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Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Why would anyone name this beloved water tower anything other than
the North Park Water Tower?

FREE LECTURE ON PROPOSED UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS WATER STORAGE TOWER DISTRICT—This Thursday, the noted San Diego historian Alex Bevil, will lead a community discussion on the history of North Park’s Water Tower and its surrounding water system facilities. 

When:  Thursday, March 14, 6:30 pm for refreshments and 7 pm for the presentation.

Where: Grace Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall, 3967 Park Boulevard at Lincoln Avenue.  Entrance and parking via Lincoln.

RSVP: 619-297-3166.

The presentation is based on the historical designation application that Bevil prepared for the North Park and University Heights historical societies.  The application is for the water tower to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places as the “University Heights Water Storage and Pumping Station Historic District.”

Sponsors of the lecture say “Alex prepared the extremely detailed and very interesting application completely on his own time as a contribution to the community.”

This blog (one man’s voice) supports the needed historic designation for the water tower and loudly applauds the historical societies and Mr. Bevil for carrying forth this labor of love.

However, this blog questions the University Heights name selection for the proposed historic district and seeks only an answer to the question: why is it so named University Heights and not North Park?

Granted back in 1888 (125 years ago) the entire area from Park Blvd. to what is now I-805 was called University Heights. 

Few, citizens in either North Park or University Heights refer to the tower as the University Heights Water Tower.   Nor, do we call the area New Spain.

The green beauty is known to an overwhelmingly majority of citizens as the North Park Water Tower to the point of being self-evident. The Water Tower was built in the 1920’s in North Park.  It was built on land the City mapped and named North Park—not University Heights.

Was the Empire State building built in New Amsterdam?  If 1888 is our benchmark then why isn’t the historic North Park Theatre called the University Heights Theatre?

To have University Heights Water Tower as a name to be placed on visible national historic documentation or eventually community site plaques is misleading, inaccurate and against common sense. 

Yes, naming rights may fall in some arcane letter of the law gray area, but overwhelmingly the spirit of the law cries out for the Tower and surrounding district to be called “North Park Water Storage and Pumping Station Historic District.”

Furthermore, if an 1888 map is to be used as a benchmark for historic designation naming, then are we to accept that some future historic designation at 30th and University be part of the “Nebraska and Fillmore Streets Historic District?”   In 1888, Nebraska was 30th Street and Fillmore was University Avenue.

Yet, if there be overwhelming evidence presented on March 14 as to why it should forever be called the “University Heights Water Storage and Pumping Station Historic District” then so be it—the people via their representative historical societies have spoken.

But, don’t ask me to refer to it as the University Heights Water Tower in polite company.

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