Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008 | Sam Hodgson‘s photo of the resting Hotel San Diego sign is so sad. And what I am saddest about is the thrill so many of my friends had gossiping about the “blowing up” of the historic building. These were people who were historic preservation types, people who struggle to build community and who are usually sensitive to the way our city is built and how lasting decisions are made. But I watched the way the demo was planned in advance politically, and saw how even the most concerned citizens among us were hoodwinked into the spectacle of destruction. I did not see the building come down, but I did go by the crater a couple days afterwards, and I cried like I had not in a long time.
I cried because everybody was more into the explosion than the loss of such an icon. And I was sad no one wanted to restore the building to its original greatness — no, they all wanted to see it come down. The Hotel San Diego sat upon federal land, so in many ways there was no one to have petitioned in support of the structure except everybody, but there was nobody who cared, everyone wanted to bomb the building. I thought then that we destroy history when it threatens to teach us something we don’t want to learn, and I wept over the crater of this sensationalized bombing, wondering where the federal government might strike next. Rest in peace, Hotel San Diego.