Alcorn & Benton: The legacy of a San Diego family

Originally printed in the La Jolla Light, March 2019 The story behind how three generations of Benton men dedicated their careers to engineering and architecture has its roots in farming. “My grandfather was a tenant farmer and rancher in San Diego and other areas of California,” Paul Benton recalled. “When my dad was contemplating his career path, the advice he received was, ‘Don’t be a rancher unless you like to build and rebuild fences!’ ” So Phil Benton chose civil engineering, enrolling at Cal Tech. This led to the study of geotechnical engineering, which is a branch that is concerned with the mechanical properties of soil for slope stability, permeability, foundations, and many other factors. This was a relatively new field of study, and his degree from Cal …

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 …