Downtown Chula Vista is part of Oh San Diego! tour
Photo courtesy of the San Diego Architectural Foundation

Downtown Chula Vista is part of Oh San Diego! tour Photo courtesy of the San Diego Architectural Foundation

Oh San Diego! – the tour of San Diego’s architectural delights from public buildings to private homes – is going virtual in part for 2021 and expanding to look at entire communities instead of just the structures within them.

The annual celebration of the best in San Diego’s built environment by the San Diego Architectural Foundation runs from March 5 through March 12, adding a focus on children and broadening its reach to North County with a visit to San Marcos along with a look at some of the sights in La Mesa, National City, Chula Vista and the San Diego neighborhoods of Barrio Logan, City Heights, and Southeastern San Diego.

Details on the tour and schedule of events it includes are available on the Architectural Foundations website, https://sdarchtecture.org/program/openhouse-2021.

“We’re calling it a hybrid program. Like every other entity and business in San Diego, we’re having to adapt. That’s a challenge and an opportunity,” said Kathy Breedlove, co-chair of Oh! San Diego.

“The opportunity for us is to totally zoom out from the buildings. The theme is design plus community so we’re looking at not just architecture but things that are happening in the public environment,” Breedlove said. “It’s really broadening our reach.”

Among other things, Oh San! Diego will include visits to parks and gardens, a walk through five miles of urban trails in City Heights, art projects for children in National City, and a walk along downtown Chula Vista.

The walk through City Heights is “such a sense of discovery,” Breedlove said, adding that it will include a chance to watch mosaic artist Vicki Leon at work in her Poplar Street studio.

“She’ll actually have people in her studio doing the mosaics, so people can walk past and see art in action,” Breedlove said.

In National City, the event will feature a virtual tour of an innovative project at 8th Street and B Avenue that is a mix of apartments, office space, and retail space.

‘We want to make it a family-friendly event so we are promoting those sorts of experiences that are kind of fun for the whole family,” Breedlove said.

In Southeastern San Diego, the tour will include a visit to the Elementary Institute of Science and a panel discussion in partnership with the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation aimed at interesting middle school and high school students in careers in architecture, engineering, and construction, Breedlove said.

The event will explore 120 different sites in seven communities, Breedlove said.