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Hillcrest's Eitol gets a design "Onion"

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The San Diego Orchids and Onions Awards are an annual event which celebrates architectural design throughout America's Finest City. This year's awards went to buildings from up the coast to the heart of Hillcrest, but for different reasons. 

Recognized for innovative ideas and executions were the builders behind the Oceanside High School Performing Arts Center and the Superior Court of California on Broadway.

However, some urban designs wilted and failed to impress. One such site is Hillcrest's newest building, the Eitol, which was panned by the public in the People's Choice Award. They called it "sloppy."

It was also nominated for an Orchid but did not win. 

“The building design disregards the neighborhood context and scale,” said the Onion nomination. 

Developer and architect of Eitol, Mike Burnett, has taken home a few Orchids in the past. 

The Hillcrest Town Council posted the news on their Facebook page and the majority of the reactions agreed with the bad assessment. 

"This building is out of place in a bad way," wrote one person. "The pebble tech pond is cheap looking design. It looks like student housing."

"It might have won if it wasn't painted whorehouse red. It's an eyesore like that," posted another. 

"Just to keep the record correct, it won an "Onion." And I for one would rather have what was there before -- at least it was a small eyesore, rather than a huge one. On the other hand, I think insideOUT is amazing. I just wish the outside of the building was as attractive as the inside."

One critic was a little more forgiving, saying it brings some much-needed pep to an otherwise bland block. 

"Sorry, I love it! It's cool, edgy, and crazy different. It's a fun splash of color in the midst of drabber than drab senior high-rises, and nondescript one level storefronts. And if you really hate it, take heart--it'll be torn down in 30 years, cause that's how we roll in SD."

Whether you like it or not the Eitol is only the beginning of a Hillcrest renaissance.

San Diego recently approved a new promenade on Normal Street which will cut through traffic in half and add pathways for walkers and cyclists from Lincoln to the Pride flag.