History and Historic Preservation in San Diego Since 1945

History and Historic Preservation in San Diego Since 1945

Civic Identity in America's Finest City

Book - 2011
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Civic identity in San Diego emerged first from a complex set of Native, Spanish and Mexican traditions. However, after 1850 Americans from the East coast and Midwest arrived and brought with them to San Diego a strong sense of how to both build and manage towns. These regional influences from other parts of the country carried over into the early twentieth century, and began to reshape civic identity and the first historic preservation movements in San Diego. This dissertation establishes San Diego's place in the scholarly literature of the urban West and historic preservation. After a brief background of San Diego history, this study begins with an explanation of the dual efforts at work in San Diego after 1945 to build for the future while preserving the past. Next, this study examines the partnerships formed and conflicts between promoters for development and advocates of preservation. The progression of historic preservation efforts in San Diego since WWII includes missed opportunities, lapses in historic authenticity, and divisions about what buildings or stories to preserve. This study describes how conflicts were resolved and explains the impact of those outcomes on historic preservation and authenticity. San Diego's history has much in common with many cities in the American West, but the historic narrative of San Diego also differs from other Western cities in several compelling ways. First, San Diego bears distinction as the oldest city in California and one of the oldest cities in the West. Second, historic preservation in San Diego has yet to be fully explored by scholars. Third, some of preservation conflicts explored in this study reveal distinct differences from preservation debates in other urban areas. Using government, organizational, and archival records, secondary sources, interviews, and personal observation, this dissertation explains how historic preservation in San Diego became an integral part of city planning, an expectation of residents and visitors, and a key feature of the city`s civic identity. This study contributes to Western scholarship by bringing San Diego into the literature of historic preservation and the urban West.
Publisher: [Phoenix, AZ] : Judith Comer-Schultz, Arizona State University, published by UMI/ProQuest Dissertation Publishing, c2011.
Branch Call Number: 979.4985/COMER
Characteristics: xvi, 466 p. : ill., maps ; 22 cm.

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