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P.O. Box 15967
San Diego, CA 92175
Phone / Fax (619) 269-3924


Frank B. and Vinnie A. Thompson House

Historical Landmark No. 755
Frank B. and Vinnie A. Thompson House

George T. Forbes, Owner
Hays & Semrow, Designers


Kensington Community

Historical Landmark No. 755 - Designated June 2006

San Diego Union, January 15, 1928
“I have just discovered a wonderful new home” says New York visitor

Article in San Diego Union, January 15, 1928

By Sally Newcome

My name is Sally Newcome and I’m from New York. No, not “Newcomer,” but Newcome, as in Thackery. At that, I am a newcomer to San Diego, having not been here since 1924, and oh my! What a change you have made in your homes since then. And for the better, of course.

When I was in San Diego before, the ambition apparently was to build the better homes simply as patios entirely surrounded by blank exterior walls which was mighty fine for shy folks, but didn’t let the neighbors in for much beauty.

Now, however, I find that the so-called Mediterranean Type is the big thing in San Diego, and I must say that I love it.

The Mediterranean is a combination of Spanish and Italian architecture, typical of the homes built on the Riviera in Europe and the newer types of homes in Beverly Hills and Hollywood.

I found the prize home of this architecture at the comer of Middlesex Drive and Hastings Road, in beautiful Kensington Heights, after driving out Adams Avenue to Marlborough and then north almost to the rim of Mission Valley.

The house was built by Mr. George T. Forbes and I hate to be so brutal as to say it is for sale, because no house with so much atmosphere and individuality should ever be sold, as I told Mr. Forbes.

So let us just say that you are privileged to own this home if you desire because, although new and unfurnished, it is certainly a home, just as many furnished houses can never be homes. You know what I mean.

The house faces south and west, the upper porch commanding an inspiring view of Mission Valley and the blood-red mountains beyond it.

Construction is rough white stucco over 2x10 and 2x8 studdings, giving the true thick Spanish wall effect. The roof is of hand-made Spanish tiles and there is a most enchanting patio with a perfectly gorgeous pool at one end.

Thus, while everyone can see what a beautiful house you have, you yet have privacy, which is certainly killing two birds with one stone.

Improvements, according to Mr. Forbes, are the very finest that have ever been installed in San Diego, including concrete streets, curbs, sidewalks, cast-iron water mains, sewer, gas, lantern-type ornamental street lights and ornamental shrubbery.

(I hate that phrase “ornamental shrubbery” because it fails utterly to convey the impression of green, vivid growth and colorful blooms which distinguish Kensington Heights generally.)

You enter a spacious reception hall floored with tile and thence a great living room, 16x25 feet, floored with wide oak.

A different kind of fireplace has Batchelder tile hearth. The ceiling is gabled with massive beams in the old style.

The walls are finished in colors as soft as a California landscape, and the dining room, breakfast room and stairway are paved with genuine hand-made Alhambra tile.

The den adjoining the living room can be used as a guest room if desired, as there is a bath attached.

The kitchen and rear porch are a miracle of convenience, finished in soft ivory. A two-car garage is integral with the house.

The second floor consists of a hall, two large bedrooms and a large dressing room finished in soft orchids and tans.

The woodwork is antique ivory and the bath is full tile with a marvelous orchid and green trim.

The exterior stairway, as you see from the picture, is alone worth the price, as the ticket choppers say.

The basement contains a hot-air heating system, electrically controlled, hot water heater and Servel machine, and there is a large type Servel refrigerator and numerous other features.

The point I wish to emphasize is the unusually large number of “different” things about the house.

In short, it has individuality and a character of its own. Mr. Forbes says the place is open for free inspection daily and further, that a phone call to Main 3165 will provide free transportation.

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