Diversity and Evolution along 6th Ave by Balboa Park



Sixth Avenue along Balboa Park is a desirable place to live and always in flux.

SixthAve2The buildings in this photo, on 6th from Laurel to Nutmeg, span just over a hundred years.

SixthAve3On the corner of Laurel the 1907 William Clayton House is tucked in among newer, taller neighbors. You’ll notice its side faced the park as did that of Mrs. U.S. Grant’s house.

SixthAve4The Palomar Apartment Building, 1913- 1915, is a block up on Maple.

SixthAve5That San Diego has so few Art Deco/ moderne buildings (larger than single family dwellings) makes the Le Moderne Apartments from 1930 even more special.

SixthAve6The 1911 George and Alice Hazzard House. The open space just up the street was occupied by the 1952 Benbough, Legler Medical Building #1 by Richard George Wheeler recently demolished for a condo project. Although Wheeler has quite a few wonderful projects to his name I’m doubtful this one will be missed. The building was pushed back to the 5th Ave end of the lot with a parking lot fronting the park. See photo #10.

SixthAve10On the back side of that block, on 5th and Olive, is the 1910 Park Place M.E. Church now operating as the Abbey.

SixthAve9At the next corner, on 5th Ave and Palm, the second Fire Station #3, from 1909, is still there serving a new purpose.

SixthAve7This corner is a sore subject for preservationists. It was occupied by Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant’s 1894 colonial revival house, an early project by William Hebbard. Hardly an architectural marvel (see for yourself)- asymmetrical with awkward quasi Palladian windows- it was nonetheless unique for San Diego in its historical association. It was demolished around 2000 and the lot still sits empty.

SixthAve8The Salomon Apartments, 1959, by Henry Hester. I imagine this land was once occupied by elegant single-family homes that were demolished for this building which is a favorite of those interested in architecture and of preservationists. It makes the case for both development and preservation. For me the takeaway is to preserve the best and to replace the mediocre with wonderful projects that will stand the test of time.