By Anna Daniels
Doug Porter recently wrote about the after hours demolition of one of San Diego’s two remaining historic Saltbox houses. The Bernie Michels-Thom Carey house at the corner of Florida Street and El Cajon Blvd was bulldozed by contractors working for developer HG Fenton this past Friday, May 29.
San Diego 6News has reported that the demolition permit may have been issued in error and that the city’s Development Services Department is conducting a “forensic review.” If that is the case, it is one helluva oops. A dozen red roses and a Hallmark card won’t put humpty dumpty back together again.
Porter wrote “The building in question is considered significant because it includes the space where Bernie Michels and other activists in the early 1970s developed and wrote the initial planning and incorporation documents for the LGBTQ Center for Social Services, now known as The Center.”
The after hour demolition is hardly a one off. SDFP reader Rick left a comment that the Kentucky Fried Chicken site in North Park was an illegal rebuild (2007) as was the Jack in the Box (2011). Dorian Hargrove at The Reader reported that “In August of 2013 Judge Timothy Taylor ruled that the City looked the other way while retailer Walmart converted a Sherman Heights warehouse, once a neighborhood farmer’s market, into a 42,000 square-foot retail store.”
There are a few of us still kicking around who can remember the midnight demolition of the then Jack Murphy Stadium in 1997 which circumvented a referendum on the proposed expansion. This is a great time to re-read Matt Potter’s 2002 article The Scandal that is the Stadium.