Nominations Sought For Best And Worst In San Diego Architecture

College Maintenance and Operations Facility was the 2019 Orchid winner. Courtesy photo

The San Diego Architectural Foundation this month invited the public and design industry professionals to nominate the best and worst of San Diego’s architecture in the run up to the 44th annual Orchids & Onions awards ceremony.

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The program, which has been held since 1976, recognizes the best (Orchids) and worst (Onions) in architectural design, form and function, and brings San Diegans together to decide which parts of the built environment make our city a better place to live. Nomination categories include: Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Interior Design, Historic Architecture, and a Miscellaneous Category for Public Art or other community improvements.

“As millions of San Diegans have been relegated indoors due to COVID-19 – many of us have never been more aware of the affect that the built environment can have on our wellbeing,” said John Martinez, co-chair of Orchids & Onions.

For the first time, the annual event will be hosted in a virtual setting on Oct. 1, 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Orchids & Onions is a chance for San Diegans to tell us what they like and don’t like in the built environment,” Martinez said. “It’s about finding out what truly brings people value in their everyday lives, so that design can continue to evolve and serve those human needs. For the first time ever, we’re excited to host the event virtually and welcome more participants into the conversation than ever before.”

The Minnesota State Capitol Mall in St. Paul has been a busy place in recent weeks, site of numerous protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. These protests have served to underscore the mall’s importance as the state’s “front porch,” where Minnesotans can gather to exercise their democratic rights.

With its broad green expanse dotted by statues, monuments and memorials, the mall is such a familiar place that it’s hard to realize it wasn’t always part of the Capitol complex.

Cass Gilbert’s white marble palace opened in 1905, but the mall wasn’t completed until 50 years later, and it required a huge clearance project.

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