Her story

Posted: May 5th, 2017 | Columns, Featured, PastMatters | No Comments

Mary Jane Hartley’s contributions to North Park By Katherine Hon | PastMatters Happy National Preservation Month! As we celebrate history, let’s remember that “her-story” is important, too. And no individual woman contributed more to North Park’s early development than Mary Jane Hartley. Mary Jane was the wife of James Monroe Hartley, who bought 40 acres within the Park Villas tract in 1893 and named it Hartley’s North Park. The empty land, bordered by University Avenue and […]

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Built by Trepte and built to last

Posted: March 10th, 2017 | Columns, Feature, News, PastMatters, Top Story | No Comments

By Katherine Hon | Past Matters

Trepte Construction Company has a long history in San Diego extending back more than 120 years.

The company built many San Diego landmarks, including the Park Manor Hotel (Inn at the Park) at 525 Spruce St. in 1927, Ryan Aeronautical’s plant building in 1939, Grossmont Hospital in 1960, and San Diego Sports Arena in 1966.

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Gone but not forgotten

Posted: February 10th, 2017 | Columns, Featured, PastMatters | 1 Comment

Palisade Gardens Roller Skating Rink By Katherine Hon | Past Matters A columnist’s favorite words must be, “Your article is the first one I read when I open the newspaper.” Although she did not leave her name or phone number, the reader’s charming voice message absolutely made my day. And since she asked so nicely to tell the story of the Palisade Gardens Roller Skating Rink, dear anonymous caller, this column is dedicated to you.

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North Park institutions Olympic Café and John Kotselas will stay in neighborhood

Posted: December 2nd, 2016 | Columns, Featured, North Park, PastMatters | 2 Comments

By Katherine Hon | PastMatters In 1985, John Kotselas decided to open a restaurant featuring his family’s delicious recipes. He says, “Greeks stay put,” and true to his heritage, he has maintained his restaurant, Olympic Café, in the little shopping center on the northwest corner of Texas Street and University Avenue for 31 years.

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North Park’s Toyland Parade, a community tradition

Posted: November 4th, 2016 | Columns, Featured, North Park, PastMatters | No Comments

By Katherine Hon | Past Matters The next Toyland Parade will be held on Saturday, Dec. 3, starting at 11 a.m. In a tradition that has spanned more than 80 years, marching bands, vintage cars, floats, dancers and many community organizations will travel along University Avenue to kick off the holiday season. The North Park Historical Society devoted a whole chapter to the Toyland Parade in their book, “Images of America: San Diego’s North Park,” published […]

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The neon elf returns!

Posted: September 9th, 2016 | Columns, Featured, PastMatters | No Comments

By Katherine Hon | Past Matters If you are a fan of classic neon signs, you will be glad to know the shoe-hammering elf has returned to 2911 University Ave. in North Park. On this animated neon sign, the industrious elf hammers on a shoe, with his arm and hammer moving into three positions. Originally, as the hammer struck the shoe, neon sparks would fly into the elf’s eye, causing him to “wink.” The elf’s eye […]

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Georgia Street Bridge: Too beautiful to lose

Posted: August 12th, 2016 | Columns, Featured, Hillcrest, North Park, PastMatters | No Comments

By Katherine Hon | PastMatters It’s no secret that the North Park Historical Society loves the Georgia Street Bridge. It has been our logo since we formed in 2008 and is on the cover of our latest book, “Images of America: San Diego’s North Park.” So we are understandably nervous about the bridge seismic retrofit and rehabilitation project now underway. There is a lot of work to do before the bridge is returned to its original […]

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The origins of West End in North Park

Posted: July 1st, 2016 | Columns, Featured, PastMatters | 2 Comments

By Katherine Hon | PastMatters You may not know what it is called or why, but you can tell when you are in West End. This historic subdivision lies between University Avenue and Upas Street on the north and south, and between 28th and Ray streets on the west and east. Subdivision map No. 590 for West End was filed May 17, 1873, long before cars or formal city planning for San Diego existed. The 80-foot-wide […]

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