved it a few blocks east to Virginia Way.