Advertisement

La Jollans attend vigil for Irving Gill’s ‘Windemere’

La Jollans light candles and share memories in front of a makeshift, mobile altar to Irving Gill’s demolished Windemere cottage Jan. 27. Pat Sherman
La Jollans light candles and share memories in front of a makeshift, mobile altar to Irving Gill’s demolished Windemere cottage Jan. 27. Pat Sherman

More than 40 La Jolla residents and preservationists attended a “vigil” Sunday evening for Irving Gill’s “Windemere” cottage, which was demolished Dec. 23, 2011 via an emergency demolition permit.

“We were happy to see the diversity of those who attended — from Bird Rock to the Shores, La Jollans and San Diegans who want to work together to stop the continuous elimination of our cultural, architectural history and community memory,” La Jolla Historical Society (LJHS) Preservation Committee Chair Leslie Davis said.

In an effort to preserve Windemere, historic preservationists sought to have the 1894 structure moved to the LJHS grounds on Prospect Street, but negotiations with the current property owner came to an impasse.

Sunday’s event was organized to draw attention to the loss of La Jolla’s historic homes and architecture, and city procedures relating to historic or potentially historic architecture, which preservationists say too often favor development over preservation.

The LJHS’s Preservation Committee contends the city did not follow proper procedure in the demolition of Windemere. It has retained an attorney to appeal a recent city decision stating that the city acted correctly by allowing the demolition without a Coastal Development Permit.

The committee also contends that the new owner is liable for “project splitting” by not disclosing his intent to build a home on the site when applying for the demolition permit.

Pat Sherman

The Windemere vigil, held in front of Windemere's final resting place.
The Windemere vigil, held in front of Windemere's final resting place.

Community Planning Association to consider proposed new development at former Windemere site

What:

A Public Hearing regarding the issuance of a Coastal Development Permit for the construction of a new home at 1328 Virginia Way, La Jolla

Where:

La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect Street

When:

Thursday, February 7th, 2013. 6:00p.

The La Jolla Community Planning Association (CPA) will hear public testimony regarding a Coastal Development Permit Application for construction of a new 4,918-square-foot home and 924 square feet of detached structures on the now-vacant lot at 1328 Virginia Way, where Windemere once stood. The historic home was demolished by the current owner, who made no mention of his intention to develop the site when applying for an “Emergency Demolition Permit” in December of 2011. Local preservationists contend that, due to this omission, the applicant is in violation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In December of 2012, La Jolla’s Development Review Committee — a subcommittee of the CPA — determined that the proposed project is not in conformity with the specified implementation program and that, without further action by the applicant, a Coastal Development Permit could not be issued.

—Staff Reports