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La Jolla Historical Society honors local preservationists with Jewel Awards

Meredith Baratz, Seonaid McArthur and Lauren Lockhart
Jewel Awards chairwoman Meredith Baratz, Landmark Committee chairwoman Seonaid McArthur and La Jolla Historical Society Executive Director Lauren Lockhart attend the Jewel Awards ceremony March 13.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The La Jolla Historical Society kicked off its 2022 Landmark Week with the third annual Jewel Awards ceremony March 13 at a private home in La Jolla (historically designated, of course).

The Jewel Awards recognize La Jollans for restoring and preserving their buildings and bestow the winners with a tray with an image of the house on it.

This year, with an increase in the number of nominees, the Landmark Committee extended the number of awards it doled out.

“When we started this group about four years ago, there were ... 100 to 120 designated homes,” said committee chairwoman Seonaid McArthur. “Today, there are 174.”

She said the nominated homeowners “are so important to us as stewards of La Jolla. All the interesting things you have done, not only saving historic buildings but the engineering on them. … Many of you have contributed in fabulous ways to the survival of La Jolla, and we are so grateful.”

The committee gave four Jewel Awards and an additional recognition: Residential Restoration Pre-World War II, Residential Restoration Post-World War II, Commercial Restoration, Rehabilitation and Preservation.

“We were thrilled to be able to expand the recognition,” said Jewel Awards chairwoman Meredith Baratz. “We are deeply grateful to not only those that won but those that were nominated. It takes a tremendous amount of love, care and money to care for an older home.”

Award winners

Scott Zingheim, co-owner of a house at 1237 Torrey Pines Road, holds his Jewel Award, which depicts his home.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The Jewel Award for Residential Restoration Pre-World War II was given to Scott and Stephanie Zingheim, owners of a house at 1237 Torrey Pines Road.

The owners bought the “much-neglected” English Tudor house from the 1920s about four years ago and spent that time finding a team to restore it, Baratz said.

“When I say it was much-neglected, it was neglected to the point that the building inspector went into their house, took one look at the foundation and walked out because he was afraid the chimney was going to come down on his head. So truly some hard work was involved there,” Baratz said.

The owners modernized the interior, did extensive exterior work, added new exterior stucco and made other changes consistent with the home’s time period.

Joan and Gary Gand won the Jewel Award for Residential Restoration Post-World War II.
Joan and Gary Gand, owners of a house at 807 La Jolla Rancho Road, won the Jewel Award for Residential Restoration Post-World War II.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The award for Residential Restoration Post-World War II went to Joan and Gary Gand, who own a home at 807 La Jolla Rancho Road.

The owners “went to work to restore both the interior and the exterior with the intent of bringing the house back to its original glory, and boy, did they ever,” Baratz said. This included repairing termite damage, restoring beams and placing matching wood and flooring elements.

“It is truly a gem of the 1960s,” Baratz said.

Linda Camara is a manager in the Jewel Award-winning building at 1241 Cave St.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The Jewel Award for Commercial Restoration went to “a lovely little building” at 1241 Cave St. owned by Ure Kretowicz and Cornerstone Communications.

“The team took what was an original 1973 minimalist, modern design … that was originally designed as an art gallery, but it had become offices and other functions,” Baratz said. “Over the years, particularly in the ‘90s, there were elements added that were nicely done but just didn’t fit with the original building. So the team at Cornerstone stripped away what was new … and really added sparkle and shine that brought it back to its original glory.”

Architect Mark Lyon stands with Linda Wilson and Brad Owens, whose 6631 Neptune Place won the Jewel Award for Rehabilitation.
Architect Mark Lyon stands with Linda Wilson and Brad Owens, owners of 6631 Neptune Place, which won the Jewel Award for Rehabilitation.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The Jewel Award for Rehabilitation went to “a little jewel of a home” at 6631 Neptune Place owned by Linda Wilson and Brad Owens.

“They took one of La Jolla’s very early beach cottages, built in 1928, and ... brought it back to a wonderful and very special presence on that strip of Neptune, which has so often become apartment buildings and more modern structures, and it is so special to have that remnant of original La Jolla with us,” Baratz said.

Windansea Surf Club President Bill FitzMaurice and Friends of Windansea President Melinda Merryweather
Windansea Surf Club President Bill FitzMaurice and Friends of Windansea President Melinda Merryweather are presented with a mock-up of a plaque for the Windansea shack.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The Windansea shack, a structure used and preserved by surfers, will be honored as an icon of preservation as part of Landmark Week.

“It’s such a simple structure and sits so humbly on the beach that we often forget that it is also very vulnerable … and has been destroyed by winter storms,” McArthur said. “And these wonderful surfers and supporters of the Windansea Surf Club and Friends of Windansea go back in, reconstruct it, make sure it has its thatching because it’s an icon for La Jolla. … It is an embodiment of the surf culture worldwide and the oldest continuously used shelter of its kind on the West Coast.”

A bronze plaque recognizing its historical importance will be installed onsite on Sunday, March 20.

Learn more about the La Jolla Historical Society and Landmark Week at lajollahistory.org. ◆