This year’s recipient of the coveted Preservation Project of the Year 2020 was awarded to contractor Neil Gardis of ‘Ohana Industries, Ltd., and his team of three — Nick Bliler, Ryan Strack, and Kevin Goodman of San Diego — for the restoration of Point Loma Lighthouse.
Point Loma’s operational lighthouse stood nearly derelict with a three-degree tilt, rust jacking, and deterioration for the past 20 or more years. The Coast Guard (USCG) admits it is not in the business of restoring lighthouses but to keep a light on in the tower to mark dangers along the waterway.
It was a welcomed surprise when the USCG Finance Office, Oakland, selected San Diego’s lighthouse for restoration because of its historical significance. (Incidentally, the work was done on the lower lighthouse, not the Old Point Loma Lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument.)
Other SOHO recipients include: for Adaptive Reuse to Donia Yuhong Ackad for work on the Oceanside Daily Blade-Tribune Building. To Dr. Adriana Diakiw and Dr. Hal Meltzer, the Gift to Street Residential Restoration of the Florence Palmer House. To Sarai Johnson, the Preservation Leadership honor. For Gifts to Street Commercial Restoration of the John Sinks House and the Meade House went to Dan Floit.
Parish Rye earned Educational Stewardship for the Presidio Park Plant Survey. Finally, Bruce Semelsberger, the Golden Spike Stewardship award for efforts in the Southwest Railway Library. For detailed information on these honors, visit SOHOsandiego.org.
Sadly, the usual and beautiful historic-Marston-House garden celebration could not take place this year. Instead, SOHO held a virtual awards ceremony in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.