Category Archives: San Diego Style

Modern San Diego by Keith York

The Golden Hill Cafe is a great example of San Diego's Streamline Moderne architecture from the 1930s & 40s.

While I’m on the subject of modernism in San Diego, I wanted to point out another amazing San Diego webpage celebrating San Diego mid-century style:  Modern San Diego.

Modern San Diego was started by San Diegan Keith York, who works as program director at KPBS and teaches courses in media & communication at SDSU.  York’s love of mid-century architecture & design has led him to document San Diego’s architectural heritage, and we have York to thank for this terrific website including an online archive of photos of San Diego’s mid-century homes and buildings.   Check it out!


The Ned Paynter Collection: San Diego Architecture

The Friends of San Diego Architecture have just posted an amazing collection of architectural images donated by the local historian Ned Paynter (1935-2007).  Paynter was an avid traveler with a passion for architecture, and his collection of 10,000 images includes 500 photographs of buildings in San Diego.  Many of San Diego’s architectural treasures suffered from San Diego’s zeal for rapid commercial development and were demolished years ago–these exist now only in photo archives like this one.

Click on Ned Paynter Collection for the home page to this terrific, searchable archive.

And a big thanks to the Friends of San Diego Architecture!

San Diego Style: Playful Entryways, Classic Streamline Moderne Bunglows

This article kicks off a new column at The San Diego Border Observer: San Diego Style will document both innovative and classic architectural styles in the mid-city neighborhoods of San Diego.

Here’s a lovely entryway in North Park/Normal Heights: a classic Spanish style bungalow. Notice the elegant entryway, painted a contrasting burnt orange to accentuate the depth and dramatic curvature of the interior walls of the entrance.

Classic Arts and Crafts designs are a clever way to add ornamentation and historical reference to a plain residential building.

In the 1930s, residental architecture picked up on the sleek curving lines of Streamline Moderne, a late development of Art Deco style. The style reached its peak in 1937, and we see lots of these homes in the older neighborhoods of mid-city San Diego.

Here’s a classic Streamline Moderne with the smooth curving line accentuating the flat roof. Streamline moderne draws upon futurist design and doctrine, emphasizing speed and efficiency, metallic trim celebrating the machine age.

Art Deco on Meade