|Location||1925 K Street, San Diego, California|
|Area||less than one acre|
|Architect||Comstock and Trotsche|
|Architectural style||Queen Anne, Gothic, Exotic Revival|
|NRHP reference #||71000183|
|Added to NRHP||May 6, 1971|
Villa Montezuma is a Queen Anne style mansion in San Diego, California's Sherman Heights neighborhood that was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. It was built in 1887 for Jesse Shepard, who lived there for about a year before relocating to Paris, then selling the property in late 1889.
In 1969, five members of what is now known as the San Diego History Center began work to arrange for the city's purchase of the house for use as a museum and cultural center. After opening for such purpose on November 12, 1972, a volunteer organization known as the Friends of Villa Montezuma (FOVZ) continued for the next four decades to maintain the property as a house museum. Hundreds of weddings were held at the museum over that time, providing a steady source of revenue for the historical society. An accidental fire in March 1986 went through the second floor and destroyed over half of the roof, though a restored museum opened again in late June 1987 in time for the house's 100th anniversary. Amid an economic downturn and building foundation safety concerns, the museum closed to the public in 2006 and the FOVZ centered on raising funds for a much needed restoration, incorporating that year as an independent 501(c)(3) organization.
To satisfy requirements of a federal grant that was used to restore the foundation, roof, and chimneys, since 2015 and through 2020, the museum is open four mornings a year for free interior tours, approximately quarterly, with visitor registration via the San Diego Parks and Recreation Department.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
- Crane, Clare (Summer 1970). Freischlag, Linda (ed.). "Jesse Shepard and the Villa Montezuma". The Journal of San Diego History. San Diego History Center. 16 (3). Retrieved April 23, 2017.
- Spratley, Charles; Torio, Louise (Summer 2013). "The Villa Montezuma Museum at 125" (PDF). The Journal of San Diego History. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Villa Montezuma.|
- San Diego Citywide LGBTQ Historic Context Statement, pages 15, 99–100, 109
- Description by Waldemar Tonner, who lived in the home with Shepard
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