Still golden, Golden HillBottom Highlights, Real Estate Thursday, August 4th, 2016
The drooping sails of an anchoring fleet
The shadowy city at our feet
With the Mountains’ proud peaks so lofty and still
’Tis a picture worth seeing, from Golden Hill.
This poem, written back in 1887 by Daniel Schuyler, paints a picture of the then lovely setting that was to become the neighborhood known as Golden Hill. The author petitioned city trustees to have the name officially designated to celebrate his vision. At the time, the area was home to the elite of the day – political figures and the generally well-heeled gentility who enjoyed its spacious lots and elegant Victorian homes.
Golden Hill, part of zip code 92102, still beckons to a new class of artists, musicians and lovers of sunset views. It is the area south of Balboa Park, north of Sherman Heights and just east of downtown. The streetcars that graced the area in the early 1900s are long gone, but the lovely old houses still remain. The first gay community center in the area and only the second to be created in the United States occupies a house built in 1908 at 2250 B Street.
Current residents are buoyed by the lack of big box stores spoiling those views, and the opportunity to enjoy the local mom n’ pop haunts like Panchita’s Bakery, Pizzeria Luigi, Krakatoa Coffee House, and the famous Turf Supper Club. Reports of the area reveal only one Starbucks, and that is good news to the residents hoping to retain the friendliness and authenticity of years gone by.
And then there are the parks, nearby Balboa, of course, but also the charming Palm studded Golden Hill Park. The views, too, of the downtown skyline and Point Loma.
Golden Hill is home to several venues serving its artistic community. You will find two recording studios – Black Box and Habitat; as well as the only Women’s History Museum in the United States, now open for its 25th year. Two festivals are held annually; the Golden Hill Block Party on the last Saturday before Halloween, and the Kate Sessions Festival.
You may have heard of a community called “Brooklyn Heights” in San Diego. Not the famous heights of Brooklyn, it was the former name of a section of Golden Hill running from Fern and 28th on the south and Fern and Grape on the north, but this name went out of favor and morphed into Golden Hill proper.
So when you have a free afternoon, glide along the leafy streets of this most delightful section of a town composed of many scenic areas. Look up and admire the tall palms, catch the views and feel contented that the remnants of the past are still visible in the old decorative houses and pacific streets.
Still golden, Golden Hill.
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