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


Walter M. and Loretta B. Casey House

Historic Landmark No. 668
Walter M. and Loretta B. Casey House

Unknown, Architect
Bathrick Brothers Building Company of Pasadena, Builders


Talmadge Park Unit 2 Community

Historical Landmark No. 668 - Designated June 2004

A Bathrick Bros. Building Company of Pasadena Creation
This historic 1929, two-story, Spanish Eclectic, Monterrey style house in the Kensington community of Talmadge Park was built by the well-reputed Pasadena-based Bathrick Brothers Building Company, who built the house on speculation in 1929 as they worked on a number of other custom homes in nearby Kensington Manor. The house quickly sold to a succession of speculators and several editions of the Sunday San Diego Union featured promotional photos of it until Loretta and Walter Casey bought it for their residence in September 1929, just before the great stock market crash devastated lives across the nation.

The three Bathrick brothers of Bathrick Bros. Building Company of Pasadena came to San Diego in the late 1920s to purchase lots in Kensington to develop their superior custom homes that had been so popular in the greater Los Angeles area.

Most of the houses in the 1909-1925 Kensington reflect the American Arts and Crafts style houses and many smaller one-story Craftsman and California bungalow houses, as can be found on Edgeware north of Adams and Marlborough, and south, between Adams and Monroe. Some of the 1926-1927 Talmadge Park homes continued to reflect the English Arts & Crafts Tudor cottage architectural styles. But Kensington Park and Talmadge Park developed during the late 1920s Spanish Eclectic craze that hit San Diego following the 1915-1916 Panama-San Diego Exposition.

The Origin of San Diego’s City Manager Form of Government
The house is also directly associated with Walter Casey, an important local person who involved himself in San Diego’s city politics and business during the mid 1930s. Casey was a successful San Diego businessman and civic leader who owned a well-respected Ford dealership in San Diego. An avid believer in individual participation in community affairs, Casey successfully convinced the Ford Motor Co. to participate in the 1935-36 exposition when San Diego’s corrupt city politics threatened to keep them away. To do that, Casey had to convince Ford that San Diego was not a hotbed of corruption. Casey co-founded the upstart Civic Affairs Conference to clean up San Diego’s city politics.

Why San Diego Has A City Manager Form of Government
Casey and his colleagues held conference meetings around San Diego community centers, restaurants, and homes to establish a political platform for their four candidates. To break the big boss political control of the city council, they wrote a new charter that reshaped City Hall to a powerful city manager form of government. Both the charter amendment and Civic Affairs Conference candidates carried in the elections. The “supreme powers” formerly held by the mayor terminated with the charter amendment and the CAC slate assumed control of the council, much to the chagrin of the old power structure.

They put a new outfit in city hall and perhaps more importantly, shifted power to include a City Manager in the decision-making process, a change that remains a hotbed of controversy even to the present day.

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

Copyright © 2005 Ronald V. May and Dale Ballou May, Legacy 106, Inc., www.legacy106.com

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