Photograph of a two story tan house with gardens and a palm tree.


The La Jolla Landmark Group: Honoring La Jolla’s Architectural Legacy

The Landmark Group consists of owners of historically designated properties who support the La Jolla Historical Society’s efforts to preserve our architectural heritage.  The Landmark Steering Committee maintains a network of these homeowners, assists prospective members in securing historical designation, plans events for La Jolla Landmark Week, and sponsors the annual Jewel Award to recognize La Jollans for excellence in restoring and preserving their homes.

As of 2020, the City of San Diego Historic Resource Board has designated over 150 La Jolla Landmarks.  An overview with photographs of the landmarks is provided here.

2022 Jewel Award and Landmark Week Events

2022 Jewel Award winners will be announced and celebrated with a series of special events in March. See details below and register to join us.

Lecture: La Jolla Cottages: Dinosaurs or Diamonds in the Rough?

Did you know that La Jolla’s first cottages each had a name? These structures were built of wood as holiday or permanent homes for those who purchased lots in La Jolla’s first subdivisions such as the 1887 La Jolla Park. Many of the remaining cottages are over 100 years old – The Centenarian Cottages. This lecture/discussion will include a history of the first cottages presented by historian Carol Olten and architect Matthew Welsh.

This lecture will take place in LJHS's Balmer Classroom at 780 Prospect Street. Capacity for the in-person lecture is limited to the first 25 registrants. All attendees may access the lecture virtually and will be provided with a Zoom meeting link.

Register through Eventbrite.

Walking or Driving Tour: La Jolla's Cottage Centenarians

Enjoy a walk or drive to view La Jolla’s Cottage Centenarians. Featured cottages are presented in the Society’s driving tour brochure and marked in their front yards with historical information to help you enjoy an informative self-guided walking tour.

Tour maps and information are available at the flagpole in the Center of Park Row.

Register through Eventbrite.

The Steps to Historic Designation

The Landmark Steering Committee developed a Resource to Assist La Jolla Homeowners with Historic Designation. You can download a copy of this resource here.

The Benefits to Historic Designation

PROPERTY VALUE. Property values can increase substantially in neighborhoods where historical homes are purchased, restored and maintained. Research has generally shown that resale values are increased, particularly in La Jolla, where the sale price becomes the tax basis if the home is not historically designated. Not only does your home gain additional value, so do those within 300 feet of your property. This is because designation stabilizes neighborhoods and provides certainty about future development.

HISTORICAL RECORD. The benefits to the community are great. You are preserving a unique, one of a kind property which is important to the history of your community. The completed Application for Historic Designation provides a detailed historic record of your property, an invaluable resource for posterity.

FINANCIAL BENEFIT. If your home qualifies for the Mills Act you will benefit with a property tax reduction with savings that can vary from 20% to 70% based on the County Tax Assessor's property valuations in accordance with the to state law formula. The amount depends on your property’s location size and comparable rents in the area. The value continues to be assessed by the County Tax Assessor's Office using a formula and procedures contained in state law.

ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFIT. It takes energy to construct a new building—it saves energy to preserve an old one.  When an old building is demolished, all the energy that went into constructing that building is wasted, and more energy is expended transporting the tons of rubble to the landfill.  Then energy is expended to extract and transport materials to construct a new building.  It takes decades for new buildings to recover the carbon that was expended in their construction.  Reuse is almost always better for the environment than building new.

Logo for the La Jolla Historical Society's Jewel Award. Design has circle of green leaves and purple wisteria blossoms. Title is in the center in purple.

The Jewel Award

The Annual Jewel Award recognizes outstanding efforts of homeowners who preserve and restore, rather than replace a historic home, contributing to La Jolla’s rich architectural environment. The Landmark Steering Committee brings forward nominations for the award which are voted upon by the Historical Society Board of Directors.

The criteria for selecting award winners are roughly based upon the National Park Service, Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

The Restoration Award recognizes the efforts of the owners to accurately depict the form, features, and character of a property as it appeared at a particular period of time by means of the removal of features from other periods in its history and reconstruction of missing features from the restoration period. Work focuses upon the ongoing maintenance and repair of historic materials and features. Minor new exterior additions which do not change the visual character of the historic structure as viewed from the street are permitted. 

The Rehabilitation Award recognizes a process of making possible a compatible use for a property through repair, alterations, and additions while preserving those portions or features which convey its basic historical, cultural, or architectural character. The Rehabilitation Award acknowledges the need to alter or add to a historic building, or modernize, to meet continuing or new uses, while retaining the building’s basic historic character.

Nomination Deadline: January 15, 2022

Jewel Award Winners 2021

Award for Restoration, 7154 Olivetas, "Florence Palmer Spec House #2," Ben Reineman and Amy Waterhouse.

Photograph of white house with brown trim surrounded by a fence with hedge and two large trees.

Award for Rehabilitation, 7766 Hillside Drive, Linda Sherman and Jim Lantry.

Photograph of a cream colored two story house with red tile roof. Windows have multiple window panes. Some light shrubbery and trees in front.

Jewel Award Winners 2020

Award for Historic Preservation: Adriana Diakiw and Hal Meltzer, for their 2018-2019 restoration of 360 Fern Glen.

Photograph of tan house and garage with brown trim, surrounded with brick wall and landscaping. Roof line is high pitched.

Award for Historic Rehabilitation: Michelle and Brett Lanuti for their 2017 rehabilitation of 1419 Virginia Way.

Photograph of a two story tan house with gardens and a palm tree.