Alcorn & Benton Architects: A lifetime of building community

Originally published in the La Jolla Light, December 2018   Jim Alcorn and Paul Benton have touched the lives of millions of San Diegans during the span of their careers, yet most do not know them by name. Both are the hands behind countless projects in and around San Diego and La Jolla since the 1970s. For Paul, before his career began, he worked alongside his dad, a San Diego civil engineer. When he was just 16 and a La Jolla High School student, he found himself picking up soil samples at job sites and identifying rock formations for various building projects. From the first steps of soil classification and testing, his father taught him parts of the civil engineering profession and introduced him to the design professions …

California Hillside Development: Converting Challenge Into Creative Opportunity

Alongside the great beauty, temperate weather and ocean breeze associated with coastal California living, earthquakes and landslides are an unfortunate and oftentimes fearful reality. While instances of destruction are rare, occasional catastrophes — such as the 2007 landslide that destroyed a Mount Soledad home and, according to the Union Tribune, continued to impact the local community for years after the event — remind us of the challenges inherent to building and development along the Southern California coast. But while ground surface changes due to subsidence, landslides and fault lines can contribute to architectural difficulties, they also lend seasoned architects the chance to push innovative limits — and to create strong, balanced and beautiful homes throughout San Diego and across the greater California landscape. Drainage and excess water are among the chief …