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


Louis R. and Muriel Dilley / Monroe E. and Olga J. Wallace House

Historical Landmark No. 775
Louis R. and Muriel Dilley / Monroe E. and Olga J. Wallace House

Unknown, Architect
Louis R. Dilley, Builder


Mission Hills / This house is also a contributor to the Fort Stockton Line Geographic / Traditional Historic District

Historical Landmark No. 775 - Designated September 2006

San Diego Union, May 4, 1924 photograph showing the house before completion.

Louis R. & Muriel Dilley - builder & first occupants

Louis R. Dilley was a building contractor who in 1920 worked in Coronado. Dilley and his wife Muriel also lived in Coronado, and very little is presently known about the buildings he constructed as a body of work. By 1925, they had moved into the Fort Stockton residence.

Historic Zoe Brooks House in Coronado also Built By Dilley

The Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) featured one Dilley house in Coronado during its March 11-13, 2005 Craftsman and Spanish Revival Weekend House Tour.

Dilley built the Zoe Brooks House in 1923 and it was located just in from the waterfont near the 9th and 10th Street addresses where the Dilley's lived in 1920 and 1921.

This house has a distinctive pea-gravel cement finish. It was built before the Fort Stockton residence, and lacks the canale drains and Pueblo style flat roof found on Dilley's later houses.

Dilley House on SOHO Home Tour in Coronado - March 2005

*** New Information ***

On October 18, 2006, the City of Coronado Historic Resource Commission designated 1027 Adella Avenue as a Historic Landmark. The residence joins 1005, 1013, 1015, 1022, 1033, 1060 Adella Avenue as landmarks, and many of these owners are hopeful this area can one day become the first Historic District wihin Coronado.

Research for this house revealed exciting new information that in addition to the contractor L.R. Dilley, Chris Cosgrove was the builder. Legacy 106, Inc. established Cosgrove as a Master Builder in the City of San Diego with the designation of The Chris Cosgrove House, No. 588 in the Kensington community of San Diego in May 2003.

While it was known that both Dilley and Cosgrove started building in Coronado in the 1920s (they also lived there), it was not known that the two worked together.

The 1027 Adella Avenue house is the 90th home to be designated historic in the City of Coronado. It was recognized as representative of the notable work of builder Chris Cosgrove and developer Dr. Dilley, as well as its special Rockcrete stucco finish. It was also recognized for its significance with previous owner Abigail Dickson, Ph.D. a forensic psychologist important to San Diego's judicial system.

Louis Dilley and Chris Cosgrove Connection
The minutes for that historical designation hearing in Coronado also stated that Commissioner Draper had said she was:

"intrigued by L.R. Dilley. In November of 1923, the Coronado Journal listed on a monthly basis building permits that were issued. There was a building permit issued for October of 1923 which read as follows: "Residence erected at 474 A Avenue, Owner: Howard E. Haines, Contractor: L. Dilley, Cost: $6,500." Mrs. Draper concluded that Mr. Dilley was not a laborer."

Her research bring forward another house that can be identified with Louis Dilley: 474 A Avenue in Coronado. Any information about this residence would be greatly appreciated to help clarify the range of building for Dilley. Also, Legacy 106, Inc. is greatly interested to learn anything more about the possible collaboration between Dilley and Chris Cosgrove.

Comparing Two Dilley Houses - Granada Street & Fort Stockton Drive

By 1924, the Dilleys had built another house on Granada Street, east of Balboa Park. By 1925 they had built the Fort Stockton Drive residence. Both houses are similar, although the Fort Stockton house seems larger.

Fort Stockton Drive - A Street Car Suburb & Historic Corridor

Canale Drain Spouts Add Character

Of particular note is the canale drain spout that extends out from the flat roof at both the Fort Stockton Drive and Granada residences. It is an unusual design element for San Diego houses, as most builders used fired clay hollow pipe or conduit that extended only a few inches or connected to metal drains.

Distinctive Arched Windows Add Elegance

The side windows at the Fort Stockton Drive house are wood, arched, casement, and painted dark green. The stucco surround has been shaped in a beveled sculpted indent. Unlike the upstairs front window with the central half embedded Moorish or Italian column, these side windows are more subtle.

Medeival Door and Batchelder Fireplace Tiles Lend Character to House

Distinctive Applique Featured on Dilley Houses

The heraldry applique found on the Fort Stockton Drive is the same as the one on the Granada house, and this is one of the defining features of the houses.

Original Sidewalk Stamps Important Part of the Historical Landscape

Two original sidewalk stamps are present in front of the Fort Stockton Drive house, and predate the residence by a decade. These stamps are an important part of the history of the development of the neighborhood.

Permission to use this material is granted provided it is attributed as follows:

Copyright 2010 Ronald V. May and Dale Ballou May, Legacy 106, Inc., www.legacy106.com

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