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This guide contains research resources for theENGL120/HUM115 Bridge Course

Assignment Prompt

In the journal article “African Americans and Historic Preservation in San Diego,” we read that Karen Huff employed her writing skills to help the Gaslamp Black Historical Society save a historical building that was scheduled to be demolished.  To write her report, she researched historical documents about San Diego’s African American history and the role the Claremont Hotel played in that history.  After completing her research, Ms. Huff wrote a persuasive report, convincing her readers (the Historical Resources Board of San Diego) that the Claremont Hotel, located in downtown San Diego, must be preserved for its historical significance and the role it played in San Diego’s African-American community.  Her writing was so persuasive that the Board chose to assign the building historic status and designate it as a historical landmark.

For this assignment, students will write a similar report. They will choose a subject from the list below and imagine that it is scheduled to be demolished or removed from its setting because of lack of community support and/or funding.

Then, like Karen Huff’s endeavor in saving the Claremont Hotel, students will research the building/work of art and argue why it is essential in the San Diego region and should not be torn down or removed. Explain why the work of art is important and/or how it reflects one or a combination of the following:

1. Research the work of art, describe it in detail, and tell how it reflects one or a combination of the following:

  • The current and/or past concerns of San Diego 
  • The current and/or past concerns of a community in San Diego
  • The artist’s life experiences, beliefs, or concerns
  • The historical period in which it was created

2. Employing skills learned throughout the semester, you will incorporate summarized and directly quoted material from at least five (5) sources into an organized, well-documented six- to eight-page research paper with a focused thesis statement.

Topics from which to choose from:

  • Acorn Basket by Kumeyaay Native American Indian
  • The Estudillo home in Old Town
  • The California Building in Balboa Park
  • The Alcazar Garden in Balboa Park
  • The Hands of Dr. Moore by Diego Rivera
  • Salk Institute by Louis Kahn
  • A particular mural at Chicano Park—your choice
  • Hotel Douglass (already torn down in the 1980s)
  • L’Ange Protecteur (Guardian Angel) of the Nanas of San Diego by Niki de Saint Phalle
  • #19 Baseball Player (Tony Gwynn) by Niki de Saint Phalle
  • Unconditional Surrender by Seward Johnson
  • Fallen Star by Do Ho Suh
  • Central Library by Rob Quigley
  • Comic-Con International—San Diego


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