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 …