Uptown Historical, Architectural and Cultural Landscape Reconnaissance Survey


Uptown, San Diego, California

City of San Diego 
Completion: March 2007

IS Architecture was the lead Consultant Architect for Historic Preservation responsible for surveying over 11,000 potential resources at the reconnaissance level. Four Proposed Thematic Historic Districts were identified, as well as 19 Proposed Geographic Historic Districts.

The Survey presents specific ways to maintain, integrate, and enhance the positive character of the Uptown area, with special consideration towards its built environment and cultural landscape. Since no Historic Preservation Plan exists, the survey can be used to define categories of historic resources, and to influence the implementation of individual designations and historic districts in order to protect resources.

The survey was performed at the reconnaissance level in order to effectively identify and evaluate a large number of resources.  A reconnaissance survey can be considered as a “broad-brush look at a study area to indicate what is potentially historical, what is not historical, and what needs additional study to make a determination of historical significance. Reconnaissance surveys, like the Uptown Survey, are often nicknamed “windshield surveys,” since this term aptly conveys the deliberate limitation of information recorded and collected about each property (i.e. through an automobile).

On initial review, a little fewer than half of the resources (5,130) retained historic integrity and were built prior to 1961, the cut-off date for the survey. At the outset, these resources were categorized as potential contributing historic resources within a potential historic district. The remaining 5,974 properties either lacked historic integrity or were built after 1961. They were considered non-contributing resources to a potential historic district and were eliminated from further review.