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The Verna House Restoration

SOHO's Museum shop is happy to announce the grand reopening of our wonderful book and gift shop. Housed at the Whaley House Museum complex the historic 1870's French Mansard known as the Verna house was moved in the 1960's from downtown San Diego to save it from demolition. Placed on San Diego Avenue as a temporary solution, the Verna house was never meant to stay and therefore was put directly on the ground with no foundation. Years of wear and tear and neglect began to show.

The County of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department stepped in to help. Under the guidance of County Supervisor Ron Roberts, Director of County Parks and Recreation Renée Bahl, District Parks Manager Jake Enriquez and County Historian Lynne Christenson, funding was located for much-needed repairs to this highly visible historic site. On behalf of SOHO members and the citizens of San Diego we applaud their efforts and thank them sincerely for resurrecting this very rare piece of architecture. There are only a few Mansard style homes still existing in the city of San Diego.

The renovation also provides SOHO with one of our very favorite things: a tangible tool for education!

Renovation included installation of a cement foundation. This straightened and stabilized the building considerably although it still has a slight tilt (what the old house community lovingly refers to as 'part of its charm'.) A new roof had to be installed which gave us the opportunity to replace it with a historically correct multi-shingled wood roof. The shingles are painted in alternating stripes of terra cotta and off white. These period details can be seen in early photographs of the Verna house and original shingles with their colors intact were found under layers of asphalt shingles confirming the colors. Some wood had to be replaced or repaired. The windows were restored by Soria Services and they did an excellent job. The Verna house has been painted in her original colors: the body is a yellow ochre, with a chocolate brown trim and deep red window sash. Some people around the Whaley House with a penchant for sweets say that it reminds them of a box of chocolates and caramels! When the house was first moved, a piece of the original iron cresting was found. This was labeled and stored in the house. This elaborate ironwork is being replicated, and will soon crown this jewel from early San Diego.

As enchanting as the outside are the unique gifts and books found inside. Our book selection has become known among enthusiasts as the best in San Diego for preservation, restoration, and decorator or design resources. The inventory includes titles gleaned from collections of our own SOHO experts, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and small architectural publishing houses, along with reprints of important out-of-print collector books, great children's books, and classics. We cover periods and subject matters from early California days to mid-century modernism, cultural landscapes, heirloom gardening, decorative treatments for your old home, and hands-on how-to restoration manuals.

Please make a special trip to the house to see how the renovation turned out, and to reacquaint yourself with the inventory at the SOHO Museum Shop. If you make a purchase, you'll be helping the cause of historic preservation in San Diego.

2004 - Volume 35, Issue 3


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Court Sets Aside Port's Coronado Belt Line Lease

SOHO Takes Leadership Role

Disposable World

San Diego's Un-Recovered Past Obliterated & Forever Lost

The Event of the Season

People In Preservation Award Winners

Coronado Ordinance Scores a Victory for Local Historic Preservation
Designation of Coronado Railroad to be Appealed

SOHO's Dedication to Preservation

Eleven Most Endangered Historic Resources

Another Save!!!

New Resources in the California Room

Meet Summer Intern Stephanie Gordin

Chris Ownby

Whaley House Educational Series


A Home Run for Preservation

2004 Annual Membership Meeting

Annual Call for Board of Director Nominations

The Whaley House Interior Restoration

The Verna House Restoration

The SOHO Museum Shop Reopens

A Guide to Modern San Diego

San Diego Modernism Weekend

SOHO Museum Shop at the Whaley House

Strength in Numbers

Lost San Diego

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