Axios San Diego

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Good morning! It's Wednesday and the first day of May, which hopefully won't be too gray this year.

  • Today's weather: Coast — Cloudy, then clearing with highs in the mid-60s. Inland — Morning clouds clearing; highs near 75.

Today's newsletter is 889 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Woodbury School of Architecture to close

Woodbury University's Barrio Logan campus will shut down at the end of the semester. Photo: Andrew Keatts/Axios

The San Diego outpost of the Woodbury School of Architecture will close permanently at the end of this semester.

Why it matters: Faculty and alumni built notable projects and influenced development across urban San Diego over the school's 26-year run.

Driving the news: Los Angeles-based Woodbury University this year announced a merger with the University of Redlands that includes shutting down the San Diego campus that opened in 1998.

  • Catherine Herbst, chair of the Barrio Logan school, said the university started winding down operations three years ago, letting students and faculty transfer to the LA campus in preparation for this spring's formal end, once the last 11 students finish.

By the numbers: Since its first class graduated in 2001, the school has turned out nearly 500 students from its bachelor's of architecture program.

  • It issued 170 graduate degrees and minted 74 state-licensed architects.

The intrigue: Woodbury was especially influential because of its master's in real estate development (MRED) program, which gained notoriety by creating a model that taught architects to pursue their own projects rather than work for others.

  • Typically, developers make decisions about how a project should look and feel based on financial and zoning constraints, and then hire architects to execute those needs.
  • Alumni and faculty from the MRED program instead are in charge of the entire project, and their architectural decision making dictates the end result.

What they're saying: "The program was a critique of the way we build buildings in the United States," said Andrew Malick, an MRED graduate who has become a prolific developer around the region.

  • "Our critique was, when an architect empowered in the business of development makes decisions, better buildings and better lifestyles are the result," he said.

The big picture: For a decade, city leaders have slashed parking mandates, increased allowed housing density and removed development restrictions — all part of Woodbury's legacy, Malick says.

  • "The shadow of the MRED program is a re-envisioning of how we develop infill neighborhoods," he said.

Between the lines

2. Major projects from Woodbury-affiliated architects

Hillcrest's InsideOUT, designed by Foundation for Form and Woodbury alum Mike Burnett. Photo: Andrew Keatts/Axios

The faculty and alumni of Barrio Logan's Woodbury School of Architecture have left their imprint on San Diego's urban neighborhoods.

Why it matters: When the school opened in 1998, corporate developers weren't spending much time building in the dense, walkable neighborhoods around Balboa Park, but Woodbury architects helped change that.

How it works: The school taught architects to develop their own projects — an unusual pairing that afforded them the flexibility to make projects work in hard-to-develop locations.

Fun fact: Faculty member Ted Smith tested the limits of local zoning regulations in the 1980s with his Del Mar "GoHomes" — single-family houses built with shared living spaces to maximize affordability.

Zoom in: Woodbury architects no longer have North Park and surrounding areas to themselves, but their projects include:

  • The Louie in Bankers Hill
  • The Parkline along El Cajon Boulevard
  • North Park Post Office, home to Tribute Pizza

See photos of the projects

3. The Lineup: Catch these local headlines

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

💡 The California Public Utilities Commission will vote next week whether to lower residential electricity rates by about 15% and charge SDG&E residential customers a monthly flat fee of $24.15. (Union-Tribune)

🎓 More than 100 SDSU students walked out of class in protest Tuesday, urging the university to cut financial ties with Israel and to better support Palestinians on campus. (Fox5)

Poway Unified School District superintendent Marian Kim Phelps was terminated after an investigation into accusations of bullying high school softball players. (NBC7)

4. 🎶 Concerts coming to Humphreys this season

Fans take their seats before Chicago performs at Humphreys in 2021. Photo: Daniel Knighton/Getty Images

Humphreys Concerts by the Bay is bringing big shows to San Diego this summer with a mix of longtime favorites and new artists to entice a fresh generation of Humphreys loyalists.

Why it matters: The seasonal outdoor venue on Shelter Island is a local landmark for live music and entertainment, hosting country music legends, pop stars, reggae bands, R&B musicians and comedians since 1982.

State of play: Humphreys' 42nd season opened this month with sold-out shows for Faye Webster and Maoli, plus headliners Brittany Howard, Elle King and DannyLux. Rising stars, beloved mainstays and veteran musicians are scheduled through Nov. 16, with several others making their venue debuts:

  • June 19 — Reggae band The Movement performs their entire Ways of the World album on a fifth-anniversary tour with special guests KBong & Johnny Cosmic, plus aurorawave.
  • Aug. 13 — Mexican musician and singer Caloncho takes his new album TOFU on tour.
  • Sept. 30 — Grammy-winning jazz-ish band Snarky Puppy, which has as many as 25 members in regular rotation, will play Humphreys.

Following the opening stint of newcomers, Alan Parsons kicks off a string of concerts by popular returning performers next week that also includes The Psychedelic Furs and pop duo Tegan and Sara.

The intrigue: Use the Shelter Island boat ramp to kayak, boat or paddleboard out on the bay to hear shows from the water.

More shows this summer

5. Big winners at San Diego Music Awards

The 33rd San Diego Music Awards at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. Photo: Kate Murphy/Axios

Drumroll please …

Thee Sacred Souls won Artist of the Year at the 33rd San Diego Music Awards last night at Humphreys.

Why it matters: The San Diego Music Awards recognize local musicians breaking into the national music scene and those who've already made it big.

The big picture: The public voted in 25 categories covering genres from folk to jazz to pop.

The intrigue: Oceanside native Stevie Salas, who's rocked with legends, performed after receiving the Country Dick Montana Lifetime Achievement Award.

The full list of winners

Our picks:

🥍 Andy is ready for the Seals' semifinal playoff game Friday night.

🚣🏻‍♀️ Kate is determined to see a show at Humphreys from the water this summer.

This newsletter was edited by Ross Terrell and copy edited by James Gilzow.