The La Jolla Recreation Center celebrated its one hundredth birthday Saturday with a rededication and reception.
The center opened its doors in July 1915. Built by master architect Irving Gill, philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps commissioned the building on land adjacent to her home for $200,000. Gill also designed such landmarks as the La Jolla Women’s Club, the Bishop’s School and the Children’s Pool at La Jolla Cove.
“It’s a centennial year in San Diego and in La Jolla here as well,” Cindy Greatrex Vice President of the board of the rec center said on Saturday. “ It’s one of the first [rec centers] in the country, and we’re told it’s the oldest west of the Mississippi – so it should be the first in San Diego to my knowledge.”
When the center opened La Jolla’s population was under 4000, around a tenth of what it is today. The center became a historical landmark in 1973.
“It’s got a legacy with the Scripps family and also just throughout the community…We’re doing some of the same activities from a hundred years ago and we’re doing some activities that couldn’t have even been dreamt of a hundred years ago,” said Greatrex.
The birthday festivities included actors in period costume, live music, a bounce house and a petting zoo.