Developer surprised to learn he’s working on house built by great-grandfather
Of the many projects carried out by La Jolla-based GDC Construction, owner Pancho Dewhurst’s current project holds sentimental value. A Spanish-style, two-story house on Arenas Street, the house Dewhurst is redeveloping, which will be complete in November, was built and owned by his great-grandfather. To keep the family roots, Pancho’s wife, Brandy, is the architect.
“One of my good friends purchased a home in La Jolla, and said he found some plans in the attic and asked if I had any relation to E.W. Dewhurst, and I said that’s my great-grandfather!” Dewhurst said. “The plans say ‘proposed residence for E.W. Dewhurst, La Jolla’ and that he would be the builder and contractor. So this was early on when my great-grandfather moved to La Jolla and built a personal residence for himself. He actually lived there and these are the original blueprints.”
In the course of the project, Pancho added, “It was kind of fun to take the house apart and see the existing (frame) ... It’s sentimental for me to be doing a project that was built by my great-grandfather, and to continue the tradition of building in La Jolla (that has been going on) since 1929.”
Pancho is a fourth-generation builder in La Jolla. In addition to the homes built by his great-grandfather, Pancho’s grandfather remodeled the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library and built the Mount Soledad Cross. Pancho’s father George (a former president of La Jolla Sunrise Rotary Club) led the remodel of the Firehouse YMCA, among other projects.
“I take a lot of pride in (this project and) the history and the passion for building … and continuing our legacy in town,” Pancho said.
As to why Pancho didn’t know about this house as one of many of the family worked on over the years, he said, “My great-grandparents and grandparents moved around a lot, so they would buy houses and flip them. I know my father showed me different houses that they build and sold, but we didn’t know about this one.”