By Jim Bliesner
An excerpt from I-15 in City Heights: How a Freeway that Divided the Community Became an Urban Monument to Citizen Activism:
Something happened to create all of those [architectural developments bordering the I-15 freeway]. They didn’t just show up fully blown from an engineer’s sketch pad. It was the assertive voice of the people of City Heights that modified the design over a period of at least twenty years. The covers, in some people’s eyes, stand as an urban monument to citizen activism, focused on things larger than anything they might ever work on for their whole lives.
Each of those design details was pushed for by City Heights residents through many, many meetings and appearances at government hearings. There are people who, over twenty years, took on each of those details and pushed for them to be part of the design. They own them and walk around with the personal satisfaction of having caused a significant change in their environment and in the freeway experience in their neighborhood.
It seems like they should be memorialized somehow, with a little plaque, a mural, a string of flashing lights, a monument, some commemorative sculpture, a story board of some kind.
All photos by Jim Bliesner.
Frank Gormlie says
Jim B – great photos – wow! trees on freeway overpasses!
Frances O'Neill Zimmerman says
Great stuff. People working together on projects in which they share a common interest accomplish wonderful things. I still remember meeting Anna Daniels’ jewelry purveyor Ms. Markarian at one of your community design charettes.
Nice job, Jimmy, then and now.
Anna Daniels says
All of these images are enhancements or mitigation to the freeway construction. They were hard fought, hard won and don’t exist anywhere else in the city. They almost didn’t exist here in City Heights. Thanks Jim.
Mister Groucho says
I appreciate your well composed and very high resolution jpegs.
I live in University Heights.
Coming from Lemon Grove, I always detour onto I-15 North from the 805 or 94 to Adams Avenue because of I-15’s “beauty” .
I could take 805 all the way to El Cajon Boulevard. However, I like going under those bridges, viewing the architectural styling along the way.
It’s pleasing to me, somehow.
Pete Evaristo says
The official name of the Normal Heights Park is Ward Canyon Neighborhood Park. It took another heroic effort by community members to change the name from 39th Street Park and to get a decent looking entryway sign.