Luscomb Building owner appeals historic designation

Owner takes concerns to San Diego City Council

SAN DIEGO - The owner of a San Diego building designated as a historic resource last year is appealing the decision.

The San Diego Historical Resource Board designated the Luscomb Building -- located at the southeastern end of Old Town on 1797 San Diego Avenue -- in April 2012.

The board said, "The building was designated as a 1927 Programmatic building with a castle motif … and is significant within that context."

Local archeologist Ronald May told 10News, "The building looks like a French Foreign Legion fort from the movie, 'Beau Geste.' … It's a landmark; an iconic landmark in the downtown area. Everybody can see it from Interstate 5 passing through the area."

However, the historic designation prevents the owner, 1769 Las Fuentes LLC, from changing the appearance or demolishing it. The firm, which also owns the Diamond Connection next door, declined an interview with 10News, citing delicate negotiations.

George Saadeh, the owner of Wurts Interiors, pulled no punches when it comes to his thoughts on the Luscomb Building.

"Oh, it's an eyesore, an absolute eyesore … and it affects the whole street right here," Saadeh said.

Saadeh told 10News he would love to see it renovated, but historians insist on restoration.

May said, "Whatever he wants to do inside is not the question. The issue is just keeping the parapet, which is iconic to the neighborhood."

Saadeh countered, "It's time to do something with it."

The owner, as well as the Save Our Heritage Organisation, went before the San Diego City Council this week to appeal the designation, but then asked for a 45-day delay to see if some kind of agreement can be reached.

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