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The Sherman-Gilbert House

By Alana Coons

Sherman-Gilbert House, in the process of being relocated to Old Town in 1969.

Saved from demolition in 1969 when concerned citizens formed Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) and gained a reprieve to raise funds and find a location to move the house from its original location in Bankers Hill. The Sherman-Gilbert was the first historic structure saved by SOHO. We knew that our first save should be the first cover girl of the newly designed publication!

The County Board of Supervisors provided the park space and budgeted $1.2 million to be used over a 10-year period to aid in moving and renovating threatened homes. In the 1960s this was a huge success; it was commonplace in the founding years of the historic preservation movement in America to relocate buildings in order to save them. While today this is no longer considered appropriate treatment of historic resources, these beautiful and important buildings that now make up Heritage Park, which includes the oldest Jewish temple (c. 1887) in San Diego, would no longer be here if not for SOHO utilizing the tools they had at hand.

John Sherman a 19th century boom period developer and cousin of General William Tecumseh Sherman built the house. From 1892-1965 Bess and Gertrude Gilbert were the owners, two sisters who were very important in the San Diego's arts and music society scene as patrons.

What is a Victorian?

  • Victorian is not a style! It is a structure built in the time period of Queen Victoria's reign from 1840 to 1901. There were many architectural styles within the Victorian period
  • The Sherman-Gilbert is a Stick Eastlake style built during the Victorian period
  • The Stick Eastlake style is an architectural aesthetic that emerged in the 1870s & 80's in which the structural system was expressed on the exterior by abundant millwork, or "stick-work"
  • The term "Eastlake," often applied to the style is an American attribution to the work of British tastemaker Charles Eastlake

2007 - Volume 38, Issue 1


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From the Editor

Most Endangered

A Brief History of Rancho Guejito

Another Part of the Story

The Threat

The Beauty of our State Parks in Peril

The Cultural Landscape Connection to Historic Preservation

What is a Cultural Landscape?

The Historic Home Landscape and Gardens

A Short Landscape Glossary

Importance of the Garden in Home Planning

When was Modern New?

Every Bungalow Represents our History

History Repeating

The Sherman-Glbert House

150th Anniversary of the Jackass Mail


Strength in Numbers

Lost San Diego

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DOWNLOAD full magazine as pdf (15.4mb)


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