Page 1










2 3 This Book

51 53 55 57 59 61 63

dining Toast to Hillcrest Kosta the Greek New neighborhood tastes The R Gang guy Hillcrest’s vintner New item for Pernicano’s


Who sculpted the Kate Sessions statue at Balboa Drive and Laurel?

5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21

community The power of a community Saving our roots Time for a new plan Remembering Jay Hyde Hillcrest on Wonderland My Hillcrest Home Uptown’s lavender delight The amazing Mrs. Peabody

23 Future of Uptown parking 25 27 28 29 31 37 39 41 42 45 47 49

history UCSD Medical Center history Historic streetcars A trolley for Uptown Hillcrest history timeline Bypass the bypass

65 67 Field of dreams 73 Seniors in motion 75 SD Women’s Drum Circle

77 79 81 82 83 85

neighbors Restoring the Cosmopolitan Old Town must sees San Diego’s first teacher Ephraim Morse Saving our heritage


87 89 Quick Response — QR codes 91 Italian Stile in Hillcrest

pioneers The talented Mr. Winslow Temporary Paradise? Designer Cliff May Film maker Dan Soderberg Old Town’s Joe Toigo 93 95 97 99 101 103 105

services Hillcresters and their alleys Time to invest in democracy? Hillcrest’s oldest hospital Trivia answers Remembering a gay veteran The Union’s native man

Reproduction of any material in this issue is prohibited without written permission from the publisher. All contents copyright 2011. HillQuest does not warrant or make representations as to the quality, content, accuracy or completeness of the information, text, graphics, links and other items contained in this issue. Material in this publication has been compiled from a variety of sources and is subject to change without notice. Printed in Korea. All photos are property of HillQuest unless otherwise noted.

community history pioneers dining

Contributors Ernie “The Great” Bonn David Harrington Campbell Nancy Carol Carter Ben Cartwright Christian Chaffee Alana Coons Clare B. Crane Tim Gahagan Welton Jones Michael Kelly Peg Marston Vicki Morgan ThePhotoGraff RD Riccoboni Lori Saldaña Dolores St. Louis Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) Judy Swink


Layout/Design Timothy W. Brittain



Publishers Ann Garwood Nancy Moors


ow in our ninth year, this handy urban guide to Hillcrest will again share the insights of those who live and work here, travel through or just plain love our neighborhood. Enjoy! Please use the 2011–12 edition to learn more about the community, and visit for daily updates! Although Hillcrest was selected as one of the nation’s best neighborhoods in 2007, there are opportunities to make it even better, and we encourage you to become involved. Share your views of the future. We’re in the midst of a two-year community plan update (see page 11). While opinions vary, a common thread exists to reduce building heights and promote trolleys (see page 28–29). Parking. The community continues to advocate for a reformed parking advisory board (see page 23), which will need everyone to share their ideas such as residential permits, streetcars, validation and adjusting meter rates that can vary from 25¢ to $2.50 an hour. Redistricting. Voters’ approval of the “strong mayor” also gave thumbs up for a ninth council district based on 2010 census data. How will our district be redrawn? Fortunately, our neighborhood is packed with activism. As a voice for residents, the monthly Hillcrest Town Council meetings (2nd Tuesdays) are a melting pot of issues and ideas. Most importantly the HTC allows residents to meet their neighbors and begin a dialog! Whether it’s working with the city to fix the Tenth and Robinson bottleneck, hosting political forums, saving a tree (see page 9) or removing trash (see page 7) — this group does it all. Much has changed in our community’s history (see page 31), but what made Hillcrest so special over the years lingers today: a village of characters with strong opinions; a place of community-minded people who discuss, even argue, but tryy to find workable solutions.


3742 Seventh Avenue, Ste B San Diego, CA 92103-4348 (619) 260-1929

Welcome to HQ9


Volume IX July 2011 – June 2012

What material was used to create animal sculptures in the 3700 block of First Avenue?




illcresters love our big red sign, first given to the community in 1940 by an active association of female shopkeepers wanting to promote the neighborhood business area. After several decades of lighting up the street, the sign went dark for several years before being replicated and lighted again in 1984. The celebratory party that filled the streets became the genesis for CityFest. The iconic beacon weighs 800 pounds and includes 240 feet of pink neon snaking around the outline of white letters. It was repainted the night of July 10–11 in 2003 and again on August 4, 2009 just in time for CityFest’s silver anniversary party. Over the last few years the sign has been problematic, with some or all of the letters dark night after night. One transformer was replaced, but now it seems that moisture is the issue. Solutions include encasing the sign to protect it from Hillcrest’s horrible weather or rebuild it. Ben Nicholls of the Hillcrest Business Association hopes that a replication (costing about $34,000) will be installed before this year’s CityFest. Whatever happens, we hope that the big red sign will continue to glow down on our community for decades to come — welcoming one and all to Hillcrest.



icking up trash is not something I enjoy, but looking at the same litter on our sidewalks day after day is something that I like even



of a community

7 community


less. Some folks don’t mind walking right by the garbage; sadly, others

About the Author: Tim Gahagan is chair of the Neighborhood Improvement Committee. The Hillcrest Town Council meets at 6:30pm on the second Tuesday of the month in the Joyce Beers Community Center. Please join us.

fun neighbors shopping

Several years ago I became involved in our neighborhood residents’ organization, the Hillcrest Town Council (HTC), which has a committee that focuses on making our community a nicer place to live and play. The group has a Neighborhood Improvement Committee (NIC) that honors Hillcrest businesses and residents for extraordinary enhancements, but its most notable service is removing graffiti and litter from sidewalks, gutters and alleys. With diminished city services, people are happy to see our orange t-shirts at work. Some ask who we are, others want to know how to participate, and many simply express their appreciation. Business owners support our efforts, too. City Deli regularly provides cookies to the volunteers, and we’ve enjoyed complimentary cocktails at Urban Mo’s. (I never knew picking up trash could be so much fun!) San Diego Pride also supports us with a donation for cleaning-up after their LGBT celebration (annually the third weekend in July). Bright and early Monday morning neighbors and friends gather at Park and University to help put the shine back on Hillcrest. Show up and be part of a group that works together to do something good. This is only one reason why I like being a part of the Hillcrest Town Council, which was formed in 2007. The HTC has created a place where people work together to achieve common goals. We’ve helped save a tree (see page 9), held informational forums, participated in the Community Plan Update (see page 11) and worked on redistricting issues. But what’s most important is that we continue to provide a voice for Hillcrest renters and homeowners while supporting actions that benefit our neighborhood.


something about it.


just don’t seem to notice. I’m not one of those. Trash bugs me, and I do


120 Years of Caring for the Community Established in 1890 by the Sisters of Mercy, Scripps Mercy Hospital is San Diego County’s longest-established and only Catholic Hospital. St Joseph’s St. Joseph s Dispensary, Dispensary 1890

With campuses in San Diego and Chula Vista, we provide medical expertise, leading-edge technology and a very special style of care.

St Joseph’s St. Joseph s Hospital, Hospital 1918

Scripps Mercy offers primary care and a wide range of specialty services, including a Level I Trauma Center, 24-hour emergency care, acute medical/ surgical services, perinatal care and one

Mercy Hospital Hospital, 1927

of San Diego’s only chest pain centers.

What style of streetcars were used during the 1915 Exposition?

In addition, the Scripps Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery Program provides state-of-the-art cardiothoracic, urologic, gynecologic, bariatric and general surgery procedures. Scripps Mercy Hospital Hospital, San Diego campus

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ast fall Hillcrest resident Filbert Vigil returned home from his day job at Florence Elementary School to discover a large white “X” spray-painted on the trunk of a tree across the street. Sadly, the treasured eucalyptus that he grew up playing around had been marked for removal.






In the meantime, KUSI’s Turko Files interviewed HTC board member, Luke Terpstra and Mario Sierra, head of the city’s streets division. City staff ultimately concluded that the proposed wheelchair ramp could be built without cutting down the tree, and neighbors began referring to this grand old eucalyptus as “Filbert’s Tree.” Further action led to the Community Forestry Advisory Board designating this specimen as a “Heritage Tree” and protecting it for the rest of its natural life. For his worthy actions Filbert was presented a LION Award (see page 6 & 7) from the residents’ group. The moral of this story is simple: community activism works — get involved. Also of note: the Eucalyptus Ficofolia is the “showiest” of all the flowering gum trees, which makes it perfect for our neighborhood! About the Author: David Harrington Campbell is a screenwriter and novelist who lives on Essex Street. Read more at

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That evening Filbert’s email was read at the monthly meeting of the Hillcrest Town Council (HTC) and neighbors voted unanimously to support saving the tree. Courtney Thomson, Councilmember Todd Gloria’s representative, heard the residents’ concerns and contacted streets division who put the project on hold until the issue could be investigated.


“I live on the corner of Richmond and Pennsylvania where a 100+ year old tree is slated for removal to accommodate a new wheelchair ramp! I am searching for some help in saving this tree. The corner where the ramp will be placed leads down the Richmond Street hill where the sidewalk ends. This is a waste of money for the side of the street that is not handicap friendly and will also destroy this beautiful tree. There must be someone in Hillcrest who cares as much as I do about such a great loss.”


Alarmed, Filbert sent an email to the Hillcrest Town Council:


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What community benefit does the Hillcrest Town Council NIC committee perform?

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history pioneers dining fun ne n neighbors eiig gh sshopping ho h opp ppin ing

ptown’s first community plan in 1988 provided for significant height and dense zoning in the heart of Hillcrest, but the city (or SANDAG) didn’t follow through to accommodate the increased population, which negatively affects the quality of life for everyone. We’re now over halfway through a two-year process with community volunteers devoting hours to create a blueprint for Uptown development over the next two decades (or longer). The city is acting as our consultant. Not surprisingly, developers and people who don’t live here favor height and density, while most residents want to keep infill away from their sense of place. San Diegans love our climate and value the sunshine. We dislike the wind tunnels created by tall buildings at the top of a hill. When historic resources are removed, communities lose their character along with affordable housing stock. Citizen involvement is needed to protect our communities, because the city hasn’t. Bands of neighbors with little or no money continue to battle against projects with deep pockets and connections to city hall. Hillcresters were vigilant with 301 University; Be-Hi prevailed in fights against Our Lady of Peace; and some of our oldest structures have needed to be designated historic over the wishes of disgruntled owners. But why should the community’s history continue to be demolished? University Heights and Hillcrest neighbors voiced strong opposition to the MidCity Rapid Bus proposal along Park Boulevard including a plan to close Polk Avenue. Will residents be heard, or is SANDAG just another government bureaucracy with a life all its own? In 2011 Mayor Sanders merged the city’s planning department (motto: “enhancing the quality of life in San Diego”) into development services (motto: “managing your land & building development from concept to completion”). Will this favor development next door to you? Uptown is currently short 110 acres of parkland with a 169-acre shortage projected by 2020. We need a westbound exit to the hospitals from 163 north. A new community plan should address these concerns. Residents have shared their vision for the future but has the city listened? Or will conflicts between developers and the community continue?

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What Hillcrest neighbor led the effort to save “Filbert’s Tree”?



As founder of Preserve Our Parks he also advocated against new cottages being added to the House of Pacific Relations in 2007. Jay hoped the city would do a better job in protecting his beloved Balboa Park instead of turning it over to a private conservancy. In a 2008 Union-Tribune article he was quoted, “This is probably one of poorest-run cities in the United States, and I just feel like we need to turn that around. I think if our city could get its house in order, then the city government could run the park well.” Jay was elected to the Uptown Planners board in 1998 and served for 12 years. Chair Leo Wilson recalls that he was “a voice of calm and reason at times of tension and heated debate, yet Jay never hesitated to confront difficult issues. It is hard to think of an accomplishment in Hillcrest over the last 20 years in which Jay did not play a role. He particularly cared about and fought to protect the integrity of Balboa Park. His contribution to Uptown will long be remembered.” Jay was a unique individual who celebrated life by finding joy, beauty and goodwill in each day. After cancer took his life, the City Council honored the activist by adjourning in his memory on March 8, 2011.

fun neighbors

The Marston Hills resident ran in Balboa Park almost every day and also enjoyed his neighborhood walks. When the zoo announced expansion plans in the late 1990s, a horrified Jay organized other veterans, local activists and park lovers to save the War Memorial Building from demolition. The building was saved, but the zoo ultimately won city approval for many of its yet-unrealized plans to expand.


hank goodness, Jay Hyde’s (1932–2011) legacy lives on in Balboa Park where his actions preserved open space and inspired others to protect our environment. The soft-spoken Jay enjoyed working on community projects with his wife and best friend, Juli. The couple was passionate about the Uptown community and involved in the Hillcrest Town Council, supporting the success of the Interim Height Ordinance (see HQ6) and the update of our neighborhood’s community plan (see page 11).







The quiet activist


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Who was the voice of calm and reason on the Uptown Planners?



orn and raised in OB, Noah Tafolla is a genuinely laid-back and likable guy who loves sharing the special neighborhoods of his hometown

15 community

Hillcrest featured on “Wonderland” on the popular KPBS series “Wonderland.” As producer and host he takes Hillcrest with cameraman Guillermo Sevilla duringg the first week in November to tape segmentss for the episode

hist history tor

viewers on tours to undiscovered corners of San Diego. Noah visited

that premiered on Januaryy 5, 2011. Along the way he baked bread, p pioneers ione io neer erss er

e a ed flipped burgers and learned


Also included in the documentary were visits to Tap Lighting, the big yellow house at the corner of Sixth & Pennsylvania and the Village Hat Shop on Fourth Avenue. Noah loves sharing neighborhoods and inviting viewers to rediscover the history of urban communities and the independent businesses and people who make them unique. Noah wove together a wonderful piece on our neighborhood including three segments, which may be viewed on YouTube. KPBS (Cox Channel 11) first aired the “Wonderland” episode featuring Hillcrest in January, and it has rerun several times. In case you missed it, the Hillcrest History Guild has copies for loan. Check out one and enjoy!


The following day Noah and Guillermo enjoyed a tour in the HillQuest electric car and gained insight into our neighborhood’s past with Ann Garwood and Nancy Moors, founders of the Hillcrest History Guild and publishers of the annual urban guide that you’re holding. Under the Hillcrest sign, the girls shared tales of the community’s early history, then showed Noah the Vermont Street Pedestrian Bridge (see HQ5).


Hill t Hi Hillcrest History t G Guild ild has copies for loan.


Noah first visited Bread & Cie (350 University Avenue)) where Charles Kaufman, thee multi-talented owner of thiss favorite cafe/bakery showedd him how to create perfect c ct artisan loaves. Next up, he stopped by the Crest Cafe (425 ( Robinson Avenue) where hee talked to the father-daughter team m of Luis and Cecelia Moreno and met e her cousin et Ruben Medina who oversees the kitchen. h ffamily il ki h Noah bussed tables and tried his hand at the grill.

d di dining ini ning ng

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ven though it’s always felt like home, it took me 30 years to become a Hillcrest resident. In reality I was born here — at UCSD Medical


My Hillcrest Home


Center before spending the next 25 years growing up in Allied Gardens. afternoons at the Hillcrest CPA office where she was employed, hanging out with her until she got off work. Occasionally on the way home we’d stop by the Chicken Pie Shop at Fifth & Robinson for dinner, and I’d


My mother was a single parent so I would spend many school day



carrying on at the Brass Rail. Little did I know that


stare across the street at people

years later I’d enjoy many

I moved to North Park in 2006, but it took four more years before relocating west into Hillcrest’s DECA at the corner of Park & Robinson. Now that I’ve settled in I look forward to becoming active in the Hillcrest Town Council (see page 7) and playing an even greater role in the neighborhood that I’ve always loved. All along I knew that Hillcrest was home — it just took me a while to get here. About the Author: Hillcrest resident Ben Cartwright is an LGBT activist.

fun neighbors

At 14 I was old enough to realize that I was gay and became focused on getting to Hillcrest to find like-minded people. I discovered that I could walk or ride my bike, but it took a while. From my neighborhood I could follow Waring Road to College Avenue and then take El Cajon Boulevard all the way in. The bike ride itself took over an hour, but it was so worth the trek. When I finally got a driver’s license, my first stop was Hillcrest where I repeatedly cruised University Avenue until I began to make friends at the Living Room Coffeehouse (now Tre Porcellini) during my senior year of high school. Some nights I even mustered the courage to stop by Obelisk Bookstore to pick up an XY Magazine for gay youth.


hours of the night.


roof dancing into the wee


Saturdays under that same


a tasty treat since 1984 Located in the heart of Hillcrest, City Deli is celebrating their 27th year of serving the community. The bright and colorful building with its checkerboard trim and distinctive fruit decoration make this restaurant a neighborhood landmark. The popular restaurant has been a meeting place for business people, friends and families since 1984. City Deli’s menu offers page after page of yummy selections with breakfast served all day. Enjoy a martini, margarita or mojito at the full-service bar or dine al fresco in the comfortable sidewalk dining area. Their homemade desserts are the best! Check out the pastry case full of cakes, cookies and pies just inside the front door. City Deli’s baker will create the perfect taste treat for your wedding, bachelorette party, bar When were parking meters first installed in San Diego?

mitzvah or birthday. Come by, say hello and enjoy the hospitality of owners, Alan and Michael. When you dine at City Deli you’ll be dining with friends!

dining fun neighbors shopping

ach spring as San Diegans face another dreary “May gray” the normally subdued jacarandas break into vibrant blooms that transform wide streets throughout our neighborhood into heavenly blue violet corridors. Kate Session (HQ5 & 8) is widely credited with both introducing and popularizing the trees here in the 1880s. She later referenced the area’s “two oldest trees” between 2nd and 3rd streets in Coronado, the site of her growing fields in 1885. One hundred years later (in 1986) a member of the Village Garden Club of La Jolla, Sylvia Simpson Coleman, established the Jacaranda Tree Project that has been responsible for more than 1,200 new plantings throughout the county. Her dream of San Diego becoming the nation’s jacaranda capitol gained traction in 2000 when the tireless efforts of fellow member Donna Derrick culminated with the purple beauty becoming the city’s official tree. Visitors to our fair city are amazed by the colorful jacarandas, perhaps because they simply are not found in most of the United States. Maybe that’s also the reason that so many locals treasure our lavender trees and their gracefully spreading branches draped with iris-colored flowers. Shaped as tiny trumpets the fallen purple petals leave a carpet reminiscent of a lilac snowfall, which make some grumpy because of the mess. But how many other cities can boast that their pot hole-covered streets are decorated with silky mauve flowers? Yet for all its showiness, the jacaranda is truly a humble tree. When its ostentatious blooms have disappeared by July, it returns to the obscurity that marks its existence until the following spring. The tree’s magical moment on the seasonal stage is brief, yet appreciated all the more because of the magnificent way it counterbalances those dismal days when there is little or no sunshine. Kate Sessions’ statue in Balboa Park is the perfect place to start a Bankers Hill walking tour to maximize a personal experience with these spring beauties. Visit to view the route, which is also shown on the fold-out map in the book you’re holding. Celebrate jacarandas, and help make Sylvia’s wish come true!










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ne of San Diego’s most dedicated civic-minded volunteers is a

remarkable Point Loma lady who with her husband, Dr. Homer



The amazing Mrs. Peabody



Peabody (1919–2005), was instrumental in the creation of the Barnes

Often referred to as the city’s crown jewel, our big backyard of Balboa Park is fortunate to have the likes of this queen mother advocating for its past, present and working toward a better future. Thank you, Betty!

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In 2009 Betty was instrumental in bringing together Friends of Balboa Park, The Committee of One Hundred and the Balboa Park Trust to create the Balboa Park Alliance (B-Pal). This organization grew out of conversations about how to share resources, avoid duplication of services and work together more synergistically. The alliance was created to achieve a new mission: to cooperate, coordinate and collaborate in the protection, preservation and enhancement of Balboa Park.


Betty began her involvement in Balboa Park in 1969 as a docent with the San Diego Museum of Man, and for over four decades since she has played an active role in the success of the park she loves. And, oh the progress she’s seen. Betty has been a vital member of the Central Balboa Park Association since its inception, and in 1997 she led the House of Hospitality during its grand re-opening and was honored by that organization with a lifetime membership award. Two years later the Balboa Park Millennium Society was born out of the same commitment that motivated George Marston (HQ8), Ephraim Morse (see page 83) and other early leaders. The organization — founded in 1999 by a group of longtime volunteers including Libby Carson, Steve Wall, David Brennan and Betty — is dedicated to the whole park with their projects transcending individual institutions and addressing human-scale needs. In 2003 it was renamed the Friends of Balboa Park, and Betty remains a driving force. Learn more at and become involved.


Tennis Center dedicated to the youth of San Diego. Yet it has been Balboa Park that has benefited most from this great humanitarian.


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community history pioneers dining fun neighbors

The city then reached out to Turpin McLaughlin Communications (TMC) to facilitate the creation of a new parking advisory board. Hillcrest, Mission Hills, Five Points and Bankers Hill/Park West have all agreed that (1) the new organization’s money should be divided proportionately between communities; (2) directors should have staggered term limits; and (3) residents, as well as business owners, should have a voice on the reconstituted board. Using the most current figures, the annual revenue shares are: Bankers Hill — $275,000; Five Points — $46,697; Mission Hills — $26,502; and Hillcrest — $464,357. (This final portion includes revenue from 94 nowdisputed meters located between Front and Dove streets in the city-identified community of Hillcrest, but within the Mission Hills business district.) Some community members also disagree with the suggested formula for board representation. The city wants seats to be reflective of the revenue generated in each neighborhood, but doesn’t want any neighborhood to have a majority (difficult to achieve). It is also proposed that each community have a parking committee (like Hillcrest’s) that will determine the best use of meter revenue in their own neighborhood. The committee’s recommendations would move forward to the new board for approval and then to the city for funding. The city council will consider contracting with a reformed community parking organization beginning in October 2011. Concerned about parking in your neighborhood? Get involved.


sshopping hop ho pp piin ng

here’s an air of excitement, angst and continued frustration when the subject of Hillcrest parking is discussed. Since our last HillQuest (HQ8), the Grand Jury issued a report critical of the Uptown Partnership, the community’s (now former) parking advisory board. The 2010 investigation found that in the last decade the group had spent three times more on salaries and overhead than on neighborhood projects to promote parking. After attempts by the Partnership to refute the Grand Jury, the city council refused to enter into another one-year contract, granting only a 90-day extension and ordering the board to make significant changes. Community leaders encouraged the group to step aside, and at the end of 2010 the Partnership board threw in the towel and voted to not renew their city contract.

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Do you olde have W e lov Hillcrest & tosst pho to Toa memories crese?t! Hill to shar


Thursday, August 18, 2011 Who was the 1915 Exposition’s architect-in-residence?


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© San Diego History Center


ou may not remember when Fifth “Street” went south (as well as north) through the heart of Hillcrest. Note the bus turning left onto Fifth from University? That service began in the 1930s, and the rubber-wheeled people movers shared roads with trolleys until the end of Hillcrest’s streetcar era in 1949 (see pages 28–29). Today’s tree-lined Fifth “Avenue” is northbound-only on three well-traveled lanes. This circa 1946 view, a close up of the aerial photo inside the back cover, shows that much remains 65 years later. With the exception of California First (now Union) Bank Building’s completion in 1989 and another new structure to its west, plus the removal of a mixed-use storefront east of the Security Commercial & Savings Bank (now a parking lot and flower stand), University Avenue between Fourth and Sixth looks the same. Soon after this photo was taken, George Pernicano moved into town, built his namesake restaurant along Sixth and served San Diego’s first pizzas. After keeping it shuttered for decades, the Pernicano family is now looking for a developer. One dreamer has already visualized what the site could be (see page 63). Share your ideas in the next long-range plan for our community (see page 11).


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or more than a century a facility at the edge of a Hillcrest bluff overlooking Mission Valley has provided medical care for San Diegans. The present 386-bed hospital is the primary site for regional services including a burn center, stroke center, bone marrow transplantation, a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), in-hospital birth center and a Level 1 Trauma Center. As a bonus to our neighborhood the facility is also the main hospital for UCSD’s School of Medicine. As the area’s only academic health system, it offers both primary care and specialized services, including surgery, diagnosis and management of genetic diseases, neurology and orthopedics. Beginning in 1904 this site was home to San Diego County Hospital. However in 1966, UCSD’s School of Medicine leased the facility for $350,000 a year and renamed it University Hospital. Fourteen years later UCSD purchased the hospital for $17 million with a commitment to care for indigent patients, and it was re-named UCSD Medical Center. It has been ranked in the annual U.S. News & World Report “Best Hospitals” issue for the last 17 years and is the region’s only adult hospital consistently ranked among the best in multiple specialties. In 1992 UC San Diego expanded and remodeled their hospital at a cost of $37 million, so the community was surprised and disappointed to learn in a 2005 “A New Vision for Health Care” announcement that UCSD Medical Center had plans to move its trauma program to La Jolla, leaving only emergency services in Hillcrest. To the delight of the Uptown community, that vision has since changed. New CEO Thomas E. Jackiewicz is actively involved in the community, and it’s not unusual to find him at local meetings or walking door-to-door asking for neighbor input. The hospital recently engaged in several large project improvements, including an expansion of emergency and trauma services, as well as a complete seismic retrofitting, representing an $80 million investment. At a recent leadership workshop the CEO confirmed that UC San Diego Health System is committed to our neighborhood and will proudly remain in Hillcrest for many years to come!

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n 1909 San Diego leaders began to plan for a world-class celebration for the soon-to-be-opened Panama Canal. In anticipation of Balboa Park’s 1915 Exposition (see HQ4) John D. Spreckels, owner of the San Diego Electric Railway donated $100,000 to the city effort. Then he developed a unique fleet of 24 Class 1 streetcars to provide the large crowds with enchanting rides to the upcoming extravaganza. Ultimately, the streetcars provided practical public transportation from Downtown to Uptown, North Park, Ocean Beach, Coronado, Golden Hill and Kensington. They even briefly served as a link to the Mexican border. The streetcars, specifically designed for San Diego’s unique climate, were spacious and beautifully detailed Arts & Crafts originals. Even the push buttons were inlaid with mother of pearl. The cars were completed in 1912 and went on to serve for 27 years until 1939 (including both the 1915 and 1935 expositions). Today only three of the cars are known to have survived. In 2007 historian Alexander Bevil conducted an exhaustive survey of the cars and their history. His report enabled the trio to be designated by the city in 1997 as San Diego Historic Landmark #339. Once on their original route, they will be eligible for state and national historic designation. Local antique dealer Christian Chaffee saved these three historic streetcars, one shown below, which he hopes to return to service in time for the 2015 centennial celebration. If the restoration project gets on track, the streetcars could again be running from the waterfront to Balboa Park in the next few years before further expansion into urban areas. (Visit for more details.) San Diego has a golden opportunity to implement this historic streetcar line that would be on the same level as those in New Orleans and San Francisco. In addition, these streetcars from our city’s past could help bring the community back to public transportation in a way that both celebrates the history of San Diego and leaves a legacy for our future. We encourage our city leaders to get on board.

community history

Streetcars are very much a part of current transportation planning in San Diego. The success of the San Diego Trolley and the rising prices of fuel make it likely that light rail will be extended sooner rather than later. And one of the principal routes always mentioned in any discussion is the trip from downtown up Park Boulevard to Balboa Park, the exact route for which these historic cars were originally designed.


There are no reason modern streetcars and restored cars from other eras can’t all use the same tracks. But for any plan to move forward without employing these three unique, priceless original cars seems absurd.


The restoration of the cars so far is an epic story of Chaffee’s commitment to their future. As a key player, he wants to be part of their eventual return to glory. He sees them as models for historical replicas and also perhaps returning to limited active duty themselves. “But,” adds Chaffee, “the project is more important than me. I just want the project to go forward.”


Many of these cars were sold to local firms, which removed their operating gear and converted them into small homes. A group of “trolley bungalow courts” along Taylor Street in Old Town housed defense workers during World War II. Other converted San Diego streetcars could be found in use as far away as the backcountry mountains near Lake Morena. Cars 126, 128 (left) and 138 were installed on a lot in El Cajon around 1939, nested together forming a three-room home. As years passed and other cars were scrapped when their sites changed owners, the three in El Cajon remained in use. And that was where Christian Chaffee discovered them in 1996.


merica’s love affair with streetcars began to sag during the Depression as automobiles became king. kin ng. g. In In San Saan Diego, the last of an aging fleet eet built ee builiillt bu to carry visitors into Balboa Park PPaarrkk for for or the expositions of 1915–16 and and nd 1935–36 were retired between een en 1937 and 1941.





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About the Author: Welton Jones has been writing about cultural matters in San Diego since 1965.

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1870 Mary Kearney obtains a deed from the city for the land, which will eventually become Hillcrest. The following year, real estate developers C. D. Arnold & D. Choate obtain, and then sell, the property to railroad tycoon George Hill. 1880 Fifth Street is the first road extended north from downtown. 1886 Elisha Babcock & Hampton Story launch downtown’s San Diego Streetcar Company, the first public transit system with cars pulled by a horse or mule. 1887 Electric Rapid Transit Company uses the newly invented power to connect downtown and Old Town (see page 77) with streetcars on Kettner Blvd. 1887 Wyatt Earp invests in uptown, purchasing the southwest corner of Fifth & University, and lists himself as a “capitalist” in the next year’s city directory. 1887 Thomas Crittenden files a deed for his addition, one of the first subdivisions north of the park (bounded by Robinson, Upas, Sixth Avenue & (now) Hwy 163. 1887 College Hill Land Association begins development of University Heights (HQ6). 1888 Uptown gets public transportation as the Park Belt Motor Road opens a tenmile loop connecting downtown, (what will be) Hillcrest, University Heights and City Park (HQ2), renamed Balboa Park in 1910. 1888 Alonzo Horton develops a subdivision north of downtown (bounded by Ash Street, City Park, Walnut Street and what is now Interstate 5). 1889 Brook’s Addition bounded by Second (now First), Sixth, Robinson and Brooks is deeded. (The street is now Brookes.) Nutt’s Addition (just north to University with the same east/west boundaries) is recorded next. 1890 San Diego Cable Railway Company opens a 4.7-mile line up Fourth, along University and then north on Normal and Park to Adams. Its 51,000-foot cable is driven by two coal-fired steam engines in a power plant at Fourth & Spruce. The following year it ceases operation and falls into bankruptcy after one owner vanishes with $200,000 and the other commits suicide. 1891 Sisters of Mercy (HQ5) open St. Joseph’s Sanitarium along University Avenue north of Seventh. The threestory hospital with 19 beds on a ten-acre site costs $5,000. (Can you spot any remaining structures?) 1892 John & Adolph Spreckels’ San Diego Electric Railway Company (SDER) is one of 25 serving San Diego; by 1909 it controls the entire city public transit system. The last trolley runs through Hillcrest in 1949 on its way to the Trolley Barn on Adams Avenue. 1895 Thirty-three women form the Wednesday Club (HQ3), a civic literary group. 1896 The Citizen’s Traction Company begins to serve uptown on the newly electrified route of the former cable cars before SDER takes it over. 1897 State Normal School (HQ4) is founded for the training of elementary school teachers and becomes the genesis for San Diego State University. 1902 George Marston (HQ3) travels east to hire a worthy landscape architect to design the 1,400-acre City Park. 1904 County Hospital (now UCSD Medical Center, see page 27) opens. A fourth floor is added in 1910 and a five-story east wing in 1926. 1905 The wooden Quince Street pedestrian bridge opens providing residents west of Maple Canyon access to the streetcar lines (see page 71).



Timeline connecting Hillcrest’s history

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1906 William Wesley Whitson (HQ5) purchases the 40-acre George Hill estate for $115,000. The following year he subdivides the property (north of University to Lewis between Second, now First, to Sixth) and opens a sales office just north of University on Fifth (on the same location as the mixed-use building, shown above, which was demolished in 2011). His sister-in-law Laura Anderson, who recommended that he buy the parcel, suggests “Hillcrest” as a name. 1908 Florence Elementary School opens at First & University. 1909 G. Aubrey Davidson (HQ7), founder of the Southern Trust & Commerce Bank and president of the Chamber of Commerce, proposes that S.D. should host an exposition in 1915 to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal. 1910 Hillcrest’s first financial institution, University Avenue Bank, opens (with Henry Jones at the helm); and self-taught architect Hazel Waterman (HQ7) designs a meeting place for The Wednesday Club at Sixth & Ivy. 1911 Banker Henry Jones builds a house for his family at 4040 Hillcrest Drive (changed to Fifth Avenue in 1968). In 2007 the hospital acquired the old craftsman, and over their wishes it was historically designated in 2009. 1912 City engineer (twice) and later mayor (twice), Edwin Capp builds a suspension footbridge linking Spruce St.’s (HQ2) west Bankers Hill residents to streetcars. 1912 Alice Lee & Katherine Teats (HQ8) hire Irving Gill to design a group of houses along a canyon on Albatross Street south of Walnut. 1912 Hebbard & Winslow (see page 41) designed the church at Sixth & Penn. 1913 Hillcrest Theater (later named The Guild) is the first movie house built outside of downtown. (It goes dark in 1997, in the same month as the Park Theatre.) 1914 The city builds the Georgia Street Bridge over the recently trenched University Avenue streetcar lines. North Park development expands quickly. 1915 The Panama-California Exposition (HQ4) opens on New Year’s Day. Bertram Goodhue’s Spanish Colonial architecture forever defines Balboa Park. 1915 Pacific Bell & Telephone opens new switching center at Seventh & University. All S.D. long-distance calls are now hand-routed through this building. 1916 The original Vermont Street Bridge (HQ6) is built by John D. Spreckels. 1916 Dr. Harry Wegeforth establishes the San Diego Zoo when animals imported for the Exposition are quarantined and not allowed to leave. 1919 St. Joseph’s Hospital surgery annex (see page 39) is constructed. 1921 Business owners unite to form the Hillcrest Association. 1922 Roosevelt Junior High School opens adjacent to the zoo. 1924 The Sisters of Mercy (HQ6) move to the present location of Scripps Mercy Hospital and sell St. Joseph’s. 1926 The Bush Egyptian Theater opens at 3812 Park Boulevard. In 1954 the columns were removed, and the enclosed lobby became Mondrian-modern as the extraordinary building was remodeled in a three-month, $100,000 project and renamed the Capri Theater (later renamed The Park). 1928 The Chicken Pie Shop opens at northeast corner of Fifth & Robinson (relocating to North Park in 1990); and the U.S. Postal Service opens a Hillcrest Station on Fifth Street between University & Washington.










1932 Numbered “streets” are renamed “avenues.” 1936 In effort to relieve congestion on Washington, the city extends University Avenue westward from Front Street. A small canyon adjacent to Florence Elementary School is filled and a one-block northward jog is graded. At Albatross, the new road connects into Douglas, which is hence renamed. 1940 Women shopkeepers gift the Hillcrest sign (see page 5) to the community. 1940 To alleviate east-west traffic from the major congestion at University & Sixth, a 423-foot Washington Street bridge is built over the Sixth Street Extension (now the 163 on/off ramps). 1941 The first parking meters are installed in San Diego. 1946 Margaret & Wilson “Bill” Pickney, owners of Park Boulevard’s Egyptian Court open an exotic restaurant, the Garden of Allah, next door to the north. In 1954 the unconventional supper club was modernized into The Flame to commemorate the fire that gutted it. 1947 The Cabrillo Freeway (now Historic Highway 163) opens. 1949 Bill Kingston moves The Whistle Stop train shop from downtown to Sixth Ave. In 1975 it relocated again to 3834 Fourth Avenue (where it remains today). 1949 Trolley service through Hillcrest ends April 24 (see page 28). 1953 Sears Roebuck & Company opens on the present site of the Uptown District (HQ6). It was razed in 1988. 1955 The brightly colored neon Golden Dragon (HQ5) sign above Jimmy Wong’s restaurant is first lit. 1957 Hillcrest celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding with a golden remembrance of the “good old days.” 1959 Parking meter rates double from 5 to 10¢ an hour. 1960 Hillcrest merchants suffer from increased competition and shoppers preference to go to the latest American marketing invention: The Mall. 1960 Al Davis opens the doors to his furniture store (HQ5) at the corner of Herbert & University. In 1980 he adds Mattress World. 1961 Bill & Mary Peccolo found the Blue Door Bookstore on Fifth Avenue. After Bill’s death in 1987, she sells the business to Tom Stoup who runs the literary sanctuary until transferring ownership to Patti DeYoung in 2000. The 39-year-old bookstore closes the following year. 1968 Show Biz Supper Club opens (at what is now Baja Betty’s), and Clint Johnson introduces female impersonation to San Diego. It goes dark in 1982. 1970 Members of the LGBT community continue to establish residences, businesses and organizations within Hillcrest. 1972 City Council votes to raise hourly parking meter rates from 75¢ to $1. 1973 The Center for Social Services (now called the LGBT Center) (HQ2) opens in Golden Hill. It moves to Hillcrest in 1980. 1976 Coral Tree Plaza, the first high-rise residential tower near the heart of Hillcrest, is built in block three of Crittenden’s Addition. 1983 Joyce Beers (HQ6), secretary of the Hillcrest Association, leads a petition drive urging city council to form the Hillcrest Business Improvement District (HQ8), which is funded by business license assessments. 1984 The Hillcrest sign (see page 5 and HQ1) is relit. The celebration held underneath continues the next year after an initial cancellation. 1985 The HBA holds the first CityFest in May. Posters for the two-day celebration promoted “art will be everywhere,” and it was. Including the pavement on Fifth Avenue. The business association paid $1,642 to clean it up. 1986 Maureen O’Connor becomes San Diego’s first woman mayor. In June she’s the first city official to ride (and march) in the Lesbian & Gay Pride parade. 1987 Hillcrest activist Albert Bell (with Jess Jessop) is among 862 arrested in the largest act of civil disobedience on record during the March on Washington. 1988 City council approves the original Uptown Community Plan allowing 200-foot development along Fifth and University avenues.


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1989 After years of fighting over custody issues, attorney fees and property, Betty Broderick shoots her ex-husband and his new wife in their Marston Hills bed. 1990 The Uptown District’s mixed-use development is built on the former Sears site; and the Quince Street foot bridge reopens after major renovation (HQ7). 1991 Village Hillcrest opens (on the site of Whitson’s 1940s bowling alley) with a large underground parking lot, five movie theatres and mixed use. 1993 The GAP moves into the building once owned by Wyatt Earp. 1993 Christine Kehoe is elected to city council (S.D.’s first openly LGBT official). 1994 At a cost of $1.2 million the new Vermont St. foot bridge (HQ6) is completed featuring public art (HQ5) by the female Stone, Paper, Scissors team. 1994 Hillcrest’s second Starbucks (S.D.’s 14th) opens at the former site of the Chicken Pie Shop. The building is refurbished with art deco spires and neon. 1996 Hillcrest Business Association votes to underwrite the cost of a security patrol for the neighborhood. 1997 Hillcrest Farmers Market (see page 87 and HQ3) opens on Sunday mornings at the DMV lot (Lincoln & Normal) as a project of the HBA. 1998 The LGBT Center on Normal Street relocates one block east after purchasing the old union hall at 3909 Centre Street. 1999 Linda Churchill paints the mural on Tenth Avenue south of University. 2000 Promoting “neighborhoods first” Toni Atkins is elected to city hall. 2001 Mercy Gardens (formerly the Sisters of Mercy Convent which housed nuns from 1926-1990) is remodeled for use by the HIV-positive community. 2001 The documentary Searching for San Diego — Hillcrest is shown on KPBS. 2002 The 14th Annual Open Air Book Fair moves from Normal Heights to Hillcrest’s Fifth Avenue, drawing about 5,000 literary enthusiasts. 2004 City Council raises parking meter rates to $1.25 an hour. 2004 Ann Garwood & Nancy Moors form the Hillcrest History Guild (HQ3) creating a virtual online museum at — enjoy! 2006 The Hillcrest Clean T.E.A.M. (HQ4) commits to sweeping the neighborhood on each first & third Sunday throughout the year. 2006 On September 13 the City Council follows Toni Atkins lead and approves the 140-foot mixed use project at 301 University (HQ5) by 7-1. (Donna Fyre was the lone vote of dissent.) 2007 Hillcrest celebrates our first 100 years as residents form the Hillcrest Town Council giving a voice to renters & homeowners. They meet the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 6:30-8pm at the Joyce Beers Community Center (JBCC). 2008 An Interim Height Ordinance (HQ5) is approved by city council on July 8 followed by a neighborhood celebration at the JBCC; in November City Heights resident Todd Gloria (HQ8) is elected to represent Hillcrest on the city council. 2009 The Hillcrest History Guild is chosen as a stakeholder for the two-year update of Uptown’s Community Plan (see page 11). 2010 A SD County Grand Jury report exposes issues with the community parking advisory board (see page 23). The Uptown Partnership ends their city contract in December. (A new parking district is being formed.) 2011 Noah Tafolla, producer of the popular KPBS series Wonderland (see page 15) presents a feature on Hillcrest.


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n 2010 Mayor Jerry Sanders made a commitment to return Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama (HQ8) to its original use as a pedestrian mall in time for the 2015 centennial of the Panama-California Exposition. This idea was widely embraced, but the city was broke, and donations were needed to make it happen.

For years concerns have been raised about the city’s ability to support park repairs. Councilmember Todd Gloria stated in 2010 that Balboa Park had approximately $250 million in deferred maintenance. Perhaps we should take care of what we have before building more. SOHO is leading the opposition to the Jacobs–Sanders proposal through their Campaign to Save Balboa Park, which will protect the Cabrillo Bridge and its historicity. Visit for more details.

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While plans to rid the plaza of parked cars received near-unanimous public support, there’s a growing chorus of concern over Jacobs’ estimated $39-million plan. Sadly, his architects continue to make the same presentation and downplay alternatives such as routing traffic around the edge of the plaza for as little as $10,000. In a letter to Mayor Sanders in April 2011 the director of the Western regions, National Trust for Historic Preservation stated, “We especially discourage any project that would remove or destroy historic fabric from contributing elements, such as the Cabrillo Bridge.” The civic group Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 (see page 42) also opposes the Jacobs–Sanders plan, with their president comparing it to “shooting a mouse with a cannon.” More than 20 local historic and neighborhood groups also don’t support the plan.


switch the regular parking in the Alcazar Garden lot to valet and disabled only. It would also destroy much of Cabrillo Canyon, displacing the 70 year-old archery club, and remove two public bathroom structures.




Philanthropist Irwin Jacobs stepped in and paid for extensive plans that have multiple contentious points including the most controversial, a bypass bridge from the Cabrillo Bridge that would lead traffic into a threestory partially underground paid parking structure behind the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. The bypass bridge would destroy the character of the 1915 ceremonial entrance to the National Historic Landmark District and would







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t the corner of University & Eighth, restoration continues on a 1919 structure (one of the oldest remaining in Hillcrest). It was originally built as a surgery annex for St. Joseph’s Hospital (see page 99) where Chipotle is now, but in 1924 when it was no longer needed, the eastfacing structure was relocated across the street to face north and became a furniture store. In 1973 Victor and Ruth Schulman opened House of Heirlooms, and their European antiques became a neighborhood staple until 2009. In January 2007 the old building was designated historic by the city. Upon Ruth’s death the following year, the family trust sold the property for $1.3 million to the 819 Acquisition Company headed by Masayuki Ueda owner of Studio 819 Residential Hotel, just next door to the east. The new owners are slowly bringing this grand old lady back to life. Recently the window shutters (not original) were removed and concern over lead paint was addressed, as the building was prepped for further restoration. It will sit in its current spotted condition until 50% occupancy is reached, which will allow the owners to meet lending requirements. Recent interest in the property has picked up, so we all hope to see renovations happening soon.



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About the Author: Mike Kelly is a retired physician and president of The Committee of One Hundred, which honored Winslow with the Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue Award in 2011.

community history

n 1913 architect Carleton Monroe Winslow, Sr. in collaboration with William S. Hebbard, designed Hillcrest’s All Saints’ Episcopal Church, which stands at Sixth & Pennsylvania. But he is most remembered for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park where Winslow was the architect-in-residence during the massive construction representing the Exposition’s chief architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue. While Goodhue designed the California Building (which became home to the Museum of Man), Winslow designed several other buildings for the 1915 Exposition: the Indian Arts Building (now House of Charm), the Home Economy and Science & Education buildings (both demolished in the 1960s and replaced by the Timken and west wing of the art museum), the Foreign Arts Building (House of Hospitality); the Varied Industries & Food Products Building (Casa del Prado); the entrances to the arcades and the Seal of the City of San Diego on the West Gate. Winslow also designed the Administration Building (not Irving Gill, a common misperception), the Kansas Building and contributed to others. Winslow studied architecture at the Art Institute of Chicago and at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. In 1916 he co-authored the book, The Architecture and the Gardens of the San Diego Exposition: A Pictorial Survey of the Aesthetic Features of the Panama California International Exposition. Winslow then moved to Los Angeles where he contributed to the design of the Los Angeles Public Library headquarters, completing the work after Goodhue’s death in 1924. He also opened an office in Santa Barbara, where he designed Cottage Hospital and worked with Floyd E. Brewster on the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. The architect served as the president of the Los Angeles Municipal Art Commission from 1931 to 1933 and became a Fellow of the AIA in 1939. He died in the City of Angels on October 16, 1946, and was survived by his wife and son, Carleton Monroe Winslow, Jr.





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amilton Marston (1910–2006) honored the family name with a

quiet activism that protected his grandfather’s beloved Balboa Park,

promoted environmentally sensitive growth, refurbished older communities and focused on other urban planning efforts. After selling the family’s landmark department store in the early 1960s, “Ham” became deeply involved in civic service as one of the founders of Citizens Coordinate for a Handsome Community. (The group was renamed Citizens Coordinate for

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Century 3, or C-3 in 1969.) C-3 is San Diego’s oldest community-based regional planning advocate and education group. In her recently published history Citizens Coordinate and the Battle for City Planning in San Diego, Dr. Clare Crane wrote, “Citizens Coordinate began with a group of architects, artists, scientists, horticulturists and concerned citizens who cared about preserving San Diego’s very special environment and discovered that the only way to do so was through concerted citizen action, community planning, and land use and zoning ordinances.” As a board member of C-3, Hamilton helped lead a successful fight against a proposed freeway through Maple Canyon, which would have destroyed it along with Balboa Park’s northern sections. He also strongly supported another battle against a Caltrans proposal to widen Highway 163 into six lanes through Cabrillo Canyon, which would have necessitated the removal of large trees and center greenway as it runs through the park. The activists were criticized as “a bunch” that comes to City Hall asking for the impossible. 1963 chair, Dorothea Edmiston defended the organization explaining, “Part of Citizen Coordinates’ function, of course, is to ask for impossible things. Dreaming the big dream, favoring the hard





alternative, speaking up for the unpopular cause are some ways this group can serve as the voice of the citizen who cares.” In 1973 Hamilton and his aunt Mary Marston donated $10,000 to sponsor the respected planning study for San Diego titled Temporary Paradise? Urban planners Donald Appleyard and Kevin Lynch wrote, “This bold site, its openness, its sun and mild climate, the sea, the landscape contrasting within brief space are (along with its people) the wealth of San Diego. They are what have attracted settlers to the place and still attract them. They must not be destroyed.” Retired city planner and architect Michael Stepner has called the study one of the great planning documents for San Diego and the nation as a whole. In the intervening decades Temporary Paradise? has continued to serve as C-3’s guiding document to keep them and others focused on the basic principles, which must be considered in all planning and environmental decisions made throughout our region if we are to preserve the essential characteristics, which define San Diego. Possibly the most heartfelt planning issue for Balboa Park was taken up by Hamilton and C-3 in the fight to preserve Florida Canyon from a massive naval hospital. A coalition of organizations including C-3 and the Balboa Park Defense Fund fought long and hard to persuade the Navy to locate their new Southwest Regional Medical Center outside the park, but sadly, the six-year battle was unsuccessful and construction began in October 1981. Nonetheless, Marston was not dissuaded from continuing his pursuit of a City Charter change to ensure greater protection for public parkland, specifically removal of the 1953 amendment which gave city council the power to construct roads “through and across” dedicated parkland without a vote of the people. It is this amendment that would have allowed the proposed Maple Canyon Freeway, and it was stopped only by concerted efforts of citizens who recognized the loss of the canyon and to Balboa Park Photo courtesy Peg Marston that would have resulted from this six-lane highway. Perhaps there is someone today who will take up the challenge to remove this amendment from San Diego’s Charter. Citizens Coordinate created a special honor to its Revelle-Ruocco Awards panoply in 2006, by establishing the Hamilton Marston Award in recognition of his service to San Diego. This tenacious guardian of Balboa Park and a champion of environmentally sensitive growth epitomized the “ideal citizens” who give of themselves freely for the betterment of their community. Thanks, Ham, your grandfather George would be proud!

Who is the local Old Town artist responsible for painting neighborhood landmarks?


community history pioneers dining fun neighbors

ixth-generation San Diegan Cliff May (1908–1989) is credited with building or influencing more architecture than any other local designer. His boyhood summers were spent with relatives at the Los Flores adobe and the Rancho Santa Margarita on what is now part of Camp Pendleton. Elements in those early structures embraced in his youth can be found throughout his illustrious 50year career. From a young age May loved music and led his own big band orchestra from 1924 until 1932 when the 23-year-old designer sold his first house located on Norma Drive in Talmadge. Its $9,500 price included all the furnishings, also credited to May. His simple haciendas with the garage in the front were generally U-shaped with a long wall on the fourth side creating a courtyard typically featuring a fireplace, fountain and landscaped with a pepper or olive tree. The home’s connecting rooms, which circled the grassy area also shared a wide covered walkway perfect for enjoying the inner garden’s sense of place. Many of the cozy rooms had beehive fireplaces and hand-hewn wood beams decorated with Mexican folk art. The designer created the illusion of thick adobe walls and used this space for closets, niches and shelves that made his homes more livable. His early sales came with a certificate signed by each craftsman that guaranteed excellent workmanship. Advertisements for Cliff May’s Miracle Company proclaimed him “builder of Mexican & early California haciendas” and the entrepreneur’s popularity quickly expanded to Los Angeles where he made his fortune. Hollywood stars also eagerly commissioned homes from him, including Gregory Peck. (Power couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner recently paid over $17 million for the property.) Cliff May’s approach called for houses to be designed out instead of up, with the continual goal of bringing the outdoors in — perfect for the Southern California climate. In a 1936 interview he explained, “the early Californians had the right idea. They built for the seclusion and comfort of their families, for the enjoyment of relaxation in their homes. We want to perpetuate these ideas of home building.” His designs were massproduced in the mid-’50s with over 49,000 ranch-style homes built across the nation.





Father of the ranch house


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Who were the ďŹ rst publishers of the San Diego Union?

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47 community

Uptown’s film maker & videographer

Dan lives in a 1927 cottage home that he restored (both his father and grandfather were Swedish house builders) and has an appreciation for many styles of architecture, although he feels especially attracted to mid-century modernism, particularly the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Learn more about this historic preservation dynamo at his weblog and video blog, where he showcases his architectural photography and discusses current preservation issues.

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His roots in history shaped Dan’s advocacy for preservation and makes him an effective vice president of Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO). The Normal Heights resident is also chair of the Neighborhood Historic Preservation Coalition. In 2010, following nearly a year of interviews and extensive research, Dan premiered an award-winning documentary, Save Our Heritage Organisation: Four Decades of Historic Preservation in San Diego County, featuring the organization’s successful advocacy. He’s currently helping lead the preservation charge against the destructive Balboa Park bypass bridge.



The future filmmaker worked as a projectionist at many historic movie houses including the College Theatre, the Ken Cinema and The Cove in La Jolla. After graduating from UCLA with a BFA in Motion Picture and Television Production and working on several Hollywood projects, Dan put his career on hold twice to care for his elderly parents.


Dan is also a descendant of Philippe De Lannoy who arrived at Plymouth Rock in 1621 on the ship Fortune, which followed the Mayflower. The name De Lannoy was anglicized to Delano. Descendants also include Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Ulysses S. Grant, Alan Shepard and Laura Ingalls Wilder.


familiar face at local political, preservation and community planning meetings is filmmaker and all-round nice guy, Daniel Delano Soderberg. This fourthgeneration Californian is related to Captain Henry Delano Fitch, the first permanent American resident of San Diego, our town’s first storekeeper and an early mayor who married Josefa Carrillo. The Fitch– Carrillo adobe still stands in Old Town.



Which Uptown school became the site of a multi-purpose recreation ďŹ eld in 2011?



n initial trip to the birthplace of California must include a stop by the

Robinson-Rose House Visitor Center to view the large and historically

accurate 1872 diorama created through the dedication of Joe Toigo (1919– 2010). This lovingly handcrafted model of Old Town was completed

49 community

A labor of love

The longtime resident spent his days working at a Little Italy auto body shop owned with his brother, and found the intricacy of building his models a welcome change of pace. Toigo used old photos to research exact dimensions of the old structures and only after much planning did construction begin. Stop by the visitor center on Wallace Street to admire Joe’s legacy. His amazing resource has been studied, honored and recognized for its accuracy to detail and may be enjoyed for free from 10am–5pm daily.

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Following the war the youngg couple purchased a lot on Congress Street, and Joe built a home for their small family. While restaurants, bars and shops sprouted up around und them, the couple worked for the historical preservation of their community. In the mid-1960s Joe wanted a special anniversary gift for Carmen and created a model of their honeymoon cottage. The project then morphed into a four-by-fiveefoot diorama of the square, e which Joe entered at the county fair. After winning a blue ribbon his hobby continued to grow, and in 1968 he modified his model to replicate Old Town in 1872 upon the wishes of the newly announced park. (Joe’s model of the 1869 Casa de Aguirre can be viewed at its own museum.)


Joe first stepped into Old Town in January of 1940. The young marine just out of basic training was looking for an evening of fun at the local church dance and onn his way instantly fell for the lovely Carmen Cerda. Within in four months the couple was engaged, and they married ed the following spring. Their “honeymoon cottage” (originally originally the first office and now the museum for the San Diego Union) wass shared with the new bride’s three brothers, sister, mom and cousin.


the state park boundaries of his beloved home.


in 1972 after six years of extensive research, and includes the area inside


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food & fun, refueled

What historic neighborhood is partially located within a state park?


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hat do you get by combining tasty cakes with cool cocktails in an eclectic hotspot filled with handsome people? Success. In 2008 entrepreneurs Christopher Stavros and Rafael Del Rio created Babycakes, a unique business in the heart of Hillcrest at 3766 Fifth Avenue. “We’re the happiest place south of Disneyland,” boasts Christopher. Indeed, the partners have created a destination that absolutely bursts with decadent offerings from gourmet coffee drinks to tasty lunch fare, wine, cocktails and sweet temptations displayed beautifully in large dessert cases. Arrive early on weekends to grab a table for a scrumptious brunch highlighted by red velvet hot cakes, omelets filled with pork chorizo & jalapeños or a stuffed croissant — yum! Everyone is welcome to tease their taste buds with fabulous treats on the large patio out front, which is great for people watching. Whether kicking back in the tranquil rear garden or enjoying the cozy 1889 Craftsman’s (see HQ6) antique furnishings, original brick fireplace, open-beamed ceiling and long welcoming bar, the friendly staff makes you feel right at home. Is there a special event in your future? When Rafael’s not creating recipes for their ever-growing list of goodies, the fabulous pastry chef also designs custom cakes!

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Hillcrest’s best establishments will offer toasts, tastes and nibbles from 5:30-8pm, and the bus will continue to run up Fifth Avenue and along University until 9pm. Jump onboard to enjoy the energy, have a cup of coffee or get dropped off at your favorite watering hole for a nightcap. Tickets to this fabulous summer fun-raiser are only $19 if purchased now through July. In August the price jumps to $25, still a bargain for the best tasting and toasting event in town. Scan this QR code (see page 24), call (619) 260-1929 or visit to purchase tickets for 2011’s Toast to Hillcrest on Thursday, August 12. This event helps the Hillcrest History Guild grow its virtual museum and share our neighborhood’s story. Proceeds are used for projects to preserve and protect local history, support community building and continue an outreach for more information. Record a slice of your history by sharing stories, photos (scanned & returned) or pieces of memorabilia. The HHG will provide a place of safekeeping as our neighborhood timeline grows. Please also consider becoming a member of this great nonprofit for as little as $10.

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(1) Toasters buy tickets at in advance. Only 100 tickets are sold from the will call booth beginning at 4:30pm. (2) Bring a valid ID to Fifth & Robinson for a wristband and map/ticket leading to participants. (3) Plan your route and raise a glass to Hillcrest. Revelers may leisurely stroll to the many cocktail lounges, cafes, yogurt shops, wine bars and restaurants identified with red balloons…or hop on & off an open-air bus with handsome hosts Benny Cartwright and Ricky Cervantes.


n 2007 the neighborhood celebrated its first 100 years with a new community event — the festive (and adults only) Toast to Hillcrest. The centennial party was so successful that the fun continues annually on each Thursday following August’s CityFest. If you’re over 21, then consider yourself invited! Here’s the deal:




Hooray for Hillcrest





What community tool sets the course for future planning?






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ou’ll find this personable entrepreneur each Sunday at the Hillcrest Farmers Market meeting new friends, welcoming longtime customers back and tempting the shoppers with his flavorful fresh pasta, handcrafted sauces and an assortment of family olives grown in northern Greece. During the Greek civil war his parents migrated to Melbourne, Australia, where Kosta Houdalkis was born and raised. Vacation travels brought him to San Diego, where he fell in love, created a business plan for his American dream and in 2007 founded Lisko Imports. As a member of the Psomataki family, which has grown olives for more than 50 years, the handsome Aussie began wholesaling their products at local markets and restaurants before the economic downturn hit the following year. The Talmadge resident then adjusted his business plan and created original pastas and pesto sauces for farmers markets. Customers loved the quantity and quality of his products, and his business grew. Hillcrest Farmers Market manager David Larson became the catalyst to Kosta’s success by encouraging him to become a vendor at our neighborhood’s popular Sunday event, and the rest is history. His most unique linguini is made with chickpeas instead of flour, and the most popular variety is the garlic/basil. Lisko Imports started out with a 15-foot booth, but quickly expanded to offer more top quality products. Along with fresh eggs from Eben-Haezer’s in Ramona, pastries from Sweet Cheeks Bakery and olives from the family groves, Kosta brings together the perfect ingredients for a quick, high-quality meal in five or six minutes for as little as $4 per person. Stop by his booth for a tasty sample. As a good neighbor he also promotes his fellow vendors for fresh flowers, fruits or vegetables to complement the delicious meal. Kosta attributes his rapid business growth to the fact that he listens to customers and responds to their wishes. In 2011 he added fresh ravioli and gnocchi, then in May this amazing entrepreneur teamed up with Mark Lane of Poppa’s Fish to open a deli/grill at 6548 El Cajon Blvd. in Rolando for customers who just can’t wait until Sunday.



What year was the ďŹ rst San Diego courthouse built in Old Town?


Caffé Vergnano (3825 Fifth Avenue) offers a true Italian coffee experience with authentic tastes and ambience. Owner Hector Rabellino completely remodeled the old Best Wishes card shop space and created a sweet reminder with Roman roots along the tree-lined street. Busalacchi’s (3707 Fifth Avenue) newest family restaurant, now preparing fresh pastas and bread, was beautifully designed “a modo mio” (Italian for “my way”) with a large outdoor patio and a pizza oven. Their 25-year location one half block south is now home to Top Chef contestant Rich Sweeney’s R Gang Eatery. Learn about “Spanky’s” dream restaurant on page 59. Pitas Mediterranean Grill (3890 Fifth Avenue) first opened in San Marcos, and we’re thrilled that Hillcrest was chosen for their second location. Brothers Sam and Amir Hamideh add personality and great energy to their wonderful shawarma (carved meats slowly cooked on a spit). Delicious affordable eats. Don’t miss it!

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La Foccacia Pizzeria (416 University Avenue) features handcrafted pizzas and organic salads. Alberto Morreale spent his early years in Palermo, Sicily before becoming an award winning executive chef in Las Vegas. His Italian-infused dishes are prepared with top-quality local ingredients. Stop by for a slice of heaven just west of the Hillcrest sign.


Sanfilippo’s (2949 Fifth Avenue) classic Italian meals and tasty pizzas have returned! This Hillcrest favorite has relocated to Bankers Hill just south of Quince and serves the same fabulous casseroles, lasagna, specials and generous portions we’ve always loved. Dine inside or enjoy their spacious new front patio. We missed you, Joe…welcome back!


Bayu’s Ethiopian Cuisine (530 University Avenue) adds a new ethnic dining experience to the neighborhood. Try Reem Ali’s menu highlighted with her mother’s unique and flavorful dishes, and eat without utensils! A lunch buffet is also available.


illcrest never lacks for great places to eat! So it’s not surprising that people from around the world continue to envision the day when they, too, can open a restaurant near the crossroads of Uptown. Here are some of the dreams that have recently come true:




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Chef Alberto Morreale


Food to Go

Patio Dining

Fine Italian Cuisine “Home of the Casserole�

Dinner Specials after 3pm Dine-in only — Serving Beer & Wine —

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Eggs at night or Burgers in the morning...

We serve your MOOD. Open 7am to midnight • 7 days a week What is the name of the lovely purple and lavender owering trees along our streets? • twitter: crestcafesd

425 Robinson Ave • 92103 • 619.295.2510

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ich Sweeney has a wonderful sense of humor that is twisted throughout

“Too many times, people want to make the food more than what it is, and lose sight of what the food should really be about — the ingredients. I like the simple flavors of good food cooked well.” And FUN, which is


his new restaurant’s tasty menu. Rich’s key to success? Keep it simple.

prominently spelled out in bright red letters on the north side of R Gang

After learning that Busalacchi’s home for 24 years would be available, he jumped at the opportunity to open his restaurant in Hillcrest, where he lives with his partner Steve. Although his time as Bravo’s Top Chef contestant was short lived, Sweeney’s eatery has become an instant favorite among Hillcrest locals, and his tenure as a top chef at 3683 Fifth Avenue seems assured. Rich encourages you to stop by this fun neighborhood hangout and become a part of “R Gang.”

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New York born and raised with a family history rooted in restaurants, Rich moved to San Diego in 2004 and followed his passion by entering culinary school. While heading the kitchen at downtown’s Confidential Restaurant + Loft, Rich was selected as a contestant in Season 5 of Top Chef. He knew that it’s hard to fake being able to cook – and if you can, you can’t keep it up for long — and the show was appealing to Rich because it was talent-based.


The celebrated culinarian is making a splash on Hillcrest’s bustling restaurant scene by creating a cozy, laid-back atmosphere where diners are put at ease as they enjoy stellar signature cocktails and munch down on delicious, innovative eats. Think gourmet, minus the attitude. Enjoy smoked gouda mac ’n’ cheese or spicy shrimp with cheesy grits! Another highlight found on most tables are Rich’s homemade tater tots flavored with cheddar & chives, lobster & mascarpone or mushroom, garlic and fontina tots fried in duck fat. Also unique is the savory monkey bread baked with cheeses and a rotating s’more du jour — ballsy considering it was a similar dessert that got him eliminated from the fifth season of the reality show Top Chef.


Eatery’s comfortable patio overlooking Fifth Avenue.


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Kip’s Cafe offers traditional Chinese dishes in addition to a full Japanese menu — and features two private rooms for group gatherings. The friendly restaurateur loves people, and his good-neighbor outlook is a great fit for Hillcrest. “We’re here to stay,” boasts Wing. He and wife Jane invite you to stop by to meet the couple and enjoy lunch or dinner from their extensive menu.


In 2009 he found a perfect spot for a new restaurant at 3925 Fourth Avenue in Hillcrest, then flew to Hong Hong and on to China where he purchased authentic furnishings to fill it. Diners at Kip’s new cafe may now enjoy a glass of his private Winglini label, and although their wine cellar boasts several limited high-end bottles, customers won’t find any of these on his wine list, which is built around a worldwide selection of affordably priced bottles under $20.


Following decades in the business the restaurateur briefly retired. In 2005 Wing had planted grapes and built a wine cellar, and he now had time to travel and take lessons to expand his passion as a wine connoisseur. Yet he still yearned to return to the kitchen. Wing loved working at his own restaurant and missed mingling with customers who enjoy his tasty menu.


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ing Tam was born in China and spent his early years in Hong Kong before the boy’s family moved to San Diego in 1967 and settled near Island & Third in downtown’s Chinatown. As a teen he delivered newspapers on a bike before peddling to school at Roosevelt Junior High, and later San Diego High. His initiation into the food business began as a dishwasher at his brother’s popular China Land restaurant on Midway, and it was here that Wing learned how to create traditional Cantonese recipes. In 1980 his Uncle Kip retired, and Wing jumped at the opportunity to take over the El Cajon restaurant located on Main Street. Wing moved Kip’s to a Second Street site in 1993 and continued to “cook from the heart” until the 2008 economic downturn was compounded by his landlord nearly doubling his rent.





Hillcrest’s vintner


San Diego has the 9th Worst Water in the nation Which transportation vehicles were recycled into lodging?

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Think bold: imagine incorporating the space underneath both of Pernicano’s properties along with the Rite Aid parking lot into a large underground parking facility with several access points including one from Highway 163. Rite Aid lot would retain disabled parking near the door, but the rest of the asphalt would be transformed into a community park or plaza. Across Robinson Avenue a raised sidewalk would lead to another park and a mid-to high-rise tower of affordable housing designed with floors for seniors and service people who will commit to using public transportation. The penthouse will feature fabulous views and a rooftop garden for all to enjoy. At ground level Hillcrest’s finest restaurant will be featured near the corner of Sixth & Robinson with an entrance at the front door and (of course) valet parking. When exiting from the garage people may walk to the restaurant, into another open green space with fountains or through an alleyway that connects to Fifth Avenue. This is lined with storefronts available for first time entrepreneurs at affordable rents. Businesses grow, become established and relocate, opening up the opportunity for another. What do you think? Can you see it? Attend one of the city’s community plan update meetings and share your dreams.

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ith the neighborhood envisioning a better Hillcrest as we work to update 1988’s community plan (see page 11), residents and business owners continue to meet and discuss successes, address problems, share ideas and stretch dreams into plans that will enhance our future. Everyone knows the old Pernicano and Casa di Baffi sites are primed for redevelopment. The properties, abandoned since 1985, have been eyesores, magnets for graffiti, crime and vagrancy. Occupying 25,000 square feet in the heart of Hillcrest, they continue to capture the interest of aspiring restaurateurs, developers and council members. After sitting unused for over 26 years, Todd Gloria contacted the Pernicano family in hopes of opening the fenced-off parking lot along Sixth Avenue. After many months of negotiations, in June 2010 the lot was resurfaced and welcomed public parking at $2/hour or $5 for the day. Eight months later, Realtor Stanley Paul Cook announced that the Pernicano family had retained him to market the property. What’s next?

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ontractor Martin Calderon can usually be found working on commercial buildings or overseeing airport renovations, but in his free time the Hillcrest resident has set an inner artist free by transforming scrap metal recycled from jobs into a life-sized zoo. These rusty animals along the 3700 block of First Avenue quickly became a local favorite, especially to area kids and seniors. Neighbors who enjoyed the growing collection called it to the attention of the community residents group (see page 7), and in 2010 the Hillcrest Town Council honored Martin with a L.I.O.N. (Let’s Improve Our Neighborhood) Award. City Councilmember Todd Gloria commented, “Art like this adds character to our neighborhoods.” Martin’s first creation was a turtle, quickly followed by a lion, a family of giraffes, two horses, a camel, a gorilla – all of which have found their way into the expanding sculpture garden in front of his rental properties. Recently the jungle-like setting was enhanced with the addition of palms, rocks and plants to complement this metal menagerie. Stop by for a visit. btw…they’re not for sale; Martin just wants everyone to enjoy them. Please do.


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In 1930 when San Diego State relocated, Alice Birney Elementary began in the Teachers Training Annex, and Horace Mann Junior High took over the Normal School. The first major change to the field came in the 1950s with the construction of a new Birney Elementary School. At the same time, Horace Mann moved to 54th Street, the education center was built, and soon the beautiful Beaux Art Normal School (HQ4) was demolished for a parking lot. The field was renamed in 1978 when the Board of Education voted unanimously to honor Birney student and athlete Willie Serrano who died unexpectedly on the eve of delivering the commencement speech for his sixth grade graduation. The lighted field went dark in 1997 when “temporary” classrooms replaced the playground for the next 13 years. The University Heights Recreation Council, created in 1996, worked to return its use to a park. Together with the University Heights CDC, they secured funds in 2001 to replace the crumbling concrete wall and rusty gate, and in 2005 the “Trolley Comes to Town” art gate was dedicated. Eventually funding became available and the Birney Joint Use Willie Serrano Field was reborn with grass replacing dirt, a running/walking path and two gardens filled with drought tolerant plants. Students who have exclusive use during school hours now share the field with the community on evenings, weekends and school breaks.

pioneers dining fun

Plans for the 1899 San Diego State Normal School (predecessor to SDSU) designated this area as a recreation field. Early notes indicated it was so full of cobblestones that a stone-throwing party was held in 1905 to clear the grounds. During WWI the area was used by the military, and historic reports prepared for the Teachers Training Annex described a war garden with “a chicken house and bleachers” occupying the ball grounds.


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Field of Dreams




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Advertiser Page Amarin Thai 58 Advertiser Page Babbo Grande 6 Amarin Thai 58 Baja Betty’s 32 Babycakes 56 Bite 56 Baja 56 BreadBetty & Cie 48 Bo’s Cafe Seafood Eleven Market & Grill 52 54 Bread and Cie 52 City Deli 50 City 18 CrestDeli Cafe 54 Crest Café 58 Kous Kous 52 Gossip Grill BBQ 56 L&L Hawaiian 65 Kip’s 54 Lalo’sCafé Mexican Grill 30

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Advertiser Page Martinis Above Fourth 58 Advertiser Number One Fifth Avenue Page 32 Kous KousGrill 52 The Philly 58 La Foccacia 60 Rich’s 68 Lalo’slippo’s Tacos al Pastor 52 Sanfi 38 Lotus ThaiBakery & Bistro 54 St. Tropez 56 NumberMo’s OneBar Fifth Avenue 74 Urban & Grill 32 R GangWich Eatery 50 Which 62 Urban Foods Mo’s Market 56 Whole 44 Whole Foods Market 58 The Wine Lover 62 Wits End

Advertiser Page Advertiser Balboa Park Inn 72 Ann Callahan’s Studio 819 Bed & Breakfast 46

Advertiser Page Advertiser Page Tony Azar & Trent St. Louis 12 Ad Ink Advertising Agency Cover Fortunate Fields 16 Tony Azar & Trent St. Louis 38 Haven Body Therapy 44 Eaton Electric, Inc Cover Hillcrest Shell 20 Jeff Keeny, DDS 1 Hillcrest Upholstery 104 One Dot Salon 20 Jeff Keeny, DDS 1 Services & Beyond 32 One Dot Salon 16 Powerful Directions 96

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Advertiser Page # Map Buffalo Exchange 82 39 D-3 Advertiser Page # Map Cathedral 82 42 40 D-3 D-3 Buffalo Exchange 88 Column One 8 43 41 C-3 C-3 Column One 88 Fifth Avenue Books 84 45 42 D-3 Divine Madman Coffee 60 I-2 Flashbacks 84 44 43 D-3 Grah Safe and Lock 46 G-3 Grah SafeFarmers & Lock Market 60 28 45 44 G-3 Hillcrest I-2


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# Map Page J-7# Map 24 258 F-326 B-3

Advertiser Page # Map Advertiser Page # Map Palmer Skin Care 96 33 C-2 Sign King 96 33 D-5 Scripps Mercy Hospital 8 35 D-1 State Farm Insurance 40 34 G-3 State Farm Insurance 34 36 G-3 Rod Strober, DDS 98 35 C-7 Strober Dental 12 37 C-7 Studio Forma 30 36 E-7 Tailor Love 74 38 D-6 The UPS Store 36 37 B-2 UCSD Medical Center 10 39 A-1 Urban Optiks Optometry 4 38 J-3 Urban Optiks 4 40 J-3 Vitality Chiropractic 14 41 D-3

Advertiser John’s Fifth Avenue Advertiser Mankind John’s Fifth Avenue Tap Lighting Lisko Olives and Deli Twirl Please Pretty Wear Italiano It Again Sam Stile Tap Lighting

Page 84 Page 82 88 78 62 82 88 84 Map 88

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“I am an old bridge. I was the pioneer structure across a lovely canyon. I have carried my share of walkers. I have provided a place to view the bay. A quiet place to pause, to stop and think. I have seen many changes. The bay is busy, the air is heavy, the streets are crowded. My people need me more than ever. But where are they? No one crosses me now. It’s enough to make an old bridge weep.” — A poem posted to the bridge by neighbor Elinor Meadows (HQ7) in 1987





he footbridge connecting Quince Street over Maple Canyon, a favorite to residents and tourists alike, was severely damaged during a March 20 storm. High winds and rains toppled a eucalyptus, which fell through a western section of the wooden trestle walkway. Neighbors immediately began pestering the city to get it fixed, and were notified that the Park and Recreation Department will be paying for the repairs and a re-opening in late August 2011 is being planned.


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Advertiser Evelyn Ascough, DDS Michael Eller Salon Shui Chiropractic

Advertiser Page # Map San Diego History Center 84 2 II-5 San Diego Pros 26 3 DD-4


71 Advertiser Page # Map Hillcrest Lions Club cover 1 EE-5 Marston House Museum 36 4 FF-1


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fter retiring from LA’s hustle and bustle a few years back, I relocated to Hillcrest to live closer to my son. While getting acquainted with

the community, my life’s path changed when HillQuest’s publishers asked me to share my experiences with their online readers. What fun! Writing



Balboa Park’s Senior Lounge (located in the Casa Del Prado, room 105) has ongoing activities including park walks on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning at 10:15am sharp. (Take advantage of free admission to museums on Tuesdays!) Their lounge is open from 9:30am to 3:30pm daily. Stop by for a cup of coffee and chat, play games and enjoy the company of other seniors. For more details call a volunteer at (619) 236-0262. To learn about all the great opportunities available, please visit my weekly updates on — just go to “Community,” click on “Seniors in Motion” and enjoy the fun! About the Author: Dolores St. Louis lives in Marston Hills with her son Trent and his partner Tony Azar.

pioneers dining fun neighbors

Want to learn more? The San Diego Emeritus program on continuing education provides more than 300 classes per week for older adults. Classes are specifically designed to keep seniors healthy, active and engaged, while promoting positive aging through education. Get involved! Jewish Family Services and the Gary & Mary West Wellness Center also graciously feature a variety of services, including free meals, health & wellness programs, counseling, legal advice and social events for our community.


Applause goes to the city’s Park & Rec. Senior Citizen Services and their vast number of volunteers. Besides the ongoing programs (card games, arts & crafts, acting workshops, photography and tours), they host great annual events including a talent show and luncheon, Ms Senior San Diego/California pageant, art shows, contests and a festive holiday carnival. For a minimal fee they also sponsor dances with instruction and live entertainment on the second and fourth Thursdays each month at the Balboa Park Club.


opportunities available to seniors just like me.


has always been a hidden passion, and I was astounded by all the local

What is the name of the Old Town celebration of Mexican Independence Day?


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or more than a decade the San Diego Women’s Drum Circle has bridged communities one beat at a time. Over 100 women gather monthly in

Hillcrest with Drum Circle founder Vicki Morgan to share her unique rhythmic energy that is inclusive of every level with women of all ages. Participation



provides an opportunity to experience a playful freedom of expression

pioneers dining fun neighbors

The San Diego Women’s Drum Circle began in 1999 as a heart level response to a friend going through a struggle with breast cancer. Vicki felt that drumming could facilitate her recovery. The sisterhood that developed made a commitment to meet monthly and drum for expanded healing. Starting with a handful of committed women, the group has grown to touch thousands of lives in many communities throughout the years. The drummers have expanded to play for numerous events that promote healing as well as social action groups. The Drum Circle meets in the Universal Spirit Center (aka the John D. Spreckels Masonic Lodge) at 3858 Front Street across from Florence Elementary School, which on the first Saturday of each month from 7–9pm is transformed into a mystical place where women gather and share the healing energy of the drum. This is an opportunity for women of all ages (4 months to 92 years old) with a variety of ethnic or religious backgrounds to dance, sing and drum together. The focus on healing in all areas of need is reinforced by a centering invocation led by Hillcrester Margo Alora, the cancer survivor who was central to the group’s formation. The drum melodies are then created through the women’s collective experiences. Drumming classes are also available prior to the monthly gatherings. A donation of $7 is requested, although no one is turned away for lack of funds. No drum? No worries. Percussion instruments are provided. All are invited to share these spiritual evenings with the rhythm of their sisters. Please feel welcome.


through drumming, singing and dancing without judgment. Women’s life experiences are celebrated and shared through the rhythms of the drums.

Who was responsible for the Queen palms along Sixth Avenue?




xperience a day in Old Town and step back in time to the birthplace of California. The Spanish arrived here in 1542, but a settlement was not established until 1769. Mexico won independence from Spain then following the Mexican-American War, California became part of the United States in 1848. Alonzo Horton (HQ7) established “New Town” in 1867, which led to Old Town’s decline. Nearly a hundred years later Assemblyman James Mills started the ball rolling for the creation of a state historic park to be completed in time for San Diego’s 1969 bicentennial celebration. Among the first structures restored through private contributions were the original site of the San Diego Union and the Estudillo House. The county then restored the Whaley House. In 1965 the State Board of Park Commissioners approved diverting $3.5 million in park & rec bonds for land acquisitions in Old Town (and Torrey Pines). The move was overwhelmingly supported. The following year, the state appropriated another $2.5 million, and on September 3, 1971, the area was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Old Town San Diego Historic District. Enjoy Old Town’s abundant free parking, interesting museums, authentic cafes, shops and galleries. Don’t miss RD Riccoboni’s Beacon Artworks in Fiesta de Reyes to make your adventure even more enjoyable.



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What year was the Panama California Exposition?



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ith a long history spanning more than 182 years, The Cosmopolitan’s return to glory marks a significant moment for San Diego. In 1829 pioneer Juan Bandini (1800–1859) built a grand adobe hacienda for his family on this prime location, the northeast corner of Old Town’s plaza around False Bay (which became Mission Bay circa 1944). For years the Bandini casa was the social center for our dusty town. After financial losses forced its sale in 1859, part of the single level U-shaped structure was converted into a store, with owner Alfred Seeley adding a second story and wraparound porch before opening the Cosmopolitan Hotel in 1869 to accommodate stagecoach travelers. In 1888 Seeley sold the building, and two years later it became a canning facility for an olive factory. Throughout the years the building lost its value, due to lack of maintenance, before Bandini’s grandson, Cave Couts Jr. took over the property in 1928 and returned it to a hotel/ restaurant. During the 1950s the site became an upscale tourist motel owned by James and Nora Cardwell, before it was sold to the state in the 1960s (see page 77). The latest incarnation of the Cosmopolitan Hotel took over six years and more than $6.5 million in funding from the state, developers and preservationists. According to SOHO’s Bruce Coons who was a consultant for the project, nearly 80% of the original materials were saved during the process, which involved not only a traditional archaeological excavation, but also a peeling back of the layers of its exterior renovations. Cement and tile hid portions of an original stairway, and walled up fireplaces were reopened for ten upstairs guest rooms that are now part of a charming bed-and-breakfast. The new restaurant is dedicated to melding modern tastes with traditional foods of the 1870s. Diners enjoy seafood, meats and locally grown produce — the same elements enjoyed by our first settlers. With the B&B featuring antique furnishings, claw foot bathtubs and pull chain toilets, it’s no wonder that a majority of their guests are locals looking to enjoy a San Diego getaway in romantic Old Town.





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Casa de Aguirre — José Antonio Aguirre’s bronze bust is located in front of this pioneer’s reconstructed 1853 adobe mansion, which is now a museum and gift shop. Walk through to check out the displays and historic photos. Aguirre funded the Old Adobe Chapel on Conde Street, where he is buried and the fictional character Ramona was married. Derby-Pendleton House — This 1850 prefab home was shipped around the Horn. In 1962 it was relocated from the end of Harney Street to its site behind the Whaley House, the most haunted spot in the nation (see HQ8). Mormon Battalion Memorial — The only religiously based unit in military history marched here from Iowa in 1847 to support the American garrison during the Mexican War. 500 men, women and children endured the 1,900mile trek. The interactive museum is worth a stop. San Diego Sheriff’s Museum — Off the beaten path, but features something for everyone. Don’t miss the upstairs history displays including Edward “Ned” Bushyhead (see page 105).

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Mason Street School — This single-room school served grades one through eight. Built in 1865 by townspeople using salvaged lumber (No two boards are the same width or length), it is San Diego’s earliest schoolhouse. Mary Chase Walker (see page 82) was the dusty frontier town’s first teacher.


Casa de Estudillo — Constructed in 1827 by José Estudillo, this lovely U-shaped home was restored in 1910 under the guidance of architect Hazel Waterman (HQ5) with financing by John D. Spreckels. It is often mistakenly referred to as Ramona’s Wedding Place. In 1968 Legler Benbough donated it to the state. Please don’t miss walking through this amazing museum.


Cosmopolitan Hotel — Juan Bandini built a one-story family adobe in the 1820s. Alfred Seeley purchased the site in 1869, added a second floor and first opened it as a hotel. Read more of its history on page 79.


Robinson-Rose House — Site of Old Town Historic State Park visitors’ center, this is a great first stop to enjoy Joe Toigo’s (see page 49) model of what the area looked like in 1872. Originally this was home to several offices including the San Diego Herald and the San Diego & Gila Railroad.

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(too many to mention…discover more on your own)

San Diego’s first teacher



s the first teacher of Old Town’s Mason Street School, Mary Chase Walker was to earn $65 a month. In the summer of 1865 the diminutive Massachusetts schoolmarm was relieved to reach our shores after a debilitating bout of seasickness on a San Francisco voyage, which was made easier with the aid of a quadroon1 stewardess. The next May, the women’s paths crossed again in Old Town, and Mary invited her caregiver to lunch at the Franklin House. As they entered, a number of diners left their meals and the restaurant. Walker had violated a social taboo: the stewardess — “a lady of respectability and education” — had a bit of black blood, and San Diegans were angered that a white woman, especially a schoolteacher, would socialize with her. “You see, we are high-toned people down here and don’t intend to tolerate anything of that kind,” explained Captain Rufus Porter to the readers of the San Francisco Bulletin. Parents pulled their children out of class, and the three school trustees were pushed to take action. One was practical — with students at home why should they continue to pay her? Another trustee Robert

Where in Old Town will you find a Victorian village?

Walker had violated a social taboo: the stewardess — “a lady of respectability and education” — had a bit of black blood, and San Diegans were angered that a white woman, especially a schoolteacher, would socialize with her. Israel responded angrily, “I’ll be damned if I wouldn’t take that school money and throw it in the bay as far as I could send it, before I would dismiss the teacher to please these copperheads2!” Then, speaking directly to trustee Ephraim W. Morse, said, “You may do as you please, but I will never consent to her dismissal.” Morse (see page 83) either cast the deciding vote or convinced Mary to resign, but her teaching days were immediately over. Interestingly, the disparaging Captain Porter hired the unemployed teacher as a tutor in their Spring Valley home, and his daughter Rufina remembers that E.W. was a frequent visitor. “He would ride out Saturday night and sometimes spend Sunday,” she wrote in her memoirs. After a few months of courting, the couple became man and wife at the Porter home on December 20, 1866. At the end of the school year, Morse and Israel both resigned as trustees. 1”Quadroon”

is derived from the Spanish cuarteron (quarter), meaning a person with three white grandparents and one black grandparent. 2Copperheads were a faction of northern Democrats who opposed the Civil War. The nickname referred to the copper liberty-head coins they wore as badges.

city park

Ephraim Weed Morse (1823–1906) was a visionary and a man of many hats.

83 community

THE GUY TO THANK FOR After gold was discovered in California this Massachusetts school teacher/ bought a ship, filled it with goods and headed west. Mining in hot weather didn’t agree with E.W. and his partner


farmer formed a company with 100 close friends and trusted associates,

Levi Slack. In 1850 they sailed to San

In 1866 Ephraim married Mary Walker (see page 82). The following year as a city trustee he was the auctioneer when Alonzo Horton bought much of downtown. In conjunction with Horton, E.W. did much to promote New Town on the bay. But he did much more. George Marston wrote, “It was Morse’s brain and heart that conceived (Balboa) park.” In 1869 he sold his eight-year-old store in Old Town to Philip Crosthwaite (see HQ5) and Thomas Whaley then moved to Horton’s Addition opening a real estate and insurance office. E.W. invested heavily in land while actively promoting our city and working diligently in bringing the railroad here. In 1870 he helped to organize the city’s first bank and invested in the San Diego Flume Company. Morse also led the county’s beekeepers association. Ephraim didn’t want to be a politician, and only served public office when necessary. A financial collapse in 1893 wiped out his fortune, but his efforts had promoted San Diego’s name throughout the nation helping it mature into a thriving metropolis. When he was buried in the Freemason’s section of Mt. Hope Cemetery, Ephraim Morse was one of San Diego’s most admired citizens.

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From 1853-56 he and Thomas Whaley (see HQ5) ran a general store in Old Town. Ephraim was elected an associate justice, served as an agent for Wells Fargo Express and was secretary of the board of trade for 12 years. In 1856 (when his first wife Lydia died) he began to practice law. E.W. was also County Treasurer from 1858–59 and 1860–63.


Spanish and became a friend to the native population.


house and open a store. E.W. learned


Diego with enough goods to build a


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Who is the chair of the Hillcrest Town Council?

(619) 297.1874

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Other buildings include the modest Senlis Cottage (1896) constructed in the Queen Anne Cottage style for Eugene Senlis, an employee of pioneer horticulturist Kate Sessions (HQ3 & HQ8); the Stick Eastlake Bushyhead House (1887) built for a rental property by Native American Edward Bushyhead (see page 105); and the ClassicRevival-styled Temple Beth Israel. Built in 1889, San Diego’s first synagogue remains open to the public and available for rental. The county’s Parks & Rec Department coordinates bookings for group functions at the park. Stop for a quiet stroll amid these glorious Victorians and enjoy being surrounded by this wonderful history and their links to San Diego’s past.

community dining fun neighbors

In 1971 the Sherman-Gilbert House was the first structure moved to Heritage Park. John Sherman, cousin of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, had it built by Comstock and Trotsche who also in 1887 designed the Villa Montezuma (HQ4). For over four decades sisters Bess and Gertrude Gilbert, patrons of art and music, brought internationally famous entertainers to this home for receptions. Its eminent demolition in 1969 was the catalyst for the founding of SOHO by Robert Miles Parker (HQ4).


nother great treasure is Old Town’s Heritage Park, a village-like setting dedicated to the preservation of Victorian architecture. Located along the north side of Juan Street at Harney, visitors may step back in time and linger amongst the seven structures (all built just prior to the turn of the 19th century) in the nearly eight-acre park. Public and private funds paid for their acquisition, relocation and restoration by the county in 1975. Extensive renovations have recently been completed on four of the buildings. Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO), also based in Old Town, assisted in returning the exterior colors to the aesthetics of their time. Plans to convert all the homes to B&Bs and construct three other large buildings with guest rooms, including a replica of Alonzo Horton’s home, are currently on hold.





Saving our heritage




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a complete list of our advertisers

What does “QR” stand for in QR Code?






onsistently voted the best of San Diego’s many Farmers Markets, this popular community gathering was created in 1997 by the Hillcrest Business Association. Prior to that many Hillcresters made Wednesday treks to OB for fresh flowers and produce. An idea to create a Sunday market for our neighborhood was taken to the HBA’s marketing committee with initial thoughts of establishing a new farmers market at Grossmont Bank. When that didn’t pan out, the DMV location was secured. David Larson has been the market manager since its inception. The Hillcrest Farmers Market has grown and now consists of 140 vendors offering a wide variety of locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables, plants, flowers, arts & crafts. The market is also the place to find an international array of prepared food items and friendly vendors. Check out Kosta’s fresh pasta or smell your way to Divine Madman’s organic coffee! Both booths have free copies of this HillQuest Urban Guide. The weekly market is located along Normal Street between Blaine and Lincoln every Sunday (except Christmas and New Years Day) from 9am ’til 2pm, rain or shine. One Yelp reviewer says it best — “The Hillcrest Farmers Market rocks!”


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What Hillcrest resident is a screenwriter and novelist?

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uick Response (QR) codes are two-dimensional bar codes that are readable by smartphones such as iPhones and Androids. The code

consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded links to multiple kinds of data,

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What’s that bar code?


The ideas are endless. The Hillcrest History Guild has created a walking tour where all you need to do is use your smartphone to follow the codes as you stroll from place to place throughout our neighborhood. Just scan the QR codes and learn the details of what you are experiencing or view images of what that site looked like a century ago. Sound like fun?


Wanting to be ahead of the curve in our own backyard, HillQuest has its own QR code; in fact, we have two. When scanned, the code on our back cover will lead you to the homepage. Another (on this page) will take you to a list of our advertisers. Several other QR codes may be found in this handy pocket guide. Check them out and learn more.


Smartphone users can download a free scanning application to read QR code, use your phone’s phone s application to scan it. the code. When you see a QR w small or large, A business, no matter how can use QR codes in a number of tuures now ways. Product manufactures ging to use QR codes on packaging ual or lead to the users manual pare allow consumers to compare etail pricing at different retail outlets, and one addedd to akes your business card makes it easy for someonee to view get to your website orr view without additional information without oppping up a computer. They’re popping erttising, everywhere — print advertising, flyers, posters, invites — and speecial anywhere that links to special eveents, rules, coupons offers, historic photos,, events, k MySpace MS or your Twitter, Facebook, pages — you can even connect it to a YouTube video.


fascinated with these funky looking patches.


since the mid-’90s. However, the Western world is just now becoming


created by a subsidiary of Toyota, the technology has been in use there


including URL links, addresses and text. Common in Japan, where it was

What Hillcrest church was designed by Carlton Winslow?



fun neighbors shopping services

aised by his parents and grandparents in Naples, Italy, Nico Stanzione learned and appreciated the importance of sharing his feelings and helping others. With these family-based values, Nico began volunteering in the local neighborhood association, became actively involved in cultural and social events, and became a national representative for the Italian LGBT association (Arcigay). In October 2009 he organized Naples’ first marathon against homophobia, and received an official acknowledgment from Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and from the Cardinal of Naples, Crescenzo Sepe. As a professional, Nico learned the basics of fashion and style thanks to his grandmother and her “precious advice.” His broad interest in arts was fulfilled when Nico earned his masters degree in Architecture and Arts from the University of Naples and began showing his sculptures at international exhibitions. Looking to share his spirit and passion, Nico was attracted to the beauty and high quality of life that San Diego had to offer, and in 2010 he opened Stile Italiano at 142 University Avenue with the vision of adding Italian fashion, culture and atmosphere to the Hillcrest community. Stile Italiano is not merely a store. It’s a special place where the newly transplanted businessman and activist can connect with people. Nico created a lounge area in Stile Italiano where visitors have the opportunity to view documentaries from his homeland while enjoying a cup of coffee. He willingly shares his experience of style, how to dress and how to improve one’s beauty. In addition, his customers always leave with a little gift and a stylish reusable shopping bag. “I think it’s all about self-consciousness, high-quality clothing and enjoying life,” states Nico emphatically. What makes Stile Italiano special is the importance of having someone who will suggest the color, fabric and style that are best for you. All of this in a “typically Italian” cozy, relaxing and friendly atmosphere. The secrets of Stile Italiano are unique clothing made in Italy, affordable prices, warm atmosphere and his original Italian accent.



What PBS documentary featured our neighborhood?


“I didn’t know how he’d react. Having a Health Advisor with us helped us both.” Contact a Health Advisor at (619) 692-8501 Partner Services Information: Funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) through the County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency. This material has been reviewed by an authorized local review panel.



ver-stressed? These days, who isn’t? More importantly, would you like to do something about it? If so, begin a healing journey at Haven Body Therapy, the heavenly creation of Angel Martinez, who after a dozen years as a massage therapist envisioned her own business where people would be replenished — a Haven. Body Therapy was added to the name because she offers effective modalities that help clients feel better and fight stress. In 2009 her dream came true just north of the Hillcrest sign with a cozy clinic overlooking the Union Bank Building’s hidden, tropical courtyard. One popular technique offered is “cupping” which helps bring toxins to the surface while sending healing blood and nutrients to areas of deep or chronic pain. Angel is also certified to teach Qi Gong, an empowering and deeply healing style of breath and movement. For your convenience, Haven Body Therapy also validates underground parking in the heart of Hillcrest. Peruse this talented team’s menu of services at where you may book an appointment, or call (619) 459-5660. Angel is now growing her business through satisfied clients and involvement with the local business and residents groups. Support her dream — and improve your health.



What Old Town school presently holds adult education classes in California history?

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Municipalities large and small, as well as neighborhood groups are staging clean-ups to remove wayward trash, weeds and graffiti. Sometimes flowers are planted, murals designed, and fences repaired or painted. Business owners, pedestrians and bicyclists all enjoy the improvements, which also helps the environment. As a bonus, cleaning up alleys also creates a sense of community pride and will preserve the historical character of our neighborhood. Keeping these active thoroughfares open and safe is a challenge, but volunteers with the Hillcrest Clean Team have worked for years to make them better (see page 7). In 2007 the city gave a section of a public alley south of University between Third and Fourth avenues to a developer. Neighbors were understandably upset, and the loss of alley access was one of the reasons the large project was fought in the court system. The people won, and the alley remains open today, but who knows which alley the city may give away in the future. If you value these Hillcrest alleyways, stay vigilant. As a final note, because many use these narrow corridors, please drive slowly and be alert!

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In suburbs built after World War II, alleys were considered quaint and obsolete. After all they can be dirty, rodentinfested, weedy, stinky and occasionally a location for criminal activity. Some Hillcrest alleys have been neglected, leaving broken concrete ribbons of blight throughout the neighborhood, but they can be improved. Imagine if we changed these alleys into beautiful greenways that express the best of our community. This could make Hillcrest alleys even more unique and enjoyable for everyone.


ptown is unlike Downtown in several ways — one main difference is that we have alleyways! Even city father Alonzo Horton didn’t plan alleys through his upscale Bankers Hill subdivision. The handy midblock corridors can’t be found until one crosses Upas Street and arrives in Hillcrest where the community uses them for a number of purposes. It’s where our trash bins and power lines are located, and where pedestrians, bicyclists and savvy drivers best navigate our usually overcrowded neighborhood streets. Alleys offer great shortcuts!


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an Diego city government is broken. Developers, lobbyists and special interests get almost everything they want because they



grease the palms of the politicians with campaign cash. As a result,

Consider this extreme example: In 2008 Stephen Francis spent $4.6 million of his personal fortune in a losing mayoral primary race. He received 73,665 votes — at a cost of over $62 each! Clean Elections is a voluntary system — candidates who do not wish to opt in may still choose to run under existing rules, collecting funds from private contributors and spending their own funds. In contrast, candidates choosing to be “clean” would be required to collect $5 from 500 voters in their district before qualifying for financial support; those proceeds would go into the city’s Clean Elections trust, which would fund candidates based on population. Clean Elections contends that this will improve the accountability of those in office and encourage people to invest in democracy with their dollars as well as their votes. Visit to learn more. If you, too, think this method makes sense, be on the lookout for volunteers promoting this initiative in 2012! About the Author: San Diego native, Clairemont resident and former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña has begun her campaign for state senate in 2012.

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Advocates believe this will encourage candidates to interact with, and be more responsive to, small donors and constituents instead of looking for campaign money. Currently candidates need to be independently wealthy or supported by affluent donors. A well-qualified person without a large war chest may be ignored in the media, while a wealthy, less-experienced candidate may get more exposure and perceived viability.


Supported by the Sierra Club, Common Cause and the League of Women Voters, the proposal will provide public funding for candidates running for mayor, city attorney or city council who agree to a “Clean Elections Pledge” to refrain from soliciting any Power to campaign contributions from private the People sources and agree not to spend any of their own money on the campaign.


campaign contributors and their city hall candidates.


Elections, an initiative designed to break the conflict of interest between


neighborhoods and ordinary citizens are often left out of the political process,” explained Michael McQuary with Neighborhoods for Clean


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or more than 120 years Scripps Mercy Hospital has served the community as San Diego County’s longest established and only Catholic hospital. This legacy of care began in 1890 led by Mother Mary Michael Cummings (HQ5) who established the five-bed St. Joseph’s Dispensary on Sixth Avenue and Market Street in downtown San Diego. Within hours after opening they received their first patient, a malaria victim. The following year the Sisters of Mercy moved to a new three-story building on the north side of University Avenue (between Sixth and Eighth) in Hillcrest. The hospital provided medical care during San Diego’s first catastrophic trauma emergency when on the morning of July 21, 1905, a boiler exploded aboard the gunboat USS Bennington, killing or injuring dozens of sailors. When St. Joesph’s moved to its current location on Fifth Avenue in 1924, it was renamed Mercy Hospital. Two years later John D. Spreckles bequeathed $300,000 to increase capacity to 325 beds, making it the city’s largest hospital. Sections of the old facility still remain on the site, including the Mercy College of Nursing building and the Old Chapel, which were built in 1926. Mercy Hospital joined forces with Scripps Health in 1995, but retained a connection to the Sisters. In 2004 Scripps Memorial Hospital Chula Vista and Scripps Mercy Hospital consolidated operating licenses to become one hospital with two campuses. Two years later developer Conrad Prebys gifted the hospital $10 million to enhance their trauma services. Having 700 licensed beds between them, Scripps Mercy Hospital became the county’s largest hospital and one of the largest in California. Currently, Scripps Mercy Hospital offers medical care to more people than any other hospital in the county, providing emergency and critical care services for almost one million San Diegans. To meet its patients’ needs better, the hospital recently launched a $50 million capital campaign that will support the largest expansion and modernization project in Scripps Mercy’s history. Watch them grow! For more information visit






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52. St. Joseph’s 54. Uptown Community Plan 56. 1847 58. Jacarandas 60. SOHO 62. Streetcars 66. Bodhi 72. Naples 74. Fiestas Patrias 76. Kate Sessions 78. 1915 80. SD Women’s Drum Circle 82. Heritage Park 84. Luke Terpstra 86. Quick Response 88. David Harrington Campbell 90. All Saints’ Episcopal 92. Wonderland 94. Mason Street 96. $419.5 million 98. Kip’s Café 100. Concord 102. Grandson 104. Sherman-Gilbert House


2. Ruth Hayward 4. Sheet metal 8. Class 1 10. Beautification 12. Filbert Vigil 14. Jay Hyde 16. Bread and Cie 18. 1941 20. John D. Spreckels 22. 386 24. Carleton Winslow 26. Dan Soderberg 28. Lisko Imports 30. Seniors in Motion 32. Adobe Chapel 34. 6:30–8pm, 2nd Tues @ JBCC 36. Old Town 38. Mary Chase Walker 40. 90 42. Rich Sweeney 44. RD Riccoboni 46. Gatewood & Bushyhead 48. Alice Birney Elementary 50. Old Town


Most left-hand pages have a trivia question. Here are the answers. Amuse yourself and baffle your friends with these amazing facts.


The blue-tarped house on the right (HQ8) was built in 1910 by Climea and Henry Jones (see page 32). It was designated historic in 2009 and is one of the final homes remaining in Whitson’s (HQ5) original Hillcrest tract.




Save this old Craftsman! ts

How was Hamilton Martson related George Marston?




Just as I arrived home, I had the urge to turn on my heels and return to talk with the young recruiters. I imagined pulling up a chair and telling them the story of Leonard Matlovich — and how the Air Force kicked him out merely because he was gay then tried to make a deal with him if he wouldn’t “act on his homosexuality.” He flat out refused. I thought of telling them how brave that act was, and how sad I was that Leonard Matlovich was unable to fulfill his Air Force career in the footsteps of his father — because he was a proud gay man. His fight to stay in the military after coming out of the closet made him my hero.

history pioneers dining fun

On my walk home I thought of Sgt. Leonard Matlovich. In the early ’80s I had the honor of spending a summer afternoon with him in Guerneville on California’s Russian River. Years before, this Vietnam veteran, race relations instructor and recipient of both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star, had been kicked out of the Air Force because he was gay. His handsome face had appeared on a 1975 cover of Time magazine. We talked politics. We laughed. We took a walk, and he told me stories about the ‘secret’ Bohemian Club along the river. He moved like a military man, even in his shorts and Hawaiian shirt.


n 2008 the U.S. Army opened a recruiting center near the corner of University & Tenth avenues. Choosing the location in Hillcrest, long known as the heart of San Diego’s gay community, raised the eyebrows of some. Shortly after the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, I walked over to their office to get current recruitment numbers so I could track them with those a year after the repeal had been implemented. Not surprisingly, I was told that I had to get clearance from the Department of Defense Public Affairs Office. “CBS, NBC, those guys have been turned down,” a Sergeant First Class told me. “But you can try.” He handed me his card with a Fort Knox number and smiled.





— On Leonard Matlovich’s tombstone About the Author: Hillcrester David Harrington Campbell is a screenwriter and novelist, Read more at


“When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.”


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orn in Tennessee to a Cherokee mother and a Baptist preacher father,

Edward “Ned” Wilkinson Bushyhead (1832–1907) was only seven



years old when his family made the arduous 1,000-mile trek to Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears. The boy learned to set type for the Cherokee Messenger, the

hi history ist s or oy

Indian Territory along the infamous

state’s first newspaper, but it was the that prompted him west, initially to mine, then to hone his trade at the San Andreas Register owned by Col. William

p pioneers ione io n er es

call of the Gold Rush in the mid-1800s

Jefferson “Jeff” Gatewood, brother-

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During an 1868 visit, merchant Crosthwaite convinced the publisher to relocate his business to Old Town. Gatewood formed a partnership with Bushyhead, his press foreman, who packed up the equipment and sailed it south to San Diego on the Steamer Orizaba with printer J.N. Briseno. The two arrived in September, set up an office and the San Diego Union printed its first four-page edition on October 10. Unimpressed with the town and concerned about the paper’s success, Bushyhead left his name off the masthead. The next spring Gatewood sold his interest in the paper and over the next two years Bushyhead had four different partners, but he kept a tight rein on the paper’s direction and expanded the weekly newspaper to a daily before he retired in 1873. But not for long: from 1875 to 1882 Ned served as a deputy sheriff and the following year was elected sheriff for the first of two terms. The San Bernardino Index wrote, “No better man could have been selected. Thoroughly honest, cool, brave and intrepid in times of danger; patient, wary and sagacious when on the trail of a criminal; courteous and gentle…generous almost to lavishness, he is a true type of a thorough American gentleman….” He also served as San Diego’s Chief of Police in 1899. Visit the 1887 Stick Eastlake Bushyhead House in Heritage Park (see page 85) and check out the Washington press at the San Diego Union’s original office in the state park.


Crosthwaite (HQ5).

d di dining in niing ng

in-law of San Diego pioneer Philip



Hillcrest circa 1946 1 Florence Elementary School 2 County Hospital 3 Future site of Pernicano's 4 Hillcrest Tract sales ofďŹ ce 5 Chicken Pie Shop










The mauve line defines William Wesley Whitson’s Hillcrest sales tract. Purchased in 1906 from the George Hill estate for $115,000, the 40acre lot was subdivided. Whitson’s Hillcrest Tract sales office opened on August 2, 1907 just north of the corner at Fifth and University.


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