Historical Society wraps up one series, opens ‘Homefront’ exhibit


By Dave Schwab

The success of the year-long, 10-part “Contemporary Architects Making History” series sponsored by La Jolla Historical Society (LJHS) portends things to come.

“It was an extraordinary success, far beyond our expectations,” said executive director John Bolthouse. The series concludes at 7 p.m. Dec. 15 with architect James Alcorn’s lecture, “Can we save historical buildings and give them new life at the same time?” It will be held at Wisteria Cottage, 780 Prospect St.

“We thought people would show interest and enjoy it, but we had a packed house at every lecture,” Bolthouse added.

As the architecture series winds down, a new World War II-era exhibition at Wisteria Cottage titled “Homefront La Jolla,” opens Dec. 7 in remembrance of the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Bolthouse said this was the first time in recent memory that the Society has sponsored monthly lectures, a practice he said will continue into the future.

“We’re not going to do a year-long one for a while, but go back to thematic spring, summer and fall series, trying to pull together details like we did for “Homecoming,” including the speakers,” he said.

Previewing his Dec. 15 presentation, Alcorn, who joined with colleague Paul Benton about 16 months ago to form Alcorn & Benton Architects at 7757 Girard Ave., said “we’ll try to relate passion to patience, and how the (building) codes help — or hinder — you in this (architectural) process.”

Alcorn said he will include a slideshow offering examples of good — and bad — historical architectural redevelopment inside and outside La Jolla.

The architect, who has had an office in La Jolla for nearly 40 years, said he’s optimistic about the future of the industry, despite the fact that increasing regulation over the years “has made it very difficult to make things happen.”

Nonetheless, Alcorn said his industry was well showcased by the historical society’s architectural series.

“I learned a lot from other architects, seeing their point of view,” he said, adding architects are constantly challenged these days to “know the codes very well” so they can avoid pitfalls and “get the codes to work with us, instead of against us.”


• Homefront La Jolla”

• Now through Memorial Day

• Noon to 4 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays

• Admission free

• Contemporary Artists Making History

• 7 p.m. Dec. 15

• Wisteria Cottage, 780 Prospect St

• Members, $10, Non-members $15



• Homefront La Jolla” • Now through Memorial Day• Noon to 4 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays• Admission free

• Contemporary Artists Making History• 7 p.m. Dec. 15 • Wisteria Cottage, 780 Prospect St• Members, $10, Non-members $15•