25 for 25: Local Places We Love

Last week, in celebration of Studio E Architects‘ 25th anniversary, we continued “25 for 25” – a series of carefully-curated lists of twenty-five, sharing the things about San Diego that have made it a great place for us to work and call home over the last twenty-five years.  In the last installment, we covered twenty-five local buildings that inspire, surprise, and delight us as architects and San Diego residents.  Great buildings alone do not make a city great, however – equally important are the spaces in between buildings, the connections and features within these spaces… sometimes spaces without any buildings at all.  These spaces can be formal or casual, permanent or temporary, large or small – they are the spaces of encounter and the patches that make up the larger quilt of the region. We think of these as Places, and with this in mind, we present (in no particular order) “25 for 25: Local Places We Love”!

Balboa Park – Kevin starts us off:

The Children’s Pool, La Jolla – A magical seaside grotto – with or without seals. Walking out to the end of the sweeping breakwater during a storm is thrilling!     -John

Spruce Street Footbridge, Hillcrest/Mission Hills – Perched high above the canyon, this bridge is quintessentially San Diego. It speaks to our history, our unique landscape and to a way of living that is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago.     -Eric

Cabrillo National Monument, Pt. Loma – Gavin chimes in:

La Jolla Cliffs, La Jolla Farms – The edge of the world; find a sheltered perch and watch the sun (or moon) set into the sea.     -Josh

SDG&E Park, Coronado – Get over the name and into this park! A tiny gem on the harbor side of the Island perfect for a romantic picnic for two.     -John

Mr. A’s roof deck, Banker’s Hill – Kacie gives us the scoop:

USS Midway Aircraft Carrier – Where else can non-military types stand on a deck of this size and enjoy this view?     -Gavin

Patio at the Prado Café, Balboa Park – Did somebody say Mojito?      -John

San Diego Ballpark District, East Village – Jorge exclaims:

Montevalle Park, Chula Vista – Maybe the best recreational park in the County. A restored waterway, a cool rustic planting palette, playgrounds, a dog park sports fields, a skate park and a design award winning Rec Center…if you can’t find something about this place to like – check your pulse.     -John

LIND Block, Little Italy – This is what perimeter block planning should be. The passage and park space interior to this block are what San Diego urbanism looks like. Sadly, not emulated by others.     -Eric

The North and South Promenade at Liberty Station (former NTC), San Diego – As noble and formal a space as you will find in the region, the arcades, fountains and lawns create a space worthy of a great Renaissance painter.      -John

Santee Drive-In, Santee – yours truly:

Star Park Circle, Coronado – Although several San Diego County communities were originally mapped with traffic circles or roundabouts (Vista, La Jolla) – nobody realized the full potential of this traffic calming device better than the City of Coronado. Fun to visit as a motorist or a pedestrian.      -John

Kensington Park, Kensington – A sweet neighborhood park provides moments of simple joy.     -Tilly

Presidio Park, Mission Hills- Eric’s praise:

Lawns along 6th Ave and Laurel, Banker’s Hill – This green space framed by trees on one side and tall urban condos on the other provide an open, safe area to play and relax – a sort of urban beach scene.      -Tilly

Sunny Jim’s Cave, La Jolla – John leads the way down the plank:

Plaza de Panama and Plaza de California, Balboa Park – This is a vote for the yet to be. Once completed (regardless of how one feels about the bypass bridge), this will be San Diego’s civic living room and finally worthy of Bertram Goodhue’s brilliant planning.     -Eric

Fern Street tree canopy (Cedar to Grape), South Park – An intimately-scaled street sheltered by a canopy of jacaranda and cassia exelsa acts as a threshold, heralding arrival into the heart of South Park.      -Josh

Farmer’s market in the San Diego DMV parking lot, Hillcrest – Tilly says:

Law Street Beach, Pacific Beach – A big wide expanse of sand that invites all kinds of people.     -Eric

Santee Lakes, Santee – This park has something for everyone! Whether you want to go fishing, have a picnic, play at the spraypark, or just get outside for some exercise, this is a place to check out. It even has a doggie trail and a RV park. Don’t forget to check out the cabins on the lake for an overnight stay!     -Kacie

Coronado Dog Beach, Coronado – Maxine throws a bone to our canine friends:

What are your thoughts?  Share your favorite places in the comments section below or join in the conversation on our Facebook page, and stay tuned to this space for more of our San Diego faves in the next installment of “25 for 25″!

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3 Responses to 25 for 25: Local Places We Love

  1. Dan Glading says:

    Love it! Only you guys could make me miss that place so much. =)

  2. Pingback: 25 for 25: Everyday Objects We Love | THRESHOLD

  3. Pingback: Scenes from Studio E Architects’ 25th Anniversary Party | THRESHOLD

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