The legacy of GDC Construction spans four generations, two countries, and a colorful piece of family history; family-owned since day one, GDC has long been an impressive representation of what it means to be truly dedicated to one’s craft. Though the company officially opened its doors as a corporation under George Dewhurst in 1999 right here in La Jolla, GDC’s roots date back to the early 1900s with the Dewhurst family’s passion for creation.
From Movie Sets to the Seaside
Building things from the ground up has been in the Dewhurst family for four generations. Ernest Dewhurst began his career as a builder in England before moving to Hollywood in the early 1900s, where he constructed movie sets. When asked to build a home in La Jolla, he immediately fell in love with the then-relatively uninhabited, quiet seaside town. He moved his family to the Village in 1920 and began work as one of the only builders in town. By 1929, the Dewhurst passion for construction had blossomed into a full-fledged business.
George Dewhurst, Ernest’s grandson, opened GDC Construction in 1999 as a third generation builder to a bustling community. His love of La Jolla and dedication to his craft were passed along to his son, Chester Dewhurst (Pancho), as the fourth generation of the Dewhurst family to work in the construction business, an impressive feat in today’s ever-fluctuating commercial world. He took over his current role as president of GDC Construction in 2009, though he fondly remembers going to work with his dad as a young boy. Even then, a steadfast sense of community, family, and pride in the family business were ingrained in Pancho’s work ethic.
A Labor of Love
Pancho and his team’s enthusiasm for keeping the spirit of La Jolla alive has been evident in nearly every project they’ve taken on. They’ve participated in the La Jolla Christmas Parade nearly every year and have contributed to the completion of several icons throughout the Village: from the La Jolla Fire Station 13 to the iconic memorial atop Mount Soledad, whose granite walls and etched name plaques were George’s brainchild.
Other local projects include the La Jolla Community Center, the new flagpole at La Jolla High School, and timeless custom residential homes and remodels throughout the city. From quaintly classic La Jolla bungalows to beachfront estates, GDC’s experience, creativity, and quality of craftsmanship provide the tools for them to build an incredible variety of homes.
Creativity, Passion, and the Test of Time
As a fourth generation builder, Pancho’s enthusiasm for his family business is clear in the diversity of the projects he takes on. Some of his most memorable work experiences have been the ones that are community-focused – what he loves most, he says, is designing a building, watching it grow, and then seeing it become a vital piece of La Jolla’s growing narrative.
The structures he and his team build remain permanent and iconic buildings in the community, which is one of the beautiful things about architecture and construction for Pancho: these buildings will be standing for generations to come as tributes to a love of community and a legacy of hard work.