Irving J. Gill is known to have designed some of Coronado’s greatest homes. The renowned architect came to the city in the 1890s. His signature style shined throughout the island. You can learn more about Gill at CHA’s Wine & Lecture this week (tickets available at CoronadoHistory.org).
Gill’s signature style developed and shined in his structures built in Coronado. From the time of his partnership with William Sterling Hebbard, Gill worked on almost 20 buildings in Coronado. The first to contract Hebbard & Gill was Harry W. Nichols in 1895 to design his home. From 1898 to 1902, Hebbard & Gill designed & built several other homes, including 1300 Orange Avenue (now relocated); 711 and 723 A Avenue for Anson P. Stephens; 1517 Ynez Place; 1135 Loma Avenue; and 1015 Ocean Boulevard.
In 1910, Gill independently designed and built 1156 Isabella Avenue and 1007 Ocean Boulevard. These homes showcase Gill’s transition away from the American Arts & Crafts movement to his mature simplicity and stark signature. Gill’s commissions took off.
Today, structures attributed to Gill remain as lasting architectural legacies around Coronado. Irving Gill certainly left his mark in Coronado residential homes, but he also was involved in some of Coronado’s enduring sacred architecture.
In 1919, the congregation of Sacred Heart Catholic Church contracted the offices of Gill & Gill to design and build a new church. Although the Coronado Strand reported Irving Gill as the architect, his nephew, Louis Gill, was the working architect listed on the plans and elevations. Gill’s level of involvement with the design of the church is still debated among historians.
Among the last buildings that Gill designed is the First Church of Christ Scientist of Coronado, built in 1927. Designed in the Mission style, the church was built by W.B. Melhorn. The church’s design features Gill’s signature cube shapes and arched exterior corridors, both of which contribute to the simplicity of form, a defining characteristic of the Mission style.
Prolific in Southern California, Irving J. Gill remains one of Coronado’s, and greater San Diego’s, most celebrated architects. His venerable body of work throughout his career has influenced generations of American architects and builders.
Join the Coronado Historical Association on Thursday, March 17, for an in-person lecture by Dr. Mark Hargreaves as he explores more of the history of Irving J. Gill and his sacred architecture. The lecture will delve into the two Coronado churches in the context of Gill’s other sacred work. Particular attention will be paid to Gill’s involvement with Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church. The lecture will be taking place at the Coronado Historical Association at 1100 Orange Avenue with a wine reception at 5:30 pm and the lecture at 6 pm. Tickets for CHA Members are $15, and $18 for Non-Member. They can be purchased at CoronadoHistory.org.