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SOHO's Very Special Archtoberfest 2017

October brings the third annual Archtoberfest, a month-long celebration of architecture and design.

In addition to our usual third Sunday architecture tours on October 15, SOHO is partnering with three other organizations for special events. Be sure to save the dates for all 4 events.

SOHO joins more than 20 of San Diego's leading architecture, design, planning, sustainability, and community development groups to present tours, exhibits, activities, and more. Visit for the complete schedule.

Spreckels Beach House Home Tour
Two master architects' work showcased on one oceanfront estate make this magnificent home tour a must. SOHO is pleased to partner with the Coronado Historical Association when the grand doors open at this legendary Italian Renaissance Revival style estate spanning three lots. Harrison Albright designed the four-bedroom main house in 1908; Richard Requa created its three-bedroom guest house in 1928. The steel-reinforced concrete house was built for John D. Spreckels, who gave it as a wedding gift to son Claus. Now for sale, the estate has been renovated and updated with modern features, the Requa guest house's original interiors and murals are in a highly-preserved state. Realtor Scott Aulrich is the event sponsor.

October 15
Third Sunday of the Month Irving Gill Tours
Purchase Tickets

10:30am - Urban Poetry: Irving Gill & Bankers Hill The sloped terrain of Bankers Hill, near downtown San Diego, is blessed with pedestrian bridges over canyons and views of San Diego Bay that few affluent professionals and first families and their architects could resist. The 90-minute guided walking tour contains content inspired by SOHO's celebration Irving Gill: Progress & Poetry in Architecture. These city blocks are rich in the early 20th-century Modern architecture that Gill pioneered and include the largest concentration of Gill homes built anywhere. As the neighborhood grew, other prominent architects, such as William Templeton Johnson, Mead & Requa, and Hazel Wood Waterman, San Diego's first female architect, also designed homes here.

12:30pm - A Progressive Vision: San Diego's Seventh Avenue What began as a ten-acre, barren enclave owned by George W. Marston is now the shady and secluded 3500 block of Seventh Avenue, a cul-de-sac that is perfect for a 45-minute guided walking tour. The Marston House Museum & Gardens is one of about ten homes on the street, built between 1905 and 1913. Many were designed by Gill, when he was a partner in Hebbard & Gill, and they illustrate his design progression from English Arts & Crafts to Prairie Style to his ultimate triumph, cubistic Early Modernism—all in the space of two years, 1905 and 1906.

1:30pm - Marston House Garden Tour With its uniquely California interpretation of the English Romantic and Arts & Crafts period landscape designs, this tour is a must for garden lovers. The garden tour takes you on an easy walk through two and a half acres of the estate beginning with the first plantings and landscape plan by nationally recognized landscape architect Samuel Parsons, Jr., and George Cooke in 1905 to the 1928 introduction of a formal garden.

2:30pm - The Marston House: Architectural Details of Master Architects Hebbard & Gill Take a walk on the architectural side with a 90-minute guided tour of the 1905 Marston House Museum inside and out. The San Diego firm of Hebbard & Gill designed the inviting English Arts & Crafts mansion with fluid indoor-outdoor connections. Irving Gill, who soon became San Diego's pioneering Modernist, created many of its design features and innovative conveniences. Exterior and interior architectural and construction details and period materials are highlighted. The tour includes the Marston family's public and private rooms.


Sparks Gallery logo

October 19 · 6-8pm
Sparks Gallery Historic Building Seminar
530 Sixth Avenue, San Diego

Hear the history of the businesses that occupied the space where the gallery stands today, including details about the seedy underbelly of San Diego's New Town. Panelists will include SOHO's Historic Resources Specialist Amie Hayes, and the gallery building owners.

The Sterling Hardware Building was built in 1924 and designated as a historic building in the early 1980s when the Gaslamp Quarter was created.

Learn About:

  • A vaudeville theater, named The Standard Theater, specializing in variety shows and trapeze artists
  • C. Holle Company, maker of specialized glass, which was destroyed by a fire
  • The Sterling Company, seller of second-hand goods and tools
  • Ramona Wolf & Helen Hunt Jackson's novel Ramona
  • Sparks Gallery's restoration of the historic building
  • and more…

Complimentary refreshments and snacks will be served.

Purchase Tickets HERE
(The owners won a 2015 SOHO People in Preservation Award for adaptive reuse of this 1924 Sterling Hardware Building.)

October 28 & 29
Irving J. Gill: Transitioning to Modern CANCELLED
Symposium and Gill-focused tours of the Marston House and environs
Wednesday Club, 540 Ivy Lane, San Diego

The Irving J. Gill Foundation is hosting its second annual symposium and a celebration marking the rare posthumous selection of Gill for the American Institute of Architects California Council's prestigious Maybeck Award for lifetime achievement. Speakers such as James B. Guthrie, Paul Johnson, Sarai Johnson and Vonn Marie May will explore Gill's career circa 1905-1911, when he revolutionized Southern California architecture, setting the pace for all modern architecture that followed. "Gill's most important architectural legacy developed over this period," Guthrie, the San Diego-based foundation's founder and chair, said. SOHO is partnering with the foundation to offer Gill-focused architecture tours of the Marston House, a Hebbard & Gill design, and other Gill buildings on Seventh Avenue and in Bankers Hill. For more information, visit:






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