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Historic building in Pacific Beach vandalized

The historic lanterns on the old Dunaway Pharmacy building were destroyed.

SAN DIEGO — Efforts to restore a historic building after it was vandalized are underway.

The co-owner of the Dunaway Building in Pacific Beach says vandals destroyed the historic lanterns. 

The building has been an icon in Pacific Beach for decades, The building's co-owners say the building's history and what it means as a landmark in the community made the vandalism hurt that much more.

Shattered blown glass, terra cotta tiles, and cinder blocks littered the sidewalk last Friday morning at the base of the building near Garnet Avenue and Cass Street.

“Trying to understand what happened was heartbreaking for me to look at,” said Melody Nobel.

She and her sister grew up at the Dunaway Building.

“We spent more time here than in a playground,” said Nobel.

Their late father, John, bought the building in the 90s and now they are partners with her uncle where they lease retail space. 

“As a child I remember coming with him, holding his hand, meeting contractors, looking at brick samples, and doing everything that was part of his vision and heart to restore the Dunaway to what it once was,” said Nobel.

Melody reviewed the surveillance video and believed the vandals somehow got on the roof and did the damage, but she's not interested in getting the police involved. 

“I'm not really looking for the culprits or who created this problem for us but my intent right now is to restore the building,” said Nobel.

Melody says they found a few lantern replacements in the basement but not enough to bring it back to its historic look.

“The damage is already done, and my intent is to recreate the glass bulb sculptures that are no longer and restore the Dunaway to the best version of itself,” said Nobel.

The landmark used to be Dunaway Pharmacy in the ’20s. A mural across the street features what the intersection looked like years ago.

“This building is the fabric of our family,” said Nobel.

A building that is also the fabric of the community.

“My sister and I lost our father about four years ago and we made it part of our mission to continue the legacy of the Dunaway building to make it part of the community for what it is,” said Nobel.

If you or someone you know can restore the historic lanterns, contact CBS 8 at WorkingForYou@CBS8.com.

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