Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hidden treasures in San Diego's Banker's Hill

Banker's Hill is the uptown area between middletown, downtown, Balboa Park, and Hillcrest. It is full of deep ravines that the streets have a way of deadending into. The area is rather neglected by tourists who generally zoom up and down 4th, 5th, and 6th Avenues in their commute between parties in downtown and Hillcrest. Here are a few things they miss. (click on photos to enlarge)

Well preserved Victorian Era houses:


Colorful Keating House (Est. 1886) on 2nd Avenue just north of Ivy and the spacious Long-Waterman Mansion (Est. 1889) on 1st Ave north of Kalmia.

All fenced up HH Timken House at the northwest corner of 1st Ave & Laurel St., and the straight-out-of-story-book Britt Scripps Inn (1887) on the northeast corner of 4th Ave and Maple.

There
are also memorial plaques hiding around the area where you wouldn't expect to find them, like the memorial to the aviator Waldo Waterman's 1959 flight at the bend where Albatross runs into Maple St.

There are also two cute pedestrian bridges across canyons that are easily missed from the roads. The wood trestle Quince Street Bridge between 4th and 2nd Avenues.

And the suspension Spruce Street Bridge that spans the Kate Session Canyon between 1st Ave and Brant St.

There are stairs as well... long and steep ones, like this flight that descends down 2 blocks all the way to Renard (State St).
The only way to find them is to walk the area... And who really walks these days, especially when in Southern California?

8 comments:

Cynthia Yong said...

Very nice pictures of San Diego! another place i've just added into my must-go places!!:)

Smorg said...

Thanks, Cynthia. :o) It really is a city with lots of cool stuff hiding behind every bend. I've been here 5 yrs now and am still discovering things.

Thanks for stopping by!

Dusty said...

Smorgy,

Jumping around on your blog and wanted to say "hi."

I loved the Victorian homes. If I could live in one, I would. They're made for another world of dreaming.

Drunken thoughts happen when you sit by the seaside too long! LOL. I'll keep that in mind the next time I'm in Florida (or any other seaside).

Dusty

Smorg said...

Hey Dusty! I love these Victorian Era houses, too (though I'd be too lazy a housekeeper to properly maintain them, I think). :o) We have some great turn of the Century brick stuff back in Missouri, but nothing so colorful as these San Diego ones. They're downright psychedelic to look at sometimes!

Thanks a bunch for stopping by! Hope your weekend has started well!

Cheerio,
Smorgy :o)

Georg said...

Hallo Smorgy,

Splendid photos, interesting to look at. Some of these houses made me thing of "Gone with the Wind".

Rather strange are the chimneys. They are good looking, impressive. Do you think the inhabitants use them, from time to time?

Georg

Smorg said...

Hallo Georg,
I'm glad you like the photos! :o) I love those colorful Victorian houses, too. I'm sure the original owners used the chimney at least during the winter months, but perhaps not now, I think... San Diegans are very touchy about fire-risk (it is so dry here that it doesn't take much to get a wild fire going... And the Banker's Hill neighborhood has a lot of old growth shrubs in its many ravines :oP).

One of these days I'll have a mini-vacation by staying at one of them (Keating House and the Britt Scripps Inn are now bed & Breakfast places). They are rather expensive, though, but not overly so for a 'once in a lifetime experience'.... especially if you have a good chance at catching a ghost or two (I don't believe in ghosts, but it appears that ghost-watching is a favorite past time in this area. There are supposedly haunted houses everywhere!).

Thanks very much for stopping by!

Cheerio,
Smorgy :o)

Georg said...

Hallo Smorgy,

Just tell me, how much would that be, the BB in one of those gorgeous houses.

Contrary to UK and Ireland, BB here in France is by room (2 persons)and should be well under 100 Dollar.

Georg

Smorg said...

Hallo Georg,
I think the cheapest room at Keatings House ( http://www.keatinghouse.com/rooms.html ) is going for $115/night, and Britt Scripps Inn ( https://www.reservations-page.com/c00000/h01298/be.ashx ) is at $225/ night (and rising as we get into the summer months). :oP

Posh hotels here are really expensive. I bet this economy is hard on them. The other Victorian houses are now private residences... I think the Long-Waterman Mansion is now a law office. :o)

Cheerio,
Smorgy