Program

OH! San Diego 2020
Celebrating architecture, urban design & the built environment
One weekend. Free access. Iconic architecture. The doors are open for you to explore.

BALBOA PARK | BANKERS HILL | DOWNTOWN | GASLAMP | EAST VILLAGE | BARRIO LOGAN | POINT LOMA | LA JOLLA | CORONADO

 

BANKERS HILL

Named after its reputation for being home to the affluent and their many mansions built in San Diego’s heyday by some of its most notable architects—including Irving Gill—Bankers Hill is located west of Balboa Park with easy access across the historic Cabrillo Bridge. It is a desirable residential location with bay views available from many new luxury high–rise condos.

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10 FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST
2450 Second Ave.

Self-guided tour / SAT 10AM – 4PM

This masterwork has all the architectural hallmarks of Irving Gill on a grand scale – the rhythmic series of arches, the unadorned white stucco and the simple cubist massing. Upon completion, the mayor at the time was so impressed, he included it on his list of  ‘must–sees’ for visiting dignitaries. After a misdirected 1950’s remodel, the church underwent a full building restoration to return the building to its original glory.

Irving Gill, 1910 / Renovation, 1998

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11 STEINBERG HART
320 Laurel Street

Self-guided tour / SAT 10AM – 4PM

This commercial building that incorporates elements of the Streamline Modern architectural style has housed many noted architectural firms throughout its 40+ years. Since 2003, it has been home to Steinberg Hart, a leader in civic, military, residential, and commercial architecture. Features include high volume ceilings and custom workstations designed and fabricated by Paul Basile of Basile Studio.

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12 THE ABBEY ON FIFTH
2825 Fifth Avenue

Self-guided tour / SUN 10AM – 4PM

Originally built as a Methodist Episcopal Church, this masterful example of Classical Revival architecture functions as an elegant special events venue. The interior features enormous stained–glass skylights, and a dozen stained–glass windows surrounded by intricate woodwork. When you’re outside, take a look up to see the exquisite gold–leaf statue of Gabriel blowing his horn atop the building.

Norman Foote Marsh, 1910

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13 HAWTHORNE HISTORIC INN
2121 First Avenue

Self-guided tour / SAT & SUN 10AM – 1PM

One of the few remaining large, wood framed turn-of-the-century inns, the former ‘working man’s’ hotel still provides lodging today. The building’s exterior with double gambrel roof and two-story colonnade remains unchanged since its completion. Interior features such as the lightwell, hallways and redwood stairs and banisters also retain the no-frills character of the original details.

Henry Neale & R.A. Graham, 1900

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14 OHR SHALOM SYNAGOGUE
2512 Third Avenue

Self-guided tour / SUN 1PM – 4PM

With its dominant Moorish-style dome suspended high above an octagonal sanctuary embellished with Middle Eastern decorative motifs, the Synagogue (formerly Congregation Beth Israel) is one of the foremost examples of Mediterranean Revival, an architectural style that caught momentum around the mid-1920s. The recent restoration has brought new life to the building. The vibrant congregation offers a rich cultural blend of Conservative Judaism and serves a diverse community.

William Wheeler, 1925 / Zagrodnik and Thomas Architects, 2010

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15 THE BARCELONA
326 Juniper Street

Self-guided tour / SAT & SUN 10AM – 4PM

Now nearly a century old, The Barcelona was originally constructed as a full–service apartment–hotel, complete with a solarium, ballroom, restaurant and golf course. In its heyday, tourism directories listed it as the ‘Finest in the West’. Today, it provides residents with modern systems and amenities, while maintaining its rich history and decorative details of Spanish Colonial architecture. Ride the historic elevator to the roof deck for panoramic views.

Eugene Hoffman, 1921

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16 SEVENTH AVENUE WALKING TOUR
3525 Seventh Avenue

Guided tour of exterior only / SAT & SUN 11AM & 1PM / Reservation required (Tour FULL) / Check in 10 minutes before tour at the Museum Store Carriage House

Located at the edge of Balboa Park, but so secluded that most San Diegans don’t know it is there, is one of the most charming and architecturally significant streets in all of San Diego. The iconic Marston House Museum and Gardens is on this block, along with other prominent residences designed by renowned early modernist architect, Irving Gill. The variety of homes illustrates Gill’s evolution from English Arts and Crafts to Prairie Style to his ultimate triumph in early Cubist Modernism – all in the space of a few short years. Learn about the unique history of this street on this outdoor walking tour led by preservation architects and sponsored by Save Our Heritage Organization.

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17 ALBATROSS STREET WALKING TOUR 
321 West Walnut

Guided tour of exterior only / SUN 10AM / Reservation required (Tour FULL) / Check in 10 min before tour at 321 West Walnut

This secluded section of Bankers Hill is home to a cluster of residences from the early 20th century by some of San Diego’s most creative and respected architects, including William Hebbard, Frank Mead, Richard Requa, and Hazel Wood Waterman, in addition to Irving Gill. On Albatross Street, several of the homes were designed by Gill for, Katherine Teats and Alice Lee, progressive women who had visions of an eight-home utopia around the canyon with shared gardens and connecting paths. Only four of the homes were built. Architectural Historian Allen Hazard will be your guide. Be sure to stop by the historic Spruce Street Suspension Bridge when you are in the neighborhood.

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18 HUBBELL & HUBBELL ARCHITECTS
1970 Sixth Avenue

Self-guided tour / SAT 10AM – 4PM

This renowned father and son design team have created many of the county’s most whimsical and green homes. Their open-plan work space within this mid-century office building is a laboratory for green building methods and materials, including straw bale construction, which have exemplified their trademark style since the firm’s inception. Their ongoing ‘Pearl of the Pacific’ collaborative sculpture project, embraces cultures from around the Pacific Rim.

Built 1950s / Renovation, 1996

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19 DOMUSSTUDIO ARCHITECTURE | OH! SAN DIEGO HUB
2800 Third Avenue

Self-guided tour / SAT & SUN 10AM – 4PM

The 1960s-era building served as a medical office for over 50 years and eventually became a blight and blocked views from the neighborhood into Maple Canyon. Honoring the original architect’s legacy and its mid-century bones, the building was transformed by adding expanses of glass and removing all interior walls to make it as transparent as possible. The building and its systems are tuned for maximum energy efficiency. A result of its canyon micro-climate, coastal breezes and strategically placed operable windows, is its minimal reliance on mechanical systems.

Homer Delawie, 1963 / domusstudio architecture, 2017

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20 TRUAX LOFTS
2517 Union Street

Self-guided tour / SAT & SUN 10AM – 4PM / Free BBQ & Music SAT 12PM – 3PM 

Originally built in 1912, this reconstructed craftsman residence pays homage to its special place in San Diego’s social history and significance to the LGBTQ community. During the 1980s and 1990s AIDS epidemic, the building served as the first and only hospice for those afflicted with the disease. The structure was named for Dr. Brad Truax, a leader in bringing awareness and prevention to the San Diego community. Today, the historic house shares the property with the newly-constructed Truax Lofts and Leon townhomes, which feature eco-friendly, modern residential amenities and contemporary architecture, while the common areas pay tribute to this incredibly important landmark.

Nakhshab Development & Design, 2019

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21 SHAYAN HOUSE
3445 Ibis Street

Self-guided tour / SAT & SUN 1PM – 4PM

Originally designed to house three generations of the designer’s family, this home has classic modern characteristics and accommodates multi-generational living with an open floor plan and lower level multi-functional spaces. A challenging sloped canyon site led to a partially subterranean design solution, which avoided costly construction techniques. With 13-foot high floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing stunning canyon and city views, the main living area takes full advantage of natural light and connects the indoors and outdoors. The first LEED Gold certified house in San Diego, it blends passive and active heating, ventilation and cooling measures.

Nakhshab Development & Design, 2012

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22 JUNIPERO SERRA MUSEUM
2727 Presidio Drive

Self-guided tour / SAT & SUN 10AM – 4PM
Guided tour / SAT 11AM & 1PM / Reservations required (Tour FULL)

This Mission Revival style landmark stands prominently atop the hill recognized as the site where California began. It was here in 1769 that Spanish Franciscan missionary, Father Junipero Serra established Alta California’s first mission and presidio. Built by philanthropist George Marston, as a home for the San Diego History Center’s collections, it bears a strong resemblance to early California missions. Today the museum features an exhibition exploring the earliest history of the San Diego region, which debuted July 2019, alongside a renovation of the interior spaces. Don’t miss the climb up the iconic tower for one of the best views in all of San Diego.

William Templeton Johnson, 1929

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San Diego Architectural Foundation

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San Diego, CA 92112-2228
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San Diego Architectural Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to education and promotion of outstanding architecture, planning and urban design throughout the San Diego region.

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