La Jolla’s ‘Mushroom House’ may be repainted to cover graffiti

La Jolla's "Mushroom House" was vandalized with graffiti in 2022 and into this year.
(Adam Grofcsik)

An area resident has been proposing for a year and a half to clean up the vandalism on the Black’s Beach landmark and believes he’s making headway.


After a year and a half, removal of graffiti on La Jolla’s abandoned landmark “Mushroom House” on Black’s Beach may finally happen.

After Adam Grofcsik, a frequent runner on Black’s Beach, saw the graffiti in early 2022 on the beach-facing exterior wall and interior spaces, he wanted to remove it because it leaves the house “looking pretty gross.” He offered to do it himself, pending approval from the homeowner.

The house is owned by an unidentified San Diego philanthropist, according to the city.

However, little progress was made toward removing the graffiti, and Grofcsik hasn’t been to the area much lately. “It upsets me to still see it that way,” he said.

In the meantime, more vandalism has been tagged on the building, so Grofcsik has been in touch with the property owner and the California Coastal Commission to try to move forward on the cleanup. But stumbling blocks arose along the way.

“Apparently the concern is that the graffiti would just be replaced if it was removed,” Grofcsik told the La Jolla Light. Additional concerns were raised about washing the walls due to the home’s proximity to the ocean.

“I was told by the Coastal Commission that I would need a permit [outlining my process] to make sure nothing got discharged into the ocean,” he said.

As an alternative, Grofcsik proposed to paint over the graffiti by hand or with a sprayer. He said the owner “seems to be open to working with me.”

He said final details and a schedule for the removal would be provided when available.

The house, also known as Bell’s Pavilion, was designed and built by architect Dale Naegle in the 1960s as a guest house for Sam Bell of Bell’s Potato Chips and General Mills. It is down the bluff from a main house at 9044 La Jolla Shores Lane. ◆