La Jolla Woman’s Club building is 100 years old, Community invited to birthday dinner Oct. 17

One hundred years is a significant landmark in any life, in this case the beautiful Irving Gill historic building on Draper Avenue, home to La Jolla Woman’s Club, which has become “younger” with each passing year. Huge efforts have been made to restore and maintain the unique beauty of this property, and it has become a sought-after venue for weddings, reunions and meetings.

By 1908, Gill was a well-established San Diego architect. Gill’s fountain in Horton Plaza downtown, built in 1909, remains there today. He was considered to have a mature style, marked by spare designs and ingenious technical details.

One of Gill’s most prominent clients was Ellen Browning Scripps, a self-made newspaper millionaire born in England and raised on the Illinois prairies. She moved to San Diego in 1891 and to La Jolla in 1897.

Gill designed many progressive projects that Scripps sponsored, including the La Jolla Recreation Center and the La Jolla Woman’s Club, which together with The Bishop’s School and her own home, formed a “Scripps enclave.”

She commissioned Gill to design and build La Jolla Woman’s Club in 1913-1914. This prominently sited building is considered one of his masterpieces. It is similar to his other works in its stylistic simplicity, but here he used a “tilt-slab” construction technique to assemble the exterior arcade walls on site.

The method comprises pouring loads of concrete onto a huge table tilted 15 degrees, hollow tiles on a table (forms for walls) divided by 4-inch vertical steel bars as reinforcement and metal frames for doors and windows integrated into forms. The result is California’s first tilt-up concrete building. These walls integrate hollow, clay-block infill to lighten the slab’s weight.

For the interior walls and central “pop-up” volume, however, he employed conventional balloon-frame construction. Although Gill is often associated with the tilt-up method, he used it in only a handful of structures.

In the La Jolla Woman’s Club, Gill’s traditional arches frame the wrap-around porch (veranda) and a vine-covered pergola extends to the street. Walls were finished flush with the casing – walls join the flooring slightly rounded. He used no molding for pictures, no baseboard paneling or wainscoting to catch and hold the dust. The entry doors are of single slabs of hand-polished mahogany swung on invisible hinges. The roof opening (for ventilation) in the lounges was also a favorite device, and he planted exquisite gardens around the building.

To recognize its historical significance, the building was placed on the National Register of Historical Places on Nov. 5, 1974.

The La Jolla Woman’s Club welcomes you to join us as we celebrate this unique and important milestone within our beautiful community at a dinner party Friday, Oct. 17.

The evening’s festivities will start at 5:30 p.m. with wine, hors d’oeuvres and music. Our guest speaker is USD professor Molly McClain, who has penned several books, including one on Ellen Browning Scripps.

We will display La Jolla in pictures from the last 100 years with images provided by our friends at the La Jolla Historical Society. Dinner will be served by one of La Jolla’s own, Girard Gourmet. Journey with us musically over the last 100 years with our Master of Ceremony, the “Voice of La Jolla,” Ron Jones.

Proceeds from the Anniversary Dinner will benefit the preservation of the historic Irving Gill Building.

Tickets are $75 per person or $600 per table of eight ($750 per table of 10). For more information or to register for the dinner, visit


Where have all the lobsters gone?

The recent letter to the editor regarding seal poop on Children’s Pool beach being good for the ecosystem reminded me to dig out my lobster fishing gear anticipating the early opening of lobster season this year. After the season opens I’ll be on the beach with gloved hands waiting for the lobster to march up the Children’s Pool beach seeking all that wonderful seal poop!

The lobster should be an easy catch, since they will be so distracted by the goldmine of seal poop in abundance on the Children’s Pool beach to enhance the ecology of our environment.

But wait! I remember seeing photos of the huge lobster pulled out of our local waters in the 1930s and ’40s and I compare them to the barely legal size we find so infrequently today around Children’s Pool. Let’s think about this. No seals at Children’s Pool in the 1930s and ’40s compared to hundreds there today. Huge lobster back then and tiny ones today.

Thanks for the reminder, but something’s not adding up. Something about this attempt to justify stealing Children’s Pool from the children just stinks.

Ken Hunrichs, La Jolla

When all said and done, Children’s Pool is for kids

On Aug. 14, I attended the California Coastal Commission meeting on the closure of the La Jolla Children’s Pool. Both sides presented their views and there was high emotion. One side was for closing the Children’s Pool during pupping season and the other was against closing it.

The argument for closure was that there aren’t any other calm beaches in the area for the seals to go and the people just get too close and disturb them. The argument against the closure and keeping it open was that it wasn’t built for the seals it was built for people. Also little kids like to go swimming there. Lastly, it is the only good spot in Southern California where people with disabilities can swim in the ocean.

My feelings were mixed because the seals need an area to be, but this place was built for children so it should remain open to the children.

Kyle Heuschele, age 12, Boy Scout Troop 680, Poway

Clean Children’s Pool for the children

La Jolla is so beautiful with its craggy coastline and rock outpourings — the perfect environment for seals, just as the enclave at the Children’s Pool is perfect for children.

The wall helps form a small pool and is protection from crashing waves and dangerous rip currents. Let’s clean up the Children’s Pool (using the sluiceways) and return it to those for whom it was built. The seals will find other rocks and pools.

Bill Graham, La Jolla

Shores seeks residents’ input on late-night project

In an effort to have the least disruption to the neighborhood, the La Jolla Shores Merchant Association is requesting the city schedule its improvements between the hours of 11 p.m. through 11 a.m. This is only for the two-block business district on Avenida de la Playa from Calle de la Plata to Paseo del Ocaso. The city has ensured us that the 12-hour shifts would be the most efficient and would help get the project completed sooner. We all want the construction to be completed in the shortest amount of time as possible.

Opening the street between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. would allow the businesses to stay open and operational to better serve everyone! Parking will be available, the street would be open and therefore less traffic would be forced into the residential streets. If the work is done during normal business hours, the financial hardship to the impacted businesses, their employees, and the purveyors that sell to them would be devastating!

We are asking for support in our efforts to ensure the city does the work in the quickest possible fashion with the least amount of impact. Please respond to the city notice and show your support for the proposed 11 p.m. to 11 a.m. work hours on the two blocks of Avenida de la Playa.

We sincerely thank you,

La Jolla Shores Merchant Association, Avenida de la Playa

Thank you La Jolla Cove Swim Club for being the first ‘pillar’ on the block!

As co-chairs of the La Jolla Cove Pavilion project, we would like to publicly acknowledge the La Jolla Cove Swim Club for being the first to donate $5,000 toward the schematic design of the new La Jolla Cove Pavilion. For the last two weeks, we have been presenting plans to our local community organizations to raise $34,000.

We have many organizations that are very interested in supporting this critical component of the project; La Jolla Cove Swim Club was the first to step up and we want to thank them as well as encourage other local organizations to jump in! The schematic designs are critical to obtain further community support and financing.

The local organizations that step up and donate $5,000 will be acknowledged on a plaque at the new Pavilion as Pillars of the Community.

We are so grateful for the Swim Club’s leadership and look forward to seeing other organizations support this vital project. La Jolla Cove Pavilion will replace the current deteriorated restrooms that were built in 1967, and the new facility will house restrooms, changing rooms, showers and a place to gather. We are excited by this opportunity to take care of our park — one of our Village’s most-prized possessions. Questions? E-mail or

Judy Adams Halter and Patrick Ahern, La Jolla

Brouhaha over La Jolla Christmas Parade name is silly

Come on folks, let’s call it what it is: It’s a “Christmas Parade.” Enough of this politically correct bs. If you don’t like it, don’t go. By the way, I’m Jewish.

Donald Maescher, La Jolla

Local associations may not take stands on religious basis

I was in attendance at the Sept. 4 La Jolla Community Planning Association meeting and found the conduct of the trustees appalling. This was far from my first time as an LJCPA audience member, but indeed the first time I exited with the belief that the very core of our community group premise has been shaken in La Jolla.

Having attended Oath of Office ceremonies at LJCPA in past, I know that to “uphold the U.S. Constitution” is not explicitly stated, yet it is obviously inherent in any civic undertaking. How is it then that the great majority of the LJCPA trustees forgot this basic duty on Sept. 4?

The Constitution guarantees Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Assembly. By allowing San Diego School District Superintendent Cindy Marten and Howard Singer to request that a parade permit be denied on a religious basis, the trustees failed in their duty as La Jollans and as Americans.

It is hard to fathom what Cindy Marten could have been thinking when she appeared at this public meeting. She stated she was in attendance only as a “private citizen,” yet in the next breath she said she would be reviewing the matter with school administrators and may advise that students not attend the parade based on a religious guise. A private citizen can in fact do no such thing, only a superintendent can.

I ask how the LJCPA trustees could possibly veer from what they were supposed to do (which was to approve or disapprove a street closure based on traffic safety), into a dialogue on religion. If LJCPA is denying permits based on religion, it must disband as an organization.

Only trustees Dan Courtney and Cindy Greatrex followed the law. No one else did. In regard to community associations as a whole, the La Jolla Light reports that La Jolla Town Council is updating its bylaws. In doing so, they should lengthen term limits and bring Ms. Greatrex back as president. This community needs strong law-abiding leaders who stand up to lawless bullies and conduct themselves in a transparent manner.

Kimberly Beveridge, La Jolla

Public note to School District Superintendent Cindy Marten and La Jolla CPA trustees

Please carefully reconsider the long-term ramifications of the decisions you make regarding the La Jolla Christmas Parade, a magical event, a La Jolla tradition and part of our heritage. We beg to differ that the word Christmas is exclusive. Christianity represents love of neighbor as oneself and it also represents charity, hope, peace, compassion and forgiveness. The United States of America is a country based on religious freedom, but we are slowly taking this religious freedom away and relegating it to behind closed doors. It is a slippery slope. What comes next? Do you want to live in a country where Christianity is not tolerated?

We can think of many nonprofit Christian organizations that help needy families at Christmastime. Perhaps they are guilty of excluding wealthy people? Every year, Father Joe’s Village takes families living in poverty Christmas shopping in an effort to bring them Christmas. Will these events be shut down because they have the word Christmas in them?

We agree with Ray Weiss who said, “It made me think of places in the world where people don’t have inclusiveness. This should not be one of them . . . the questions being raised are part of the fabric of our society.”

What kind of a society do we want to live in? Do we want to live in a country devoid of hope, charity, peace and love, where we cannot display a cross or any other religious symbols out of fear?

We feel immense gratitude for the freedom of religion we have in our community and we beg you all to seriously consider the ramifications of what you’re doing by considering to remove the word “Christmas” from the name of the Christmas Parade. It slowly chips away at the values of our country and the fabric of our society.

Marie Hemming; Camille and Curtis Dose; Sister Rose Marie Brausam; Claire Reiss; Stuart and Charlene Edleson; Deirdre Andrews; Billie and Mark Jorgensen; Linda Rutgard; Mark Harvey, La Jolla

City must stay neutral on Christmas parade name issue

Having focused on constitutional law at USD School of Law, where I graduated magna cum laude with a J.D. degree in 1980, I submit the following commentary on the La Jolla Christmas Parade name issue. While this is by no means scholarly, I believe it could help advance important understanding of the First Amendment in relation to the parade.

Our Constitution’s First Amendment prohibits government from establishing or prohibiting religion. The rest of us, when not acting as agents of government, have a Constitutional right, in public or private places, to assemble and establish, promote, worship and refute any religion.

Government officials must remember that the public street is the paradigmatic place for freedoms of speech and assembly. In regulating streets, the city may not regulate the religious or political content of a parade. When the La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival Foundation puts on a parade, it gets to choose what to name it.

Others get to choose if they wish to participate or if they wish to organize a separate parade offering prayers to Zeus, nothing, or the Universal Spirit with equal inclusion of every religion. The city must be neutral. It may not use its authority to regulate traffic as a backdoor way to favor one religion or prohibit another.

The La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) exists for the purpose of advising the city of local thoughts and feelings that might not otherwise get heard, but a doctrine of inclusiveness, which prohibits public expression of specific religious faith is Constitutionally outside the domain of what city government may consider.

At its last meeting, the LJCPA did very well to recognize that it would be out of order (waste of time) to opine on the name of the Christmas Parade, which now offends those who seek universal inclusiveness.

Note also: Christmas is enacted by Congress as a National Holiday. One explanation offered for that being Constitutional is that the broad cultural meaning of Christmas has become secular (gifts from Santa) instead of religious. However viewed, the tradition of the Christmas Parade appears safe as long as there are people to support it.

John Berol, La Jolla

No parade name change needed

All faiths treasure tradition, so maintaining the name of the traditional La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival is in keeping with what all faiths hold dear.

Founding Father Patrick Henry said, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ! For this reason peoples of other faiths have been offered asylum, prosperity and freedom of worship here.”

Ben Stein, a columnist and adherent of the Jewish faith, said he likes Christmas and is not offended by all the trappings of this season of peace. Let us move on. This community debate was lost once before.

Lou Cumming, La Jolla

Kids welcome to free art classes at La Jolla Riford Library

Thank you so much for mentioning “Art Interact” in the La Jolla Light a number of times last year. The notices really helped publicize our program and attract new kids who wanted to participate!

We are about to start the program for this school year. Our events are held every other Friday from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the La Jolla Riford Library, 7555 Draper Ave.

All children are welcome to join us for free arts and crafts classes. This is a completely student-run program, all the volunteers who help out are high school students with an interest in art. The dates are: Oct. 10 and 24; Nov. 7 and 21; Dec. 5 and 19; Jan. 2, 16 and 30; Feb. 13 and 27; March 13 and 27; and April 10.

Alice Wang, La Jolla

What can we do to fix crumbling sidewalks in town?

This headline was found in Sept. 16’s U-T: San Diego: “39,000+ tripping hazards found on San Diego sidewalks.” As a La Jolla resident, I would venture that La Jolla has more trip hazards on our sidewalks than any other part of the city. I know we have a lot of senior citizens who are at risk, not to mention unsuspecting tourists.

What can we do to make the city and property owners fix this situation? It took two years to fill in a hole left by a removed telephone pole on my neighbor’s sidewalk on Monte Vista; plus multiple calls to the city. Not only are there an exceptionally high number of broken and uneven sidewalks here, but in many well-traveled parts of La Jolla residents are not trimming back shrubbery, and, in some cases, forcing pedestrians into bike paths or roadways. I have traveled through many poor parts of the city and they don’t seem to have this problem! La Jolla is such a beautiful place, but it is in such disrepair.

John Murphy, La Jolla

Stench returns to La Jolla Cove area

Please explain to me why money is being spent to bring tourists and travel industry people to La Jolla? When the winds blow into the Village, that will send them running away from the awful stench. We even have to try and tolerate the stench at the Shores!

Barbara Groce, La Jolla

Mayor, police chief will speak to Rotary

The Rotary Club of La Jolla will host Mayor Kevin Faulconer and San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman at their next meeting, noon, Tuesday, Sept. 30 at La Valencia Hotel, Prospect St. Guests are welcome. Luncheon tickets are $30. For reservations, e-mail Corinne Fleming at

In other Rotary Club of La Jolla news, the club is sending La Jolla High School and Bishop’s School Interact Club members to Tijuana on Oct. 25 to build their 21st home for an indigent family. Also in October, a group of Rotarians is traveling to Tijuana to sign an agreement to extend our Tijuana Scholars mentoring program. This group teaches every Saturday during the school year, and many graduates of this program go on to attend college.

Sally Fuller, Rotary Club of La Jolla, Publicity Chairman


When Cinder, the cat known for roaming La Jolla High School until he was struck by a car and killed last week (La Jolla Light Sept. 18) was a kitten, his owners were the Gray family. At the time of his death, however, Cinder’s owners were the Thickstun family.

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