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Museum News: Marston House

The property, which was originally built for George Marston and his family by the internationally renowned architects William Sterling Hebbard and Irving Gill, became a house museum in 1987 after the Marston family gifted it to the City of San Diego or "the enjoyment of the public."

Executive Director Bruce Coons stated, "SOHO has the unique capacity to develop the Marston House into one of California's premiere house museums, a destination site for visitors and a focal point for San Diegans. Historic homes are tangible expressions of the past and have the exceptional ability of being able to arouse feelings and inspire people, and the public's participation will be key to the renaissance of this important landmark home."

The Friends of the Marston House, an auxiliary of San Diego Historical Society, the former operators of the museum, have chosen to become a part of SOHO and will continue their core role of support for the museum in an even greater capacity.

The acceptance of the Marston House and gardens will mean that SOHO must begin a capital campaign to fund the restoration and to support the rigor of what will be much-expanded museum operations. We will need to raise money to operate the estate, restore both the formal and canyon gardens so that the grounds are fully integrated with the home as it was originally intended.

Photo by Sandé Lollis

There are many challenges, both financial and operational. However, because SOHO has the proficiency within the organization, along with our network of individuals in the business and professional community, we are extremely confident that we can meet the demands of the site, even with its decade of deferred maintenance and its logistical issues.

We are assembling a group of individuals with expertise in restoration, preservation, history, architecture, historic interiors, horticulture, house museums, site development, interpretation and event planning to develop the Marston House interpretive and operational plans.

A soft reopening is planned with a grand reopening sometime in late summer. The house and gardens will be available for group tours and rentals for special events.

The Friends of the Marston House Museum Committee (FOMHMC) meets regularly every month on the Marston House grounds at 4:30pm on the 2nd Thursday of each month.

2009 - Volume 40, Issue 1


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