Del Mar council honors Friends of the Powerhouse

Starting with the preservation of the Powerhouse Community Center, the Friends of the Powerhouse has continued to protect and enhance the city for years.

Recognizing the nonprofit’s important part in the community, Mayor Sherryl Parks presented the organization with a proclamation during the May 2 council meeting.

“From its inception through today, the unwavering aim of the Friends of the Powerhouse has been to promote enjoyable, safe and accessible recreational facilities and activities, from toddlers to seniors, from passive to active park- and beach-goers, and for people of all ability levels,” Parks said.

In an effort to transform the Powerhouse into a public community center, a group of citizens formed the Powerhouse Restoration Committee in the mid-1990s.

Built in 1928, the facility was once a functioning powerhouse that supplied heat and hot water to a nearby hotel. Thanks to more than $450,000 in donations from local residents and businesses, the historical building was renovated and opened as a community center in late 1999.

“The main goal has always been to save and restore this building,” Barbara Harper, founder of the Friends of the Powerhouse, said during last year’s Southwest Oral History Association’s Annual Conference in Del Mar. “It now serves the whole community.”

Founded as the the Friends of the Powerhouse in 2001, the organization has since grown its scope, membership, projects and programs.

The Friends of the Powerhouse aims to preserve historical and architecturally significant properties, promote social welfare, educate the public and protect the community and its landmarks in the beach area of Del Mar. Since its inception, the organization has raised more than $1.5 million for various projects, including the creation of a tot lot, Beach Safety Center, a street-to-beach boardwalk and the Bill Teague Memorial Garden. The organization also assists the city with site renovations and supports the Del Mar Lifeguard Department.

“l, Sherryl Parks, mayor of the city of Del Mar, on behalf of the entire City Council, hereby recognize Friends of the Powerhouse for their many contributions, and encourage all Del Marians to recognize the positive impact nonprofit organizations have on the quality of life of the citizens of Del Mar.”

For more about the Friends of the Powerhouse, visit