Tony Crisafi shares design expertise with La Jolla Planning Commission


Tony Crisafi received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1980 and his Master’s in Business Administration from Case Western Reserve University in 1983. He studied architectural history and archeology in Rome in 1977 and since that time has pursued a practice of designing custom residences. He practiced architecture in Cleveland, Ohio before relocating to the West Coast and subsequently began a new practice, Island Architects, in La Jolla with Drex Patterson in 1992.

Crisafi has volunteered as a La Jolla Community Planning Association trustee for more than 14 years. His interests lie in working with the community to protect and enhance the physical and visual environment of La Jolla through application of sensible land use policy, and public forum project review.

He and wife, Liza, live in Point Loma and enjoy supporting and nurturing three college- age children who are pursuing their own creative degrees. Crisafi enjoys gardening, cooking, cycling, tennis, traveling to France and Italy, and camping when he is not on a project site or in the studio.

What brought you to La Jolla?

First it was a vacation when visiting relatives, next it was my career.

What makes this area special to you?

Despite all the pressures of redevelopment, it is the hills, coastline and sky that create a great setting for our community. It inspires people to be passionate about their actions and beliefs.

What might you add, subtract or improve in the area?

I’d work to improve Torrey Pines Road and environment for cars, bikes, pedestrians who use it, and for people who live along the corridor.

What inspires you?

What inspires design is the neighborhoods I work in and the clients who engage us. Also, life — walking every morning and looking out at the bay, ocean and mountains.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

That would be Julia Child, my immediate family, and our dog, Lola.

What are you reading?

“Chasing Aphrodite,” by Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino of the LA Times (described as a scathing account of the Getty Museum’s ethically dubious activities in the antiquities market over the course of more than a quarter-century) and “The Pursuit of Italy,” by David Gilmour.

What is your most-prized possession?


What do you do for fun?

Other than chairing the La Jolla Community Planning public meetings, just playing tennis with friends.

Describe your greatest accomplishment.

Honestly, it is being married and raising three children who are now adults and almost on their own.

What is your philosophy of life?

When a door closes look for an open window.