SAN DIEGO (Border Report) – Each year for the past four decades the San Diego Architectural Foundation has honored the best — and worst — in architecture with its Orchids & Onion Awards.

Page from Orchids and Onions awards program.

Orchids are given to fun, innovative and creative designs, while Onions are presented to not-so-fun, unimaginative or uncreative designs.

This year, the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection were awarded an Onion Award for the border wall section running through Friendship Park at the edge of the Pacific Ocean between San Diego and Tijuana.

“The planning of the border completely disregarded Friendship Park that has been planned for years and years,” said one of the judge’s comments. “We’re focusing on the border wall, not for the actual design itself, but for this site, this feature that is completely ignored … The wall is just completely put up without any input from the community and the park.”

Other comments read: “Many people don’t know about the wall, haven’t even seen it — the 30-foot-high barrier was really not in the spirit of what Friendship Park was created for.”

According to its website, Orchids & Onions is an educational and fundraising program of the San Diego Architectural Foundation, a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization dedicated to the education and promotion of outstanding architecture, planning and urban design throughout the San Diego region. 

Border Report reached out to CBP for comment about the Onion Award, but has not heard back.