UH Library Celebrates 50 Groovy Years

Oct 29 Festivities to Include Modern Architecture Lecture & Book Sale

University Heights Library
50TH Anniversary Celebration
October 29, 10 am -1pm
4193 Park Blvd, 92103
Free Admission

We’ve been busy sprucing up the place for the big event. If you’ve passed by recently, you couldn’t help but notice how fresh and new the building looks. That’s all thanks to a new coat of paint in a color palette more sympathetic to the building’s original design, removing added ornamentation, and restoring the original brushed aluminum lettering to the front and back of the building.

The free event, open to the public, is set for Saturday, October 29th, from 10am to 1 pm. The UH Friends, joined by guests such as Third District Councilmember Todd Gloria, Third District Councilmember elect Chris Ward and others, will offer a salute to this vital community resource. The morning’s festivities will also include a lecture on Mid-Century Modern architecture, a reception, followed by a special book sale of architecture, art and design books you won’t want to miss.

A lecture by Keith York of Modern San Diego will be followed by a conversation with Hal Sadler, the noted San Diego Modernist architect and founding partner of Tucker Sadler & Bennett (now Tucker Sadler Architects), the award winning San Diego architectural firm. His work inspired the current post & beam style building with its open floor plan, exposed concrete block, steel columns and walls of glass. It replaced the earlier Spanish colonial revival style library, using the same foundation and foot print, but doubling the floor space with room for two bookmobiles on the lower level.

York will speak on the evolution of 20th century architecture in San Diego, the definition of San Diego Modernism and how those principals developed. He will also discuss Mr. Sadler’s work with the architect himself. Sadler is a graduate of Arizona State University’s School of Architecture, and obtained a master’s degree from USC. His first job out of school was for the Los Angeles-based architecture firm Jones and Emmons, under the influence of his mentor, A. Quincy Jones. Mr. Sadler’s diverse and prolific career has spanned nearly 60 years and not only defines an era, but confirms that a clear personal vison explored through modernist design practice can effectively influence public culture.

After the talk, the Friends will offer an impressive collection of gently used architecture and design books for this special sale. Proceeds will go to support the ongoing restoration efforts of our branch library. The current paint project, completed in mid- September, was a journey, an education, and a bit of a mystery for everyone involved. We learned a great deal about the building and how to honor its design with equal parts tenacity and compromise. Even the city electricians weighed in on the paint colors. They were upgrading the air conditioning and wiring during the painting, and, after seeing the transformation, apologized for the ugly diagonal conduits and exposed wiring added over the years in the middle of the south façade; they now plan to reroute the wiring discreetly alongside the drain pipes.

We would like to thank San Diego Public Library Director Misty Jones, Councilmember Todd Gloria and his aide Adriana Martinez for all their effort in getting our library painted, and their ongoing efforts to upgrade and maintain our mid-century gem. It is a shining example of how preservation can work for a community.