Thursday, May 23, 2024

Historic Homes Exceed Expectations on Mother’s Day

Our group enjoyed all seven homes on CHA’s annual Mother’s Day Historic Home Tour.

From the beach to the bay, seven exceptional homes, built as early as 1896 and as recent as 1949, were on display for the Coronado Historical Association’s (CHA) annual Mother’s Day Historic Home Tour.  All but one of the homes was historically designated, and six had occupants with military ties.

We had a bigger crew than usual join us for our favorite Mother’s Day tradition of getting a glimpse inside a variety of remarkable Coronado homes. A poll to see if our group had a favorite house revealed that exceptional elements stood out in all the homes and there was something to love about each one. One of the things that struck me was the diverse pantries, both old and new, found in most of the homes’ kitchens.

Kudos to the CHA staff and volunteers, sponsors, and gracious homeowners who made this incredible event possible. Beth Fleming, member of the CHA Board of Directors, spearheaded the team this year and Beth Farley was instrumental in helping to acquire the homes’ participation on the tour. Vickie Stone, CHA Curator of Collections, shared that more than 100 volunteers helped pull off this event. Art auction items were also displayed in the homes.

The historic home on 1st Street was recently renovated and more than doubled in size. Photo courtesy of CHA

The craftsman home on 1st Street, with a mysterious origin, was originally owned by Armand Jessop, of the renowned Jessop Jewelers in San Diego. Built in 1905, it has only been owned by three families through the years, with the original front door on F Avenue.  Recent renovation more than doubled the square footage of this historically designated home.  Some highlights include the amazing atrium which was added in 1934 and the recently added oyster shell driveway.  A moody staircase leads to the “Rabbit Hole,” an aptly named speakeasy “because once you go down you won’t want to come out,” reported one of the volunteers.

Mary Farley was a gracious volunteer at the A Avenue home and helped line up the homes on the tour.

The oldest home on the tour was on A Avenue and it shone with a craftsman style exterior and a colorful artistic vibe inside. The home was actually moved from Adella Avenue in 1912. The original owner was a pharmacist at the Hotel del Coronado and then opened his own pharmacy in town. The 1908 La Cornue stove is the showstopper in the kitchen, which has been renovated and owned by four families.

Tucked away on Churchill Place was the newest home on the tour, built in 1949. In this darling beach cottage, we enjoyed talking to the volunteer, whose grandparents lived in the home for many years, learning of the family’s Navy lineage, and seeing historical family photos.

Built in 1913 for $5,750, the historical beauty on F Avenue has meticulously rebuilt windows with original glass. One of the docents pointed out that the original fireplace tiles are clay from El Cajon, along with many other original features. The home was constructed by S.D. Chapin, a contractor who built more than 200 Coronado homes. It is interesting to note that from 1913 to 2017, only two families owned the home, and it was often rented out to military families.

Two homes on this year’s magnificent tour were on J Avenue. The first was one of the few two-story Clifford May homes and was one of the CHA’s 2024 GEM award winners. May was identified as the “father of the ranch house,” and only built seven out of 46 homes in the San Diego area with a second story. May homes are known for having Olive trees, so the owners planted several in their newly remodeled backyard, as well as retaining many original features like floor tiles, doors, and beams, of this 1936 gem.

Built in 1937, the front facade of this historic home on J Avenue remains the same.

The second home on J Avenue is inscribed “Casa de Sr. Tomas,” thought to have been named for one of the owner’s brothers. This 1937 Spanish Revival style home was built by local contractor Walter Vestal, who was also a former Coronado mayor. It was noted that the front façade remains unchanged, and it was historically designated in 2021.

The showcased house on Marina Avenue is considered Prairie Style, which originated in the Midwest and was conceived by Frank Lloyd Wright. This historic house was built on spec in 1915 for $3,500 by Jerauld Ingle, an early Coronado real estate salesman, developer, and builder. Volunteers pointed out that the backyard previously contained chauffeur’s quarters from the early days, which have now been rebuilt.

If you missed the opportunity to get a sneak peek into these truly outstanding Coronado homes, I highly recommend getting tickets early next year, because new homes await, and this spectacular event always sells out.

For more information about CHA, visit

Jennifer Velez
Jennifer Velez
Jennifer fell in love with Coronado as a teenager while visiting a college friend. She vowed that someday she would make it her home, and that dream has recently become a reality. Fast forward through completing college with a BA in Journalism, Public Relations and Communications, she then went on to work with a variety of clients. She also taught Journalism and coordinated fundraising for her children’s school, and was a staff writer for San Diego Family Magazine and contributed to other parenting publications. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]

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