The Journal of San Diego History
Winter 1990, Volume 36, Number 1
Thomas L. Scharf, Editor

By Reiner M. Hof
James S. Copley Award San Diego History Center 1989 Institute of History

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In the early twentieth century San Diego prospered in business, commerce and wealth despite its isolated, hard to reach location. The city’s business district, firmly established in a 38-block area that is now referred to as Centre City or downtown San Diego, expanded vigorously and in 1927 saw the completion of a major construction project, the John D. Spreckels Building.1 In the 1930s the city suffered an economic setback that severely crippled the downtown business center. By the 1950s the city had regained its economic vigor but, in a trend of rapid suburbanization, the city’s core was abandoned in favor of the outskirts of the city. This urban sprawl established new population and retail centers that undermined the sagging economic base of Centre City. Ultimately, downtown property values declined and many of the area’s structures dilapidated. The San Diego city council responded slowly to the urgent needs created by the damaging decay of the city’s central core. Likewise, the leading downtown interest group, the San Diego Downtown Association (SDDA), by virtue of its membership size and composition, gave limited commitment to urban renewal.2 Several local businessmen and community leaders with large commercial stakes in the downtown area resolved to fill that vacuum and spark the revitalization of the old business center. These civic leaders examined the inequalities that prevented the city council and the San Diego Downtown Association from acting as redeveloping agents of downtown San Diego. In 1959, having analyzed the problem as ensuing from a lack of focused direction in planning efforts, they created a non-profit organization named San Diegans, Inc. (SDI).

In the next four years, San Diegans, Inc., became instrumental in initiating redevelopment projects, in generating interest in downtown as a residential and commercial center, and in convincing the San Diego city council to draft a General Plan.3 By 1963 the group’s vision and hard work secured the city’s commitment to construct a Civic Concourse and helped develop a plan for growth that earned San Diego the title of All-American city. In the years that followed, continuing down to the present day, SDI assumed a low visibility but highly professional and thoroughly effective role in advancing urban renewal programs. Today San Diegans, Inc., is considered to be a “think tank” behind much of downtown redevelopment, assisting city officials and local businesses to plan for a more prosperous and orderly San Diego.4 A look at the reasons that led to the organization’s incorporation and at its activities in the first four years of its existence illustrates the qualities that have made SDI so successful.

San Diegans, Inc., faced a tremendous task in translating its intent to revitalize the downtown business district into action because the process of Centre City decay had been draining the strength and vitality of the area ever since the construction of the Spreckels Building in 1927. Upon its completion, the building had stood as a reflection of the prosperous times San Diego had been experiencing in the first quarter of the twentieth century.5 Moreover, since there was nothing to suggest a future economic decline, the structure implied that the high productivity of the city could not only be maintained, it could be increased. Years later, however, the building stood as a melancholy reminder of days when land value rose and business ventures flourished. Horton Plaza, an old site which had been set aside for concerts, political parties and civic events became a symbol of downtown decay. The San Diego community had neglected the plaza and allowed it to turn into a skid row inhabited by drunkards, unemployed people, and vagabonds.6 It was not until the 1940s and the military activities of World War II that San Diego re-experienced a level of prosperity comparable to the vigorous economic expansion it had enjoyed in the “Roaring Twenties.” Upon the successful conclusion of that war, San Diego’s economy continued to expand well into the 1960s in an environment of tremendous population growth.

Although the San Diego population increased and its economy bloomed, statistics reflect that an economic crisis loomed over the central district as all of the growth occurred in the city’s outskirts. Between 1950 and 1957 the population in San Diego grew 47.8% from 334,387 to 494,201 while the downtown population declined 8.6% from 12,204 to 11,157.7 As a result of its shrinking population, Centre City’s property values and retail sales also declined. The decline of pedestrian traffic in the downtown area from 94,155 pedestrians in 1948 to 66,083 in 1954 and 58,588 in 1957 aggravated this damage.8 Retail sales in the San Diego metropolitan area totaled $502,025,000 in 1948 and $790,211,000 in 1954. Out of these figures, the central district area received $119,103,000 and $117,758,000. Thus, although the overall retail sales of the city increased 75.6% over the six year period, downtown sales declined 1.1%9 These figures only confirmed what the run-down condition and shabby appearance of downtown structures had been attesting to all along: that the old commercial center suffered a decline in sales despite the rising economy experienced in the outskirts of the “navy town.”

The future of Centre City looked even less promising as competition to downtown business intensified with the planned construction of suburban shopping malls to accommodate the new growth. One of the first malls in the United States, the Linda Vista Shopping Center, had been completed in 1942.10 In the early 1950s three new malls were on the drawing boards: the College Grove Center to be completed in 1960 and the Mission Valley and the Grossmont Centers to be completed in 1961.11 Although these malls would generate new jobs and add to the overall prosperity of San Diego, downtown merchants feared that they would also lessen retail sales in downtown stores and quicken the decay of a once prosperous Centre City business district.12 The proposed establishment of the Mission Valley shopping center was deemed to be such a threat to the economy of downtown San Diego that it was dubbed “Old Town’s Revenge.”13 The epithet, made in reference to the death blow Alonzo Horton gave to San Diego’s Old Town when he transferred the business district to the new city in 1870, conveyed a warning that Centre City was about to face a fate similar to that encountered by Old Town.14 Consequently, merchants who conducted business in the downtown area applied pressure on the San Diego Chamber of Commerce to find a way to invigorate the downtown economy and reverse the trend of events before the completion of the shopping malls. The need to make Centre City an attractive and convenient place to shop and live led to the spinning off from the Chamber of Commerce of a non-profit organization, the San Diego Downtown Association on August 5, 1952.15

The San Diego Downtown Association served an important role in the maintenance of a steady downtown retail sales activity without providing for the long-term development of the city’s core. The SDDA helped the downtown business district maintain a relatively steady level of sales and initiated efforts to retain Centre City’s position as the retail and employment center for the city.16 The organization’s emphasis rested principally on the beatification of the downtown area through the promotion of “Dollar Days,” “Bargain Days,” spring and fall “Window Display Contests,” and “Mother of the Year Contests.” Notwithstanding the notable quality of these programs, the San Diego Downtown Association designed them to assist downtown merchants sell their wares and not to advance the redevelopment of Centre City. The annual “Recognition Day” program came closest to promoting urban renewal. The event encouraged “the continual remodeling, modernization, and development of the downtown area” by giving awards to local businessmen who helped improve Centre City.17 The organization’s executive officers, aware that a more extensive and detailed plan of action had to be formulated to protect downtown from further dilapidation, began to see alternative courses of action. Thus in 1956 the San Diego Downtown Association established an ad hoc committee, chared by the prominent jeweler Joseph E. Jessop Sr., to examine the dangers of urban sprawl and provide recommendations on how to infuse vitality and growth into the downtown area.18

The forging of a more amicable working relation with city and county government officials claimed the immediate attention of the committee. The conflicting interests expressed by the city and the San Diego Downtown Association marred the partnership between public and private sectors and retarded redevelopment in the downtown area. As Jessop recalled in a 1988 interview, city councilmembers resisted attempts by the SDDA to discuss how downtown might be revitalized. Jessop thought the city’s elected officials regarded the SDDA as too “selfish.” The San Diego Downtown Association lamented that city councilmembers did not give enough support to the downtown area. Councilmember Frank Curran, however, did lend a listening ear to the SDDA committee and directed it “as to how to get along” with, and elicit support from, city government.19 Curran’s assistance enabled Jessop to establish an effective method of communication with city and county governments. The establishment of a friendly intercourse between civic, city and county interests was an important step forward. The rehabilitation of downtown San Diego, for example, could not have been possible without the cooperation and assistance of a city council vested with the authority to make a General Plan and enact ordinances favorable to redevelopment or without the risky financial investments assumed by local landowners.

In addition to disagreements among public and private leaders, the size and diversity in the makeup of the San Diego Downtown Association’s membership reflected such diffused interests as to prevent the association from putting into effect a program that would rebuild center city. The membership of the SDDA, which totaled 235 in 1955, continued to increase due to aggressive membership recruitment campaigns.20 Moreover, the organization’s membership composition, comprising of shopkeepers, office managers, small manufacturers, corporation and bank executives, architects, et cetera, was much too broad and inclusive to foster solidarity among people of differing needs and interests. The landowners were concerned about the consequences the removal of business activity from Centre City would have on the equity of the downtown property.21 The tenants, on the other hand, were mostly interested in “immediate cash register sales.”22 Whereas the latter asked for little more than short-term profits, the former demanded long-term planning to increase property values. The same predomination of tenant interest that enabled the San Diego Downtown Association to promote downtown retail sales precluded it from uniting in the pursuit of a method of reversing the deterioration of the downtown core. As the severity of downtown decay became more manifest, a final but not hostile shift in interests occurred. The objectives of the San Diego Downtown Association no longer met the full needs of those members who owned downtown property and whose more restrictive aims differed from those of the typical tenant member. Once it became clear that the San Diego Downtown Association’s programs fulfilled only the immediate needs of the central city, Jessop resolved to form a new organization to deal with the long-term redevelopment of the city’s core.

In 1958, what began as a San Diego Downtown Association committee convened to study the consequences resulting from the exodus of merchants from the downtown area became a forum for landowners to express their concern over the long term projection of downtown property.23 Jessop first gathered around him a nucleus of community leaders with the know-how and resources necessary to rebuild the under developed and blithed areas of downtown San Diego. The jeweler invited a few banking and corporate executives, who had authority to speak on behalf of their organization without having to report to a superior, to attend six meetings to lay out a plan of action.24 The civic leaders outlined a tentative program and met with representatives from the Chicago-based Western Real Estate Research Corporation, who suggested making an economic study of downtown San Diego at a cost of $35,000.25 At the fifth meeting these “top men” decided to sponsor the economic study. Moreover, the group concluded to establish a new organization with a restrictive membership and a more sharply focused responsibility rather than to attempt to revise the aims of the SDDA. Jessop proceeded to secure the formation of the organization by informing those individuals who had been invited to participate in the committee’s deliberations to “bring their checkbooks” if they wanted a sixth meeting. Everyone attended the next meeting and Jessop collected over $63,000, of which $35,000 went to pay for the economic study. The remainder of the money was put aside for setting up the new organization.26 In August 1958 Jessop and his nucleus of sixteen leading San Diego property owners conjoined their leadership and business experience to form San Diegans, Inc.27 Less than a year later, on August 31, 1959, this small but influential offshoot of the San Diego Downtown Association formally incorporated as a nonprofit organization designed to promote further the development of Centre City by rehabilitating the area’s blithed business district.

In 1959 San Diego thus had two organizations promoting the revival of the city’s core, the San Diego Downtown Association and its inclusive membership and short-term intentions and San Diegans, Inc., with its limited membership and long-term goals. Whereas membership is SDI was limited to fifty corporate executive officers and admission thereto was conditional upon the ownership of downtown property, membership in its parent group was open to property owners, tenants and anyone with an interest in the downtown core.28 The two organizations complimented, rather than interfered with, each other’s projects. SDI’s scope of urban renewal, contrasted with the San Diego Downtown Association’s promotion of retail sales, precluded an extensive overlapping of activities. Whereas the SDDA strove to promote the economic recovery of downtown through the promotion of retail sales, San Diegans, Inc., die so by spurring the construction of new buildings. The new civic group adopted the approach that real economic growth for the downtown business district was rooted in Centre City’s ability to compete in a future market rather than to solely promote short-term, high retail sales.29

In addition to its long-range vision, San Diegans, Inc., decided not to treat the downtown core as an independent, self-sufficient unit. On paper, the territory SDI had set out for itself consisted of approximately 1,400 acres bound by Laurel Street on the north, Interstate Freeway 5 on the east, the bay on the west and Commercial Street on the south.30 In practice, however, the group strove to rebuild Centre City by first establishing the center’s relation as a business district to the larger metropolitan framework of the city. Although the group’s primary interest focused on San Diego’s core area, the organization was “keenly aware” that it could not “be disinterested in the problems and future of the rest of the San Diego area.”31 The civic group held a strong conviction that the redevelopment of the downtown business district benefited Centre City while simultaneously boosting the economy of the whole city.32 In a letter addressed to the city council, San Diegans, Inc., argued that the “economic health of the entire community … rested upon an alive, vigorous, aggressive core area in the heart of the city.”33

Having thus announced its commitment to both city and Centre City, San Diegans, Inc., began to sponsor studies of urban renewal projects. SDI invited local business and civic leaders to attend arranged tours of metropolitan areas for the purpose of discussing downtown redevelopment projects in an informal setting. These conferences, sponsored in places as remote as Mexico City and as near as Sacramento, familiarized San Diego leaders with other urban renewal programs.34 The San Diego delegation met with the guest city’s leaders and redevelopment interests to learn the positive and negative aspects of the guest city’s program as well as its impact on that city. Through the careful observation of the redevelopment methods used by other cities the civic group gained invaluable understanding from which it was able to rechart the direction of San Diego’s downtown renewal program toward higher aesthetic and functional standards.35 Backed by the insight gained through these conferences, San Diegans, Inc., perfected a three stage program designed to halt the physical and economic deterioration of the downtown area: (1), the preparation of an economic study to aid the city council develop a General Plan; (2), the formulation of a comprehensive Master Plan for downtown San Diego; and (3), the implementation of the General Plan.36

In the first stage SDI commissioned the Western Real Estate Research Corporation to conduct a study on downtown San Diego that would engineer an orderly community development plan.37 The study enabled San Diegans, Inc., to inject a clear direction to a city planning that had remained, since the renowed city architect John Nolen described it in 1908, “not thoughtful, but on the contrary, ignorant and wasteful.”38 Rear Admiral C. Hartman, SDI’s Executive Vice President from 1961 to 1969, succinctly expressed the group’s reason for emphasizing planning when he commented that “to envision the growth of this city without planning seems to be very shortsighted”39 The survey outlined the problems of downtown San Diego and proposed six solutions.40 The economic study predicted a “substantial loss in retail volume” due to suburban shopping centers that could be curbed by a planned downtown improvement program.41 The study recommended the construction of apartment units, hotel and office space, a convention center, and a residential area in Centre City. The plan suggested further that the city recruit the regional offices of large companies to the downtown core.42 The plan affected the city profoundly and was compared with the Nolen Plan of 1908 with the exception that it was “being translated into action.”43

As soon as San Diegans, Inc., received the economic study it proceeded to give it to the city and to lobby that it be used as the foundation for the creation of a General Plan. On April 7, 1960 SDI presented the city council with the six-month, $35,000 survey.44 After having submitted the economic study to the city, the organization induced the council to undertake the drawing up of a Central San Diego General Plan to include an analysis of the estimated “growth needs” San Diego would have in 1975.45 The organization’s efforts paid off as the city council moved on April 14, 1960 to appropriate $61,391 for the development of a Master Plan for central San Diego.46 Eight months later the city Planning Department unveiled a scale model of Centre City representing a detailed conception of a redeveloped downtown.47 The pivotal point in planning for the accommodation of the city’s future growth was the construction of a Community Concourse composed of a convention hall, a city hall and a performing arts center. The city Planning Department designed the Concourse as a central point of activity attracting further downtown construction. Toward this and other redevelopment projects the city council approved the purchase of four blocks of downtown property.48 The success of San Diegans, Inc., in having followed through on the first two of its three downtown redevelopment objectives gave its president, Ewart W. Goodwin, much to be excited about. At the organization’s 1961 annual meeting, Goodwin predicted that “San Diego will undertake more significant construction, will undergo more important growth, than has been accomplished in the last half-century.”49 However, the probability of private developers investing in Centre City hinged upon the construction of the Community Concourse. Thus SDI channeled its efforts to ensure that the city follow through with its plans to construct the Concourse.

In 1962 San Diegans, Inc., redeemed the city council from having to renounce its obligation to construct the Community Concourse by suggesting creative financing alternatives and providing prompt financial aid. Initially the politically conservative city councilmembers had chosen to approach the voters for the necessary funds. In 1962 the city’s bond issues to cover the construction of the performing arts theater and convention hall failed ratification by the San Diego electorate.50 The city council exacerbated the financial problem caused by San Diego voters’ unwillingness to finance growth through bond issues when it refused to use federal funds for downtown redevelopment. To pay for the center SDI had encouraged the city’s elected officials to activate the Redevelopment Agency and seek federal funds.51 The council rejected the solution proposed by SDI because it feared federal assistance meant a tremendous amount of red tape that would have led to delays and imposed” restrictions on how money could be spent.”52 They would consider federal money only as a last alternative.53 To circumvent the voters and remain free from federal regulations, San Diegans, Inc., suggested the city borrow from its employee’s pension fund.54 The city acted upon SDI’s recommendation but fell short of raising the needed capital by $1.6 million.55 The city’s lack of sufficient financial resources to undertake the construction of the Community Concourse led the council to consider the cancellation of the whole project. Reluctant to see the council abandon a project that had taken painstaking effort in producing, San Diegans, Inc., asked for and received a ninety day respite to come up with the $1.6 million.56 The civic group then formed a fund-raising committee headed by Guilford Whitney, President of Whitney and Co., and collected the difference.57 The organization gave the money raised as an outright gift to the city on a five-year pledge basis.58 The donations permitted the council to announce the construction of the concourse and propelled the rehabilitation of downtown.

The construction of the Community Concourse acted as the catalyst to millions of dollars worth of downtown construction projects.59 Shortly after city officials made known to the public its intention to build the Concourse, private developers disclosed their willingness to undertake the construction of several new buildings at a cost of $38 million to replace the old structures then valued at nearly $3 million. Economic analysts forecasted that the proposed developments would add $600,000 to the city treasury in tax revenues.60 By 1963 the twenty-story Home Federal Savings and Loan Association building had been erected in the San Diego business district. Two additional skyscrapers, both higher than the Home Federal building were under construction.61 Alongside these commercial buildings San Diegans, Inc., planned the creation of a downtown residential community that would provide downtown retail and entertainment facilities with an “evening and weekend clientele.”62 These plans for a residential area in Centre City, however, did not materialize until the early 1980s. Nevertheless, San Diegans, Inc., continued to explore new approaches and to consider the economic well-being of the entire city rather than concentrating solely on Centre City’s commercial needs.

The vision and commitment of San Diegans, Inc., to the needs of both downtown residents and businessmen, coupled with its cooperation with city officials, earned the organization and the city much deserved praise. The unique redevelopment program SDI initiated gained for San Diego the designation of being” one of the most far-sighted cities in the nation.”63 In 1963 the National Municipal League acknowledged the quality and scope of Sand Diego’s urban renewal program by presenting the city with the title of “All American City.”64 SDI had submitted the winning entry for the award. Mayor Curran (1963-1971) recognized the group’s significant contribution to the city when he called San Diegans, Inc., the “stimulus that has created downtown San Diego.”65 Mayor Pete Wilson (1971-82) echoed Curran’s sentiments when he described the group as having motivated and assisted Mayor Charles C. Dail (1955-1963), Mayor Curran and himself to “change the face of downtown” and conferred it the honor of going down in history as the “motivating force behind much of the city’s vitality.”66 The group had succeeded in initiating a workable solution to the problem of downtown decay that had been enfeebling the city’s downtown economy for over twenty years.

In just four years, from the time of its inception in 1959 to the time San Diego won the All-American City Award, San Diegans, Inc., had become the stimulus that sparked the recovery of Centre City. San Diegans, Inc., had detached itself from the San Diego Downtown Association because the latter’s organizational structure prohibited it from formulating and employing measures aggressive enough to control the severe problems caused by urban sprawl. The civic action group quickly exerted an impelling effect on the economic map of San Diego and on the vitality of Centre City through its members’ willingness to commit freely of their time and business expertise to actualize their vision of a prosperous downtown with a combination of successful fund-raising efforts and skillful planning. The organization’s small membership, determination to raise needed money and ability to mold an effective liaison between business leaders and city officials made it a tremendous force in San Diego. Had San Diegans, Inc., not stepped in to initiate the revitalization of downtown San Diego, the skyline of America’s finest city might look entirely different today. In just four years SDI had become a synonym to downtown development and the story of San Diego’s Centre City had become and continues to be, inexorably interwoven with that of San Diegans, Inc.


1. Centre City is bound by Grape street, Interstate Freeway 5 to the north and east, Beardsley Street to the south and the San Diego Bay to the west. San Diego Planning Department, Governmental Facilities: Centre City, (San Diego: City of San Diego, 1961), 1.

2. Ron Oliver, interview by author, November 1, 1988 at the office of the Central City Association of San Diego, San Diego, notes in possession of author. During the interview Oliver also explained that the name of the San Diego Downtown Association was changed in the early 1970s to the Central City Association of San Diego because of the negative connotations of deterioration, decay and crime carried by the term “downtown.”

3. The General Plan, also referred to in this essay as the Master Plan, is a comprehenive, long-term public document that provides standards to guide the physical development of a city. The General Plan is ususally prepared by the city’s Planning Department with substantial assistance and imput from ad hoc advisory committees and the civic, industrial and commercial interests of the city. The document becomes official following its adoption by the City Council and ratification by the voters. General Plan Advisory Committee of San Diego, Progress Guide and General Plan for the City of San Diego, (San Diegp: City of San Diego, 1967), 3-7.

4. Roy Potter, interview by author, November 3, 1988, San Diego, notes in possession of author.

5. Richard F. Pourade, the History of San Diego, Vol. 6, The Rising Tide (San Diego: Union-Tribune Publishing Co., 1967), 75.

6. Jacques Gordon, Horton Plaza, San Diego: A Case Study of Public-Private Development, 2 vols. (Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1985), 1:12, 17.

7. City of San Diego, Planning Department, Population: Trends and Projections for the San Diego Metropolitan Area (San Diego: City of San Diego, 1958), Table XI.

8. Homer Hoyt Associates, Economic Survey of the San Diego Downtown Area (Washington D.C.: Homer Hoyt Associates, 1958), Table IX. Located in Folder 2, Box 5 of 44, San Diegans, Inc. Collection, Institute for Public and Community History, Love Library, San Diego State University.

9. Homer Hoyt Associates, Economic Survey, Table VI.

10. San Diego Union, January 4, 1972, 1(B).

11. Richard F Pourade, The History of San Diego, Vol. 7, City of the Dream, (San Diego: Copley Books, 1977), 196.

12. Mayor Frank Curran of San Diego, interview by author, 1 November 1988, Pacific Beach, tape recording in possession of author.

13. San Diego Union, November 10, 1965,22.

14. Ibid.

15. Oliver, interview. The San Diego Downtown Association was an offshoot of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce ad hoc committee.

16. Ibid.

17. San Diego Union, October 13, 1957, 6(G).

18. Joseph E. Jessop Sr., “History of San Diegans, Inc., 1975,” p.1, manuscript located at the office of San Diegans, Inc., San Diego.

19. Joseph E. Jessop Sr., interview by author, October 25, 1988, San Diego, tape recording in possession of author.

20. San Diego Union, September 25, 1953, 3(X).

21. Ironically, some of the principal landowners made decisions that conflicted with their desire to increase the equity of their downtown property when they moved business away from Centre City. George Scott started the College Grove Centre and Arthur Martson the Grossmont Shopping Center.

22. Currran interview.

23. Because the separation was a friendly one rising out of differing priorities among downtown interests, SDI members retained membership in the SDDA and even served on the latter’s Board of Directors.

24. Jessop, “History,” 1.

25. Ibid.

26. Jessop, “History,” 2.

27. A Commemorative plaque located at the office of San Diegans, Inc., lists the seventeen founders of SDI as being: Walter Ames, Anderson Borthwick, James Copley, Hiram, G. Dillin, Philip L. Gildred, Morley H. Golden, Ewart W. Goodwin, E.T. Guymon Jr., Edward C. Hall, Samuel W. Hamill, Graden Hoffman, Joseph E. Jessop Sr., Hamilton Marston, George A. Sears, Thomas Scripps Sr., A.J. Sutherland, Guilford H. Whitney.

28. Potter interview. In the course of the interview Potter explained that in recent years, due to changes in the economic fabric of the city, SDI has extended its membership to include major tenants and chief executive officers whose primary residence and allegiance are not in San Diego. Moreover, the limitation of fifty members has been lifted. Today SDI can boast of having nearly one hundred members.

29. Pourade, City of Dream, 187.

30. SDI did not confine itself to this area and actively encouraged development outside of it. The possibility of expanding SDI’s territorial boundaries to include the whole city is currently being informally discussed by some SDI members.

31. San Diego Union, May 19, 1968, 15.

32. SDI expected a developed and economically sound Centre City to expand the city’s employment base and, by broadening the assessed valuation of the downtown area’s concentrated tax base, increase the city’s collection of property taxes.

33. San Diego Union, May 30, 1961, 1(B).

34. Potter interview.

35. Jessop interview.

36. San Diego Union, April 8, 1960, 1.

37. Ibid.

38. San Diego Union, January 9, 1983, 4(B). For more background on planning in San Diego see Gregg Robert Hennessey, “City Planing, Progressivism, and the Development of San Diego, 1908-1926.” (Master Thesis, University of San Diego, 1977).

39. San Diego Union, November 2, 1967, 1.(C).

40. San Diego Union, April 8, 1960, 1.

41. San Diego Union, April 8, 1960, 8.

42. San Diego Union, April 15, 1960, 17.

43. San Diego Union, February 25, 1963, 1(B). The Nolen Plan of 1908 was San Diego’s first detailed report on the city’s planning conditions. The study urged the revision of the city’s existing street layout. Moreover, it recommended the construction of a civic center, a bay front and an interconnecting system of parks; Alice C. Sogo, “An Introduction of City Planning,” a paper prepared for Economics 199, (San Diego: San Diego State University’s Love Library, 1938), 42-51.

44. San Diego Union, April 8, 1960, 1.

45. Ibid.

46. San Diego Union, April 15, 1960, 17.

47. San Diego Union, December 17, 1960, 21.

48. San Diego Union, May 30, 1961, 1(B).

49. San Diego Union, January 25, 1961, 14

50. This was not the first failed attempt to finance public construction projects through bond issues.

51. The community Redevelopment Law of the state of California can be found in California Health and Safety code, section 33000. The law provides for the establishment of a Redevelopment Agency in the city council to rehabilitate a city’s blighted areas.

52. Gordon, Horton Plaza, 1:37.

53. San Diego Union February 6, 1966, 28.

54. Curran interview.

55. Ibid.

56. Ibid.

57. San Diego Union, March 29, 1963, 4.

58. San Diego Union, November 2, 1967, 1(C).

59. Curran interview; Jessop interview; Potter interview.

60. San Diego Union, January 16, 1962, 15.

61. Pourade, City of the Dream, 185.

62. Richard A. Parker, “Back to the City: The Middle-Income Housing Market in Centre City San Diego,” (Master thesis, University of San Diego, 1984), 4; Brooks, “Downtown Revitalized,” 1(B); and San Diego Union, June 20, 1962, November 17, 20, 1968, 1(B).

63. San Diego Union, April 16, 1963, 15.

64. San Diego Union, April 14, 1963, 1(B).

65. San Diego Union, January 23, 1968, 1(B).

66. San Diego Union, March 6, 1975, 3(B).

67. The list of SDI’s Executive Committee members from 1959 to 1963 was compiled mostly through newspapers articles. The list is incomplete because SDI’s Executive Vice President, Roy Potter, denied and author’s petition to read the organization’s minutes

THE PHOTOGRAPHS are from the San Diego History Center’s Title Insurance and Trust Collection.