SAN DIEGO – June 22, 2016 – San Diego Human Dignity Foundation (SDHDF) announces Safdie Rabines Architects has been selected to transform 4545 Park Blvd. into San Diego’s LGBT Cultural and Performing Arts Center.
Currently home to Diversionary Theatre and Lambda Archives of San Diego, the building at 4545 Park Blvd. has been a center for LGBTQ arts and culture for more than two decades. “As the LGBTQ community continues to enter the mainstream, it is more important than ever to honor and preserve the historical and cultural contributions of the LGBTQ community, while maintaining a vital and singular presence in the larger community,” said John Brown, executive director, SDHDF. “Safdie Rabines gets our vision and has a heartfelt passion for, and commitment to seeing it through. We are thrilled to have them on board.”
The renowned San Diego-based architecture firm will perform a full-suite of programming, planning, design, bid and construction phase services for the renovation of the existing 4545 Park Blvd. building. The proposed project will utilize the existing building as much as possible while searching out solutions to add and reconfigure space within the context of building use, zoning and community identity. Ultimately, Diversionary Theatre and Lambda Archives will operate within a reconfigured building that will enable each tenant to fulfill their respective missions and engage their membership and supporters with a reimagined space, while allowing other LGBTQ-friendly organizations to use the venue to share their art and performance pieces.
“San Diego Human Dignity Foundation is an essential and dynamic organization, and we are thrilled for the opportunity to take part in supporting its continued vitality with the transformation of 4545 Park Boulevard,” said Taal Safdie, founding partner, Safdie Rabines Architects. “The goals for San Diego’s LGBT Cultural and Performing Arts Center resonate profoundly with the design ethos of our practice, and we are eager to communicate the organization’s values of culture, character, and equity through a thoughtful, sustainable and multifaceted design.”
Originally constructed in 1987 and home primarily to medical offices, the building was owned by Dr. Fritz Klein. Lambda Archives became a tenant in 1992 and soon after Diversionary Theatre moved into the building in 1994. Diversionary was the beneficiary of three gifts from Dr. Klein’s estate, including the building. SDHDF purchased the building in early 2015 from Diversionary Theatre. Diversionary Theatre and Lambda Archives will continue as primary resident leasees, while local groups have an opportunity to use the space to rehearse, perform and host other special events and presentations. The purchase ensures the financial viability of these organizations for many years to come.
In 2015, a collaboration was formed among SDHDF, Diversionary Theatre and Lambda Archives to create San Diego’s LGBT Cultural and Performing Arts Center at 4545 Park Blvd. This effort is called ParkArts. The mission of the ParkArts Collaborative is to build community and embrace all forms of diversity by offering a variety of programs delivering quality entertainment, educational opportunities and memorable moments that engage and inspire audiences, honor LGBTQ history and culture, nurture collaboration and drive economic vitality. ParkArts is passionate about telling the story of the LGBTQ history and culture to ensure the story remains alive for generations to come. To learn more about this exciting collaboration, please visit www.ParkArts.org.
About Safdie Rabines
Founded in 1993 by Ricardo Rabines and Taal Safdie, Safdie Rabines Architects is a multi-disciplined, sustainably minded and service-oriented architecture, interiors, urban design and planning firm. Based in San Diego, CA, Safdie Rabines works globally to create humanistic, site-specific solutions that fulfill the needs of their users. The firm’s previous work on the UCSD campus include such award-winning projects as Eleanor Roosevelt College, SIO Lifeguard Tower, Structural and Materials Engineering Building (in collaboration with the Miller Hull Partnership) and the Robert Paine Scripps Forum. Currently the firm is working on Lusail Pedestrian Bridges in Doha, Quatar, the Imperial County Criminal Courthouse, the new Sellwood Bridge in Portland, Oregon, numerous mixed-use, commercial and multi-family residential projects in North City, San Diego, as well as multiple private residences throughout Southern California. For more information, visit www.safdierabines.com.
About the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation
The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation (SDHDF), which will celebrate their 20th anniversary in 2016, is the sole community foundation in the San Diego region dedicated to the benefit of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. SDHDF funds programs and projects that promote equal treatment, tolerance, wellness, well-being, and above all else, human dignity. They work to strengthen LGBT organizations and leadership. The organization nurtures philanthropic giving to support LGBT people and address important issues such as aging, arts and culture, health and wellness, youth and families, and civil rights. For more information, visit www.sdhdf.org. Connect on Facebook and Twitter.