May 2011 home page

  One of SOHO’s Top 10 Most Endangered Historical Sites
Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) Magazine


Funded by the Works Progress Administration, the WPA, the Del Mar Fairgrounds opened in 1936 and have been used for public gatherings and functions continually for over 70 years. Located at the mouth of the San Dieguito River at the Pacific Ocean, the grounds and racetrack setting is one of the most picturesque in the world. A recent $86 million wetlands restoration project helped revive and improve the pastoral nature of the 340-acre site.

However, Fairground executives want to inject a $300 million Las Vegas-style resort development onto the public lands. The buildings proposed include a four-story, 66-foot-high condominium building including an 86-foot tower; and a three-story, 56-foot-high health club with lighting elements 75 feet tall to illuminate rooftop parking lots and playing fields. Also proposed is the erection of new exhibit halls and demolition of existing buildings and the famous Don Diego mural. The Fairground executives have lost sight of their mandate to protect and preserve this historic resource. Continual master plans, which elevate profit motive over pastoral stewardship, are unacceptable for public assets.


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