Whatever the case, it’s amazing that they’ve stood for the past four decades, especially when you consider their proximity to downtown San Diego skyscrapers and Lindbergh Field. The Navy has finally decided to spend the money—$600,000—to remedy the problem.
“We don’t want to be associated with something as symbolic and hateful as a swastika,” said Scott Sutherland, deputy public affairs officer for Navy Region Southwest, the command that is responsible for maintaining buildings on local bases.
The collection of L-shaped buildings is at the corner of Tulagi and Bougainville roads, named after World War II battles.
Navy officials say the shape of the buildings, designed by local architect John Mock, was not noted until after the groundbreaking in 1967—and since it was not visible from the ground, a decision was made not to make any changes.
It is unclear who first noticed the shape on Google Earth. But one of the first and loudest advocates demanding a change was Dave vonKleist, host of a Missouri-based radio-talk show, The Power Hour, and a website, www.thepowerhour.com.
In spring 2006, he began writing military officials, including then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, calling for action.
That August, he received a response from officials in Coronado, who made no promise to take action and said, “The Navy intends to continue the use of the buildings as long as they remain adequate for the needs of the service.”
Not long after, the San Diego chapter of the Anti-Defamation League took the issue to Rep. Susan Davis, who is Jewish. But, seriously, did the Navy really need to wait for public outcry before doing something about this?