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San Diego Giving Salk the Shaft?

We don't normally cover real estate and architecture all the way down south, but those wacky public officials down in San Diego just keep begging for attention. First, they welcome that black-ops training camps and threaten local eagles. Now we learn that the Salk Institute in La Jolla was just placed on the World Monuments Fund's 2008 Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites. That's right, the Salk Institute is on the same list as the Cultural Heritage Sites of Iraq, Sarajevo City Hall, and New Orleans.

It seems the San Diego Master Plan is the force threatening to undermine the Salk:

Areas of concern include a plan to subdivide the former city park property, given to the institute in 1962 for the purposes of “research and education,” into four parcels. The plan has also been criticized for proposing a fitness and day care center on the fragile southern mesa, uses never intended by Kahn; a 94,000 “big-box” building on the east parking lot obscuring the public’s view of the modernist Kahn building from Torrey Pines Road; and a four-story building on the north mesa clearly visible from the famous Luis Barragan designed courtyard that threatens to breach the 30-foot height limit along the coast.
Haven't these people seen My Architect? It's hard to believe anyone would propose a big-box building adjacent to the institute, but there you go. The Salk Institute recently received a Grand Onion for the plan from the San Diego Architectural Foundation and a listing by SOHO (Save Our Heritage Organisation) on its 11 Most Endangered sites list in San Diego. Other haters include the San Diego Sierra Club Coastal Committee, San Diego Coastal Alliance, Friends of Rose Canyon, and Friends of Carmel Mountain Preserve. Way to go, San Diego and Salk.
· World Monuments Fund Unveils 2008 Watch List [Architectural Record]