Mission Hills Heritage


2008 Fall Historic Home Tour

What better way to celebrate the first 100 years of Mission Hills and to launch the second century than to get a look inside some of the wonderful neighborhood homes during the Fourth Annual Mission Hills Heritage Historic Home Tour. Mission Hills Heritage showcased the newly granted Mission Hills Historic District and the Fort Stockton Line Historic District with a home tour featuring five privately-owned historic and architecturally diverse homes from these districts.

The Mission Hills Historic District is comprised of homes from development tract 1115, the first development tract identified as Mission Hills. Two famous figures in San Diego's past were pivotal in the creation of Mission Hills. John Spreckels influenced the early development of San Diego by expanding mass transportation. The expansion of the streetcar line into Mission Hills became a catalyst for the development of the Mission Hills neighborhood.

George Marston and a syndicate of other leaders set their sights on creating something out of the ordinary for this new development. They envisioned creating a new type of urban landscape that was more sympathetic to the topography of the land. This vision was a result of the influence of John Nolan, a well-regarded city planner who had admonished the city planners and the people of San Diego to incorporate the natural beauty of the landscape into the development of the city. The curved streets and the preservation of canyons and open space in Mission Hills reflect this influence.

San Diego was a city of less than 40,000 people when Mission Hills tract 1115 was registered on January 20, 1908. Up to that time every development featured strict, square grid blocks laid out regardless of the topography. Here's what George Marston said at the time: "Our city has recently awakened to the need of preserving its beautiful gifts of nature and of developing higher forms of civic comfort and well-being." Many other tracts were laid out over the next two decades. The Fort Stockton Line Historic District includes parts of three of these developments: part of the original 1115 Mission Hills development, Mission Hills #3 Development, and part of Fort Stockton Heights Development. This area grew around the expansion of the streetcar line which was extended on Fort Stockton along to Trias Street in 1909.

The tour featured a handful of the many beautifully preserved homes in these newly designated districts. All the homes were within a five-block area giving tour attendees a chance to stroll past many other interesting homes and to daydream about which homes should be on the next year's tour!

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