Mission Hills Heritage Home Tour

| September 6, 2012 | 0 Comments

Presidio Hills is a progressively planned and exclusive area of Mission Hills.

Presidio Hills, an enclave of about 60 homes lying just above Presidio Park, is the focus of the eighth annual self-guided tour of five historic homes presented by Mission Hills Heritage (MHH) on Saturday, September 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Subdivided in 1926, Presidio Hills is one of the last tracts to be developed in Mission Hills,” said Barry Hager, chairman of the MHH board.

Filled with beautiful residences—many built between 1927 and 1940—architectural styles include Spanish, American and Colonial Revival as well as Spanish Eclectic.

“The tract is arguably the most progressively planned and exclusive area of Mission Hills,” Hager said.

“Many homes feature spectacular views of Old Town, Mission Bay and Mount Soledad,” said Tom Roetker, chair of MHH’s events committee.

The subdivision’s development was led by George W. Marston, local pioneer, merchant and philanthropist, Hager said. Marston was also instrumental in the creation of Presidio Park and the Junipero Serra Museum, directly below Presidio Hills.

“As the first European settlement in California, it was Marston’s intention to preserve the ruins as well as the heritage of the Spanish-fortified town built on the site in 1769,” Hager said.

Realizing the importance of the site, in 1907 Marston, joined by John D. Spreckels, E.W. Scripps and several others, continued to acquire more land for the park. After years of trying to interest the City of San Diego in creating a park on the site, Marston bought out the others, and in 1925 hired landscape architect and planner John Nolan to lay out the park.

Marston also hired famed architect William Templeton Johnston to design the Junipero Serra Museum. Dedicated in 1929, the museum, with its timeless grandeur and romantic Spanish style, helped set the tone for continued development in Presidio Hills.

By 1927, several impressive homes already had been constructed on Presidio Drive, most in various Spanish Revival styles, with stucco walls and red-tiled roofs. Prominent San Diegans including doctors, bankers and business owners, called upon architects and builders such as Alexander Schreiber, Cliff May and Louis Preibisius to design the homes. .

During the Depression years there was a lull in construction in Presidio Hills, but by the mid-1930s, home building picked back up. It was during this period that builder Cliff May introduced a new architectural style described as “low, rambling Mexican haciendas,” which helped launch his reputation and long home-building career. Today, these homes, replete with inner courtyards and rustic red tile roofs, add an eclectic touch to the enclave.

Advance tickets for the home tour, which features a guidebook with a map and detailed descriptions of interiors and docent-led tours through the spacious residences and grounds, are $20 for MHH members, $25 for non-members (if mailed by September 7, 2012 to MHH, 325 W. Washington St. #221, San Diego, CA 92103), and $25 for members and $30, non-members the day of the tour. A table for Will Call and ticket sales will be open September 22 in the 2400 block of Presidio Drive. Information: www.missionhillsheritage.org. Email info@missionhillsheritage.org. Phone (619)497-1193.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Entertainment, Local News

About the Author ()