Architectural historian Diane Kane, Ph.D., a member of La Jolla Historical Society, told park planners efforts to have Children’s Pool declared historical are progressing.
Kane and associates are working on creating a Children’s Pool historic district. They will be submitting a formal proposal to the State Office of Historic Preservation that reviews National Register nominations at its quarterly meetings, before submitting them to Washington, D.C. for final review.
For years, Children’s Pool has been a battleground over the existing harbor seal rookery there, and local beach-access advocates noting the pool was created by Ellen Browning Scripps exclusively as a wading area for children.
Kane told LJPB the proposed Children’s Pool Historic District will be evaluated for its association with engineer Hiram Newton Savage and architect William Templeton Johnson for its innovative engineering and site-specific architecture, influenced by both the Beaux Arts tradition and its organic design. The property will be nominated at the local level of significance for the time period 1920-1931.
Kane said only elements present from that time period that have “integrity,” will be considered contributors to the historical district. She added the historical designation process entails establishing boundaries “to include elements associated with the pool’s original setting, design and construction.”
“Everything from the curb on Prospect Street out to the break wall is part of this project,” said Kane noting lots of other features in and around Children’s Pool, like the concrete walkways, have been altered disqualifying them from inclusion as “contributing” historical elements.
LJPB board member Jane Relden questioned whether the sandy beach at the pool should be considered a contributing feature to its historical nature, given that more sand is there now than what was originally intended when the pool was opened in the 1930s.
Longtime La Jolla parks planner Melinda Merryweather cited Kane for her work delineating the historical significance of Children’s Pool calling her efforts, “the biggest gift we could ever get. We’ve been talking about this for 30 years.”
Referring to a three-year effort launched recently by the city to update its parks master plan, Kane said, regarding Children’s Pool, “This project dovetails fortuitously with that. It must be protected.”
In other action:
• Ken Hunrichs noted he was trying to expedite removal of a seal carcass more than a week old at Children’s Pool that he said has been delayed due to the marine mammal’s protected status under federal law. He pointed out the law allows for the “removal and abatement of nuisance animals adding, “Dead animals on the beach qualifies.”
The community parks board unanimously approved the San Diego Sports Medicine Foundation/Taste at the Cove this August and the Challenged Athlete’s Foundation’s 25th annual triathlon on Oct. 21. The disabled fundraiser includes a full triathlon involving a one-mile swim, a 44-mile bike ride and a 10-mile run.
• Board member Janet Stratford Collins clued the parks board in on the latest developments with getting “branded” bicycle racks designed especially for La Jolla.