Mission Hills, San Diego

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For other places with the same name, see Mission Hills (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 32°45′10.18″N 117°11′10.90″W / 32.7528278°N 117.1863611°W / 32.7528278; -117.1863611 Mission Hills is an upscale affluent neighborhood of San Diego, California, USA. It is located on hills just south of the San Diego River valley and north of downtown San Diego, overlooking Old Town, Downtown San Diego, and San Diego Bay. It was subdivided on January 20, 1908 as a smaller portion of what is now referred to as Mission Hills. The City of San Diego describes Mission Hills as being the area north of Horton Avenue, South of Mission Valley, West of Dove Street, and East of the Old Town community area. Mission Hills is part of the 92103 zip code area. It shares this zip code with Hillcrest, a neighborhood of San Diego East of Dove Street. It is part of the Uptown community planning area.

The area is primarily residential, with some boutique shops and restaurants. Pioneer Park and Mission Hills Park serve as two recreational parks within the neighborhood. The San Diego Public Library has a branch located on corner of Washington Street and Hawk Street called the Mission Hills Branch Library. The Mission Hills community is within walking distance to the Hillcrest restaurants and shops to the East and the Old Town restaurants, shops, and museums to the Northwest.

History[edit]

The area was developed in the early 20th century and most of the houses are still from that era, often carefully preserved and restored. Homes there were also often designed by San Diego’s premier architects including William Hebbard, William Templeton Johnson, Emmor Brooke Weaver, Nathan Rigdon, Richard Requa, and Joel E. Brown. Master Builders such as the Pacific Building Company, Morris B. Irvin, and Martin V. Melhorn contributed by building in the vernacular architecture.

In the 1910s, Mission Hills became one of the many San Diego neighborhoods connected by the Class 1 streetcars and an extensive San Diego public transit system that was spurred by the Panama-California Exposition of 1915 and built by John D. Spreckels. These streetcars became a fixture of this neighborhood until their retirement in 1939.

Modern homes were built along canyon rims as infill during the 1950s and 1960s by modern masters such as Lloyd Ruocco, Homer Delawie, John Lloyd Wright and Sim Bruce Richards, among others.[1] Ironically, San Diego's most famous architect, Irving Gill, never built in Mission Hills, as by the time this area was being developed he was mainly working in Los Angeles County.

The famous horticulturalist Kate Sessions helped to influence development in Mission Hills. She founded the Mission Hills Nursery, which is still an active business (since 1910).[2]

Streets[edit]

The main business streets are University Ave. and Washington St. Other major streets are Ft. Stockton Dr. and Sunset Blvd. Cross streets are named for birds, in alphabetical order from Albatross to Lark. Streetcar rail tracks were built along the main thoroughfares of the neighborhood, such as Fort Stockton Drive.

Architecture and Historic Districts[edit]

Mission Hills contains two historic districts recognized by the City of San Diego:

Education[edit]

Public schools in Mission Hills are part of the San Diego Unified School District. The public elementary school is Ulysses S. Grant Elementary School, which has grades K-8. Since there is no public high school in the neighborhood, students are given the choice of attending Point Loma High School or San Diego High School.

Several private and religious schools are located in Mission Hills. The best known is the lower school campus of the private Francis Parker School, founded in 1912. This school was run on progressive ideals by William Templeton Johnson and his wife, Clara. Mr. Johnson designed the original school building and his wife ran the school.

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