Till O&O!

October 26, 2017
Reception & Ceremony
The US Grant
Tickets Available Now!



El Cajon Blvd. has the potential to once again be placed on the map as a vibrant, diverse, transit oriented shopping district within an urban corridor adjacent to downtown San Diego.  Starbucks on the other hand took an opportunistic approach, with complete disregard for the neighborhood.  They built strictly the bare minimum and went down a path that allowed them to skirt the neighborhood community group oversight entirely.  This is an opportunity lost for the community on a prominent corner that should have density, street activation, a transit oriented development and a connection to it’s context.  Instead, the architecture responds best to the drive-thru, the landscape is sparse or almost non-existent.  In fact, one street existing street tree was removed on the corner to open up the view to a dismal sign.  They didn’t even take the time to remove the planter the tree was originally in, leaving a large gaping dirt only planter at the sites primary corner.  The onion should be given for urban planning, architecture, and landscape architecture.


  • Onion Nominee

  • Project Address:

    2644 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego

    Project Owner/Developer:



  • Ekaterina Kohlwes

    It would be nice to see more photos to get the context of this building and the neighborhood.

  • Philip Gill

    A well deserved onion!

  • Concerned Vista Citizen

    You should see the one they built on Civic Center Drive in Vista. UGLY. I know they went to the planning department there, but the City only cares about knew, not about quality or appropriate fit. Our Planning Commission needs new people on it. Some of them are unqualified to provide any sort of architectural comment on design, often stripping quality for one look. The Starbucks there is at the gateway to our City Hall/Civic Center. No one likes it.

  • Mark Viguri

    This was here last year how boring. Sorry there is nothing wrong with a Starbucks facing the street. Where’s the Onion part? Based on this ALL retail strip malls fast food would qualify

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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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