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Mary F. Ward 1925-1999

First Historic Site Recognising a San Diego Preservationist

By Beth Montes

On February 27, 2003, a Mission Hills home was designated a historic site by the City of San Diego Historical Resources Board. Site No. 572, located on Sheridan Avenue, has been named the Mary F. Ward/Emmor Brooke Weaver House. It is becoming more rare to have a home designated due to its association with a historic person. Homes are being primarily designated for their architectural features or design by noted architects. What makes this designation even more rare is the fact that Mrs. Ward died fairly recently, in 1999. Normally the historic person must be noted for his or her works fifty or more years ago. Mary had to be acknowledged as "an exceptional person in her field" to win this recognition.

Photo by Allen Hazard


What made Mary Ward so special? Her absolute dedication to history and historic preservation. Mary gave untold volunteer hours over many years to her passion. In 1986, Mrs. Ward's capabilities were officially recognized when she was hired as the County of San Diego's first historian. She retained that position until her death on January 1, 1999.

Besides her works in the community, Mrs. Ward practiced what she preached. She purchased the Sheridan Avenue house in 1986. It had been used as a rental for many years and was in near "tear-down" condition. After much thought and planning, she undertook a quality restoration of the home, working closely with noted San Diego architect, M. Wayne Donaldson. Mr. Donaldson and Mrs. Ward retained much original fabric, while making a few, well-planned interior changes. Thanks to thoughtful stewardship by its current owner, Vince Petranzio, the home continues to be a stunning example of 1911 artistic bungalow architecture. Many in the community were recently able to enjoy the home when it was on SOHO's San Diego Arts & Crafts Home Tour on March 9th.

2003 - Volume 34, Issue 2

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SOHO Files Suit to Stop Coronado Rail Line Destruction

National Security Executive Order


President's Message


Private Property Rights


Historic Districts


Deadline Extended


Mary F. Ward 1925-1999


How to Be a Preservationist


Desert Drugs is History


Highway 101 Association


Remembering Larry Booth


People In Preservation Awards


Attention Coronado Craftsman Era Homeowners

San Diego Old House Fair


Spring Catalog 2003


Theatre at the Whaley House presents Round Cape Horn Must Go!

Whaley House Garden News


Volunteer Profile


Arts & Crafts Weekend 2003 - In Review


Strength in Numbers


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