Pt. Loma Moderne

Although Frank L. Hope, Sr. worked in a variety of styles, he was notable as a pioneer Modernist architect whose streamline architecture of 1930’s influenced the acceptance and rise in popularity of Modernism in San Diego.

To call him Frank L. Hope, Sr. is not quite correct. His father, the actual Frank L Hope Senior was a railroad executive and prominent San Diego resident. His son is the above mentioned Frank L. Hope, Jr.

But then Frank L. Hope, Jr. had a son also named Frank L. Hope, Jr.  It has been suggested we leave Frank L. Hope, Sr. out of the discussion altogether. And refer to the son as Frank L. Hope Jr, the elder. And his son as Frank L. Hope, Jr. the younger.

Frank L. Hope, Jr. the elder, had worked with Requa, Jackson, Lillian Rice and William H. Wheeler before establishing his own firm in 1928. Hope worked on a number of important commissions including designing a number of custom streamline homes in Pt. Loma. He also designed a good amount of streamline commercial buildings including the 1936 Santa Fe City Offices 1200 Fifth Avenue NW corner at B Street, (demolished) and City Motors Ford (demolished last year).

His son Frank L. Hope Jr. the younger, joined the firm in 1955. Hope Jr, the elder, retired in 1965. The Hope Design Group through 3 generations of Hope family architects had a huge part in creating modern San Diego.

The big dumpster out in front is rather ominous, but the work permits applied for relate only to interior remodeling. SOHO is keeping a close eye on this to make sure the exterior character defining streamline elements are not destroyed.

Streamline Moderne is a part of the Art Deco period of architecture. Also in the Deco fold is Egyptian and Aztec Revival. Above, a Deco detail. The mail slot.

May Day at The Marston House, San Diego’s Garden…

Save Our Heritage Organisation’s May Day at Balboa Park’s Marston House Museum. A crowd gathers at the formal garden awaiting refreshments at the tea garden.

There was live music at the tea garden and at various areas of the grounds.

From the tea garden toward the residence, the geranium show on the other side of the hedge draws a throng of flower and gardening enthusiasts. A feature of the day’s fare was “ask the experts,” a chance to speak with and learn from master gardeners.

The geranium has come to symbolize George Marston’s legacy. He represents a choice of beauty and geraniums over soot and smokestacks.

An array of exclusively grown geraniums were for sale, including the popular “Geranium George.” Geranium sales for the day were brisk.

Dedicated enthusiastic volunteers are among the hallmarks of SOHO’s success operating the Marston House Museum. Meet Jeannette Dutton. Besides being a long time SOHO member, Jeannette is very involved in the San Diego Floral Association, Friends of the Marston House, and the Marston House May Day committee.

May Day at the Marston House featured an amazing gathering of plein-air painters and their art. Following are many of the talented artists and samples of their outstanding work.

The Marston family members on hand to enjoy the day’s festivities. Peg and Ann Marston.

Besides the art show, there was an array of exhibits and displays. This table featured the Women’s History Museum.

Here is the San Diego Bee Keeping Society.

Two highlights of the day. First was a City proclamation spoken by Councilmember Todd Gloria honoring artist Suzy Spafford and her renown work “Suzy’s Zoo.” The other big May Day moment was a release of hundreds of monarch butterflies.

Sarai Johnson prepares to release a large basket full of monarch butterflies.

Children loved lending a helping hand.

Adults also enjoyed the butterflies–and some became adorned with them.

The success of the first annual May Day at the Marston House points to even more fun and festivities next year.

Proceeds from the event go to restoration of the Marston House Museum and gardens.

There’s always lots going on with SOHO. Please visit

How SOHO Saved the Hotel Del Coronado

Out of context this a drawing that might not raise too many eyebrows. Except the context was a plan for a “new look” Hotel Del Coronado.

In 1997 planned modern four story buildings were going to surround the Hotel Del on all four sides–including the ocean side.

Not only would the project shroud Hotel Del from view, but it would have destroyed historic features throughout the property. All of the redwood interior of the Hotel Del was to be painted white, making the 1880’s Victorian hotel into a Tommy Bahama theme resort.

An unsuspecting community did not realize how far these plans by the Del owners, Travelers Insurance, were in progress before heeding the alarm bell rung by SOHO. Bruce and Alana Coons spearheaded the effort to Save the Del.

They made it a major campaign in the community, in the press, and throughout the land. It kicked in at the national level when policy holders began canceling their insurance policies as people learned of the destructive plans.

But what SOHO does equally as well as running an effective preservation battle, it knows how to negotiate the peace. Hotel Del was not only saved but current ownership is now an ally in preserving this iconic treasure. Through the years SOHO has negotiated a significant number of preservation agreements. The Ballpark and Historic Warehouse District, Old Police Headquarters, Temple Beth Israel, and the Veterans War Memorial Building, Torrey Pines Glider Port, just to name a few.

Learn more about Save Our Heritage Organisation, SOHO at

March 29, 2010–SOHO 40th Anniversary Film Premiere

What a fun night it was. Here is a look back at the evening through pictures and quotes from those who were part of the sell out premiere.

Ticket sales seemed kind of slow to me at first. But a lot of times people don’t make up their minds until its very close to the date. None the less I was still concerned.

Then came this story on the front page of the Uptown News written by the wonderful Ann Jarmusch. That was a big help.

Then on March 21, 2010 there was a record turn out for SOHO’s Annual Historic Home Tour. Many visitors took with them from a large stack copies of the Uptown News with a Premiere flier attached.

Then on the afternoon on March 29, it was official–all tickets had been sold.  photo Maggie McCann

It never occurred to me people would want autographs! Here I’m with Todd Pittman and David Marshall. photo Glen Davis

The evening was special for many reasons. Here old friends and neighbors from school days Frank and Kathy Luxem made the trip all the way from OC. I hadn’t seen them in decades!  photo Glen Davis

The event was attended by San Diego City Councilmember Todd Gloria. photo Glen Davis

Friend and former San Diego Deputy City Attorney Alex Sachs. photo Maggie McCann

David Swarens and Barry Hager at the wine and cheese reception before the show. photo Maggie McCann.

Architect John Eisenhart foreground, Rufus Quail in the background. Maggie McCann

Victor Santana and Kensington’s Celia Conover photo Maggie McCann

Ron May, Stephen Whitburn, Councilmember Todd Gloria

Signing still more autographs! photo Maggie McCann

Introducing the film.  photo Glen Davis

SOHO Executive Director Bruce Coons, SOHO Director of Events and Education Alana Coons.  It was their faith in the project and putting the resources of the organization behind promoting the event that made it such a successful evening. photo Maggie McCann

I also got a big help from Ann Garwood and Nancy Moors who promoted the film in HillQuest.  photo Maggie McCann

Dale May looking great.  Architect Paul Johnson in the background.  photo Maggie McCann

Ernie Bonn, the champion of bringing the University Heights Library to the Teacher’s Annex building next to the Ed. Center.

photo Maggie McCann


Roxanne Govari  Dan, your movie last night was outstanding. I am so Happy for you and for Our community to have such talent among us.

William Purves  Dan congratulations on a terrific job well done! It really lays out the enormity of what SOHO has accomplished over the years; even liked the nice touch at the end of listing all the board members through the years, lest anyone get the idea these kinds of things happen by themselves! I hope this gets wide exposure for both SOHO and you.

Rufus Quail  Boffo!
Don Schmidt  Yes, a wonderful evening…on so many levels. Thank you.

Diane Welch  Hi Dan, it was great to see you in person last night Paul and I loved the SOHO documentary. It was inspirational, informative and entertaining. Two thumbs up from the Welchs!

Frank Luxem  Dan, it was wonderful! We had such a great time. Kudos to SOHO and to you. AND…on a personal note, Kathy and I were so glad to see you again after all these years. We do want to get back down to see you again!

Rd Riccoboni   Congratulations on your film last night Dan! It was terrific!! What a great contribution to our local and state history! Thank you!

Todd Gloria   Congratulations on a terrific event last night Dan! I really enjoyed the film and learned a lot. Thank you for sharing your filmmaking talent with us and helping to educate more San Diegans about the importance of historic preservation.

Jack Hettchen   Dan, very happy that I was able to come and see your fantastic production. Thanks for the great evening and the history lesson on SOHO and San Diego. You should be very proud !

Ron May   Outstanding job, Dan! Really a wonderful production thar brought everyone together. There is nothing like it in existence and you should be incredibly proud.

Kristin Harms   Congratulations, Dan, on a wonderful production and tribute to historic preservation in San Diego. Two thumbs up!

Veronica McGowan   Brilliant – wonderful – marvelous
I did not think it would be as emotional an experience as it was for me
but Thank you thank you so much – awesome 40 year retrospect – wow.

Todd Pitman   Dan … Great work….. Congratulations.

Ernie Bonn Great production, Dan, just don’t head to Hollywood, we need you here.

Don Rudisill   Ruth and I went to Dan’s opening premier of his documentary, showing SOHO’s successes and opportunities missed from the last 40 years. At  the beginning Dan came on stage and did a fine job of introducing his film. Dan had interviewed the many people important in the preservation movement and had them speaking, telling the story of how SOHO started. He kept our attention for a full hour. There was a good turnout for the event. The Old Town Little Theatre was almost full. He really is good at this.