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Our Readers Write: Nautilus Street and Salk Institute developments

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Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor:

Possible loss of personal landmark is hard to take

I read an article in your newspaper that broke my heart: that 735 Nautilus St. was slated for a multi-home development (“Applications filed for two multi-unit housing projects in La Jolla,” Nov. 4, La Jolla Light).

My grandfather John Telford designed and built the present house on the site in 1922, the same year La Jolla High School was established.

Some of my happiest memories center around that home. After my grandmother Bessie Ann died in 1959 when I was just 7 years old, my grandfather sold the house. He couldn’t bear to deal with her loss and all the decades of memories.

Through all the intervening years, I have relied on that beacon of the past, attending Muirlands [Middle] School, La Jolla High School and later driving past it twice daily taking our daughter to those schools.

I was born in the old Scripps Hospital on Prospect Street. I have seen so many changes to my hometown: the loss of beloved businesses and restaurants, treasured trees cut down, houses that I grew up visiting disappearing. But the loss of my anchor, the house that represented “family,” is the hardest blow. I am not sure I’ll be able to drive up Nautilus Street again and not see my family touchstone that once was surrounded by a cobblestone wall made by my Scottish grandfather’s hands.

Change comes at the cost of the erasure of history. I hope the new inhabitants of that address stop to think for a moment of who lived and loved there once.

Anne Telford

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Design of new Salk Institute building is flawed

Regarding “La Jolla’s Salk Institute and Scripps Research to expand — ‘good news’ for San Diego life sciences,” Nov. 4, La Jolla Light).

The vision put forth for the future of science at Salk Institute is most welcoming.

As an architect who has cherished the original design and worked alongside others to modify the 1995 addition, I am most troubled by the design of the proposed East Torrey Pines Building. It will have a significant impact on the original intent of Dr. Jonas Salk and architect Louis Kahn in their creation of an axial connection of sky, ocean and land to the public.

The design of this new building is flawed. The “open” lobby, with glass walls, roof and connecting walkway, destroys the original axial design and the connection from North Torrey Pines Road through to the ocean and sky beyond. The glass wall will reflect and glare, effectively blocking the view. Though the glass walls may open, there is no need for them then. The roof over the space then becomes unnecessary.

The bridge between the two wings adds a further barrier. The wings of the building should stand on their own. An open plaza should be in place of the proposed glass lobby.

The work that the Salk Institute is achieving is most important for the future, and a new building will certainly support the research-related efforts. However, if the East Torrey Pines Building goes forward as designed, it will forever mar the integrity of this historical, iconic site that Louis Kahn and Dr. Jonas Salk envisioned.

Charles Kaminski

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What’s on YOUR mind?

Letters published in the La Jolla Light express views from readers about community matters. Submissions of related photos also are welcome. Letters reflect the writers’ opinions and not necessarily those of the newspaper staff or publisher. Letters are subject to editing for brevity, clarity and accuracy. To share your thoughts in this public forum, email them with your first and last names and city or neighborhood of residence to robert.vardon@lajollalight.com. You also can submit a letter online at lajollalight.com/submit-a-letter-to-the-editor. The deadline is 10 a.m. Monday for publication in that week’s paper. Letters without the writer’s name cannot be published. Letters from the same person are limited to one in a 30-day period. ◆