October 1, 2015
San Diego Museum of Art
Award Ceremony
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Historic Preservation

Euclid Tower

Originally constructed in 1932 as part of a drive-in soda fountain, the Art Deco Euclid Tower had become City Heights’ most regognizable landmark. A 1995 community driven public art project added multicultural colors and designs, but the 80-foot tall tower was structurally unsound and much to the community’s dismay, city inspectors ordered it torn down in 1999. The jury felt that bringing the tower back was important both historically and culturally for the City Heights Community.

The Euclid Tower is one of the most visible structures within the community of City Heights. The ornamental Tower stands 80 feet tall and sits atop a two-story commercial structure that was originally built in 1932 as a drive-in soda fountain. The Tower, along with the Egyptian Garage and Silverado Ballroom marked the end of the streetcar line along University and Euclid Avenues. The structures were built in an effort to provide employment during the Great Depression. The original white facade was replaced with bright colors and geometric designs to reflect the ethnic diversity of City Heights, as part of a community driven public art project in 1995. In 1999, the Tower section began leaning dangerously and was torn down for safety reasons. Restoration of the Tower was of particular importance to the community, who believed it would positively affect the neighborhood character.

When the Redevelopment Agency became involved in the restoration of the Tower, a joint public meeting of the City Heights Redevelopment Project Area Committee and the City Heights Planning Area Committee was convened to discuss the façade of the Tower. Community members recommended restoring the Tower with the colorful public art facade. In May 2007, the Redevelopment Agency approved funding for the Tower restoration.

Stanford Sign & Awning completed the Tower restoration in March 2009 based on the design by Richard Bundy of Architects Richard Bundy & David Thompson. The restored Tower is constructed of lightweight aluminum cladding on steel I-beams—which are lighter than the original materials—ensuring a long life for the new Tower structure. The restored Tower has become a focal point within the City Heights community and has renewed interest in the historic rehabilitation of the adjacent Silverado Ballroom and Egyptian Garage.

  • Project Awarded

    Orchid Nominee

  • Project Address:

    4757 University Ave. at Euclid Avenue

    Project Owner/Developer:

    Thai Duc Thanh and Trieu Huong

    Owner Contact Name/Email:

    No e-mail, Phone 619-410-1335 (no English, Vietnamese only)

    Project Architect/Designer:

    Architects Bundy Thompson

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P.O. Box 122228
San Diego, CA 92112-2228
Federal Tax ID: 95-3513927

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Orchids & Onions is an educational and fundraising program of the San Diego Architectural Foundation, a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization dedicated to education and the promotion of outstanding architecture, planning and urban design throughout the San Diego region.

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