The Golden Hill neighborhood of San Diego-Central borders Balboa Park and
includes the South Park, Choate addition and Brooklyn Heights areas. The
area’s long and colorful history is visible in the various architectural styles of
the area. Development began in the 1870s when Golden Hill was on the
outskirts of San Diego’s urban area. Residents were attracted to the large lots
and the gorgeous views of San Diego Bay. Victorian, Colonial Revival,
Craftsman and Farm House bungalows and townhouses sprouted in a cheerfully
eclectic mix. The area survived boom and bust and became one of San Diego’s
most fashionable addresses.
By the 1920’s Golden Hill was completely developed. Over the years many of
the early homes were replaced with commercial buildings and apartments as
residents fled the noise generated by airplanes on the glidepath for Lindbergh
Field located near the neighborhood.
However, a significant number of structures remain that are over 60 years old.
Many of the older homes have been renovated into offices for law firms and
other businesses. Some have been lovingly restored as homes. The San Diego
Historical Society has restored the Villa Montezuma and uses if for events. The
area’s proximity to Balboa Park and downtown businesses; its historical characteristics
and its spectacular views make it popular and encourage redevelopment.
The area is home to small restaurants, ethnic markets, home-grown
galleries and antique stores. The Turf Supper Club is a neighborhood treasure
that was recently renovated. Its charms include a cook-your-own-steak grill
and an eclectic jukebox.
The Golden Hill Community Development Corporation recently improved the
25th Street Bridge and combined the project with an innovative public art
project. Pedestrians can now walk between Golden Hill and Sherman Heights
along a new pathway that is separated from traffic by a fence. Installed in the
fence is a unique “song rail” that plays a tune as it is tapped by pedistrians.
The tune is the same no matter from which end the pedestrian starts. The
instrument was created by local sculptor Roman de Salvo and composer Joseph