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Gay Mansion

Built in 1890 and designed by William Sterling Hebbard for David C. Dare, VP of California National Bank, the mansion was sold to financier John H. Gay in 1891 and featured a stone carriage house as well. It was San Diego's only cut stone mansion. The home boasted as much stained glass as the Villa Montezuma, and four towers! The main house and carriage house had contrasting colored roofs. An article in the San Diego Historical Society Journal of History, Fall 1979 mentioning the house related that when a recent arrival to San Diego saw a photo of this house he exclaimed, "Oh! San Diego did have a past."

Photo courtesy Coons collection

This incredible piece of architecture was demolished in 1937. It was replaced by some bland medical offices, which were in turn replaced by this wonderful stucco masterpiece in 2004. This example of San Diego's glorious Victorian past is no longer with us and we are much poorer for it as a result.

Photo by Bruce Coons


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2476 San Diego Avenue · San Diego CA 92110 · Phone (619) 297-9327
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