For a vivid glimpse into La Jolla history, look no further than the timeline on GDC Construction’s website (gdcconstruction.com). It tells the story of four generations of Dewhursts – Ernie, Walter, George and Pancho – but it also reflects in words and black-and-white photos the evolution of La Jolla from the 1930s to today.
Pancho Dewhurst joined the venerable construction firm in 2001 under his father, George, and began running the company full time in 2008. He’s La Jolla born and raised, a graduate of All Hallows Academy and La Jolla High School, old enough to be nostalgic about the bygone Cove Theater, but young enough to be at the forefront of a dynamic business that continues to shape the look and fabric of the community he loves.
GDC’s focus is, according to Dewhurst, about 90 percent custom residential and 10 percent commercial. Projects are managed from pre-construction, through the building process, to post-construction. A healthy part of Dewhurst’s responsibilities includes nurturing business relations with architects and interior designers, and working with individual project contractors, some of whom worked with GDC when Dewhurst’s father and even grandfather was in charge.
“We have a strong core group that has been working for my family for some time,” Dewhurst said. “You build a relationship and trust with them.”
The majority of GDC’s clients are in La Jolla, but the company has built homes from Point Loma to Carlsbad. That keeps Dewhurst on the move. “I try to go to all the sites weekly and have discussions with the superintendents and the clients,” he said.
In addition to its homebuilding, GDC’s contribution to the community can be seen in projects that both serve and inspire La Jollans. Dewhurst’s grandfather, Walter, built the Mount Soledad Cross in 1954, and the firm constructed the National Veterans Memorial around the cross in 2001, under the supervision of Dewhurst’s father. Other GDC community projects have included the restoration of La Jolla Firehouse 13, the construction of the La Jolla Community Center on La Jolla Boulevard and the flagpole at Dewhurst’s alma mater, La Jolla High. The Dewhurst family also has a remarkable history with the annual La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival dating back to its beginnings nearly 60 years ago.
La Jolla’s heritage, and Pancho Dewhurst’s personal heritage, are intertwined with his life and his business. “I take a lot of pride in it and am proud to be able to continue the legacy,” said Dewhurst, who says “I hear stories all the time about how this was done by my great-grandfather or this was done by my grandfather. It’s neat.”
While his father George has retired and he’s in charge, Dewhurst knows he can still count on the man who passed him the torch. “If I run into an issue or something happens, he’s always there for me.”
GDC Construction, 1031 Silverado St., is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. (858) 551-5222.
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