SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Architectural Foundation held their annual "Orchids and Onions" fundraiser last night at the Balboa Theater downtown and gave the new bright and shiny Hillcrest Sign an "Onion," much to the disagreement of many.
The sign, which was made possible through the help of District 3 Councilmember Todd Gloria and the Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) was unveiled in August during the annual CityFest celebration.
It replaced an old gas-filled neon light that was previously revitalized in 1984 but had repeated failure problems over the years. After repair costs began to increase, a new eco-friendly LED sign was designed and acquired.
Although the new sign appears to resemble the nostalgia of the original sign, it boasts bright white LED lights instead of having the light pink neon glow of the previous sign.
Despite this difference, community feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, but the San Diego Architectural Foundation felt the sign merited an Onion due to the departure from its traditional style and lack of "historical preservation."
Members of the HBA proudly showed up to accept the award last night.
Executive Director, Benjamin Nicholls, graciously accepted the award and stepped on stage in front of hundreds of attendees at the annual fundraiser.
"We are here today to receive the award because we believe that our sign is fabulous!" Nicholls said.
"This belief is rooted in neighborhood enthusiasm, as the tremendous feedback we’ve received indicates that Hillcrest is happy to have a functional, environmentally friendly and revitalized sign. We are confident that we made the right decision for Hillcrest.“
Councilmember Gloria tweeted his disapproval with the Onion after the ceremony:
I disagree. The sign is an orchid simply because it works (unlike the old one). Major points to @FabHillcrest for being there to accept!
Photo, above left, bottom: Hillcrest Business Association members at the "Orchids and Onions" fundraiser, from left to right: Cassandra Ramhap, Lisa Weir, Ron Baranov, Benjamin Nicholls, Micheal Tactay, Johnathan Hale.