Focussed on the portion of the Boulevard between Park Boulevard and I-805 and held on Saturday November 8, about 40 people including business owners, developers, community residents, and representatives from the City discussed the issues of development and preservation. The group agreed to document various sites that either should be preserved, have architectural interest, or could be suitable for new development. The primary criteria for identifying potential development sites included the availability of undeveloped land. Both a map and a document identifying all those sites have been prepared. (see below)

While zoning is the true indicator of where development can go, the workshop results will be made available to the City and other interested parties. The Boulevard BIA respects the right of all of its member businesses to exist and does not have an official position on development sites vs. preservation sites but is open to new development activity that respects the wishes of business and property owners. In general, there are a number of properties that are underused and might be acceptable for development, providing the existing businesses can be incorporated back into new development, and provided that fair compensation is offered to both businesses and property owners. On the flip side, there are many examples of architecture that are unique to the area that will hopefully remain in place and continue to contribute to the identity of the Boulevard.

Special thanks to Angeles Leira, George Franck, Beth Swersie, Bill Orvis, Steve Aldana, Gary Weber and the North Park Community Association for thier work on this project

Click the map above to download a pdf version. (2.7MB File)

An interactive version of this map can be found below.

General Observations:
El Cajon Boulevard offers some excellent examples of Modern 20th Century Architecture. There are two "traditional styles" - Colonial Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival - represented by five sites, plus several remaining Craftsman homes that are not worthy of preservation because of the large pool of those in surrounding neighborhoods, although it would be interesting to preserve one or two as an example of the very early years of El Cajon Boulevard development.

All other architecturally worthwhile sites are in the Art Deco, Streamline Modern, and various influences of Modern Design, such as Bauhaus, International, Futuristic, Constructivist, etc. Some sites have lost their historic architectural integrity but have important social history. These include the Chicken Pie Shop, and others. For purposes of establishing a preservation strategy, ratings have been established as follows:

A. Rated (Stand Alone Significant Sites)
Significant architectural sites that should be preserved. These include two already designated sites (Imig Manor, and Gustafson Building). Efforts should be made to preserve and re-use these buildings.

B. Rated (Contributing Sites)

Sites that are important contributors to the history of El Cajon Boulevard. These include a number of sites with facades that should be preserved through façade easements, or reconstructed as part of a larger project. Their preservation would add much to telling the story of the historic growth and evolution of El Cajon Boulevard since the 1910's until the 1960's.

The inventory that follows divides the area into South and North Sides of the Boulevard and lists the sites by A through D ratings, starting with the most important A-Rated sites. In this inventory, historic names are capitalized; contemporary names are not capitalized.

El Cajon Boulevard from Park Blvd. to Oregon St.

Click on the Significant Sites (Yellow Dots) on the map above, or click the profile button next to the sites below.

A-RATED: Stand Alone Significant Sites

4247 Park Blvd corner with El Cajon Blvd - PIGGLY WIGGLY BUILDING
Art Deco design. Ground floor stores, upper floor residences or offices.
Stucco, Art Deco detailing, tile base, 1st floor parapet with extruations for neon. Side elevation has ornamental tile pattern expressing the roof structure. Original wood windows and screen door. Recent additions of a first floor round entry and metal awnings.

1900 El Cajon Blvd - HILLSIDE HOSPITAL - Kindred Hospital
Constructivist Modern complex. Circa 1940's-50's Has maintained extensive gardens in the front.

1835 El Cajon Blvd
1960's Modern building with narrow windows, parking below, and main floor on a podium with side entrance.

2110 El Cajon Blvd- 1950's Modern Building (
Modern 1950's excellent detailing (Henry Hester?)
Large auto-oriented sign design on to the building. Sign structure is unique and fitting to the building design. This building is probably the work of a locally significant architect.

2136 El Cajon Blvd- 1950's Modern Building
Futurist Modern with fixed awning and fin. Probably late 1930's through early 1950's. Excellent example of this futuristic influence in the Modern Movement of the mid-century. Quality of design and maintenance indicates a design by an architect.

2144 El Cajon Blvd.
Prairie Modern with low ceilings, and low pitch pyramidal roof. Probably 1930-40. Could have been originally a restaurant. More information is needed.

2223 El Cajon Blvd - IMIG MANOR-Lafayette Hotel- Inn Suites
Colonial Revival brick façade with classic portico. Site of significant social history as an early site on the Boulevard, associated with important historical personages, and site of first NAACP meeting in San Diego.
Some small additions to storefronts such as the glass block entrance to the meeting room, etc.

2445 El Cajon Blvd. SW corner at Arizona. DENNY'S RESTAURANT
Original late 1960's Modern design and an excellent example of well preserved. Corporate Architecture (Drive-in) reflective of an important era of El Cajon Boulevard's 1950's and 1960's.

2528 El Cajon Blvd - Church of Christ
Art Deco circa 1930-1940. Brick building with ornamental block windows of "Wrigthian" inspiration.

2560 El Cajon Blvd - Florist Supplies
Modern brick utilitarian design with a brick frame around vertical line of steel framed windows. Larger brick on building base than above. Circa 1950? A functional building not a particularly distinguished architecturally. The painted brick may detract from its inherent architecture and may actually be hiding some significant design elements evidenced by the brick size differences between the base and the upper levels. This building must have a "story" as of now hidden in oblivion and a poor paint job.

B-RATED: Contributing Sites

- 844 El Cajon Blvd - Lusti Motors
Futurist Modern with fixed awning and "V" shaped column. 1940's vintage. Façade on El Cajon Boulevard should be maintained or reconstructed as part of a new project.

- 2000 El Cajon Blvd
2 story Craftsman house utilized for commercial. This is probably one of the early buildings remaining in the Boulevard circa 1910's. Building should be integrated into new development in whole or in part to help recall the early years of the Boulevard.

- 2103 El Cajon Blvd - Live Wire Bar
Streamline Modern late 1920's. Excellent sign, corner entrance with fixed awning and corner steps. This building's façade should be preserved, or reconstructed as part of a new project.

- 2145 El Cajon Blvd
- Colonial Revival/Craftsman house with rounded barrel domed porch.
Some storefront windows modified with single large glass. This building, particularly its façade should be preserved or reconstructed and incorporated into a new project. It is a good example of the early century Colonial Revival architecture of central San Diego.

- 2260 El Cajon Blvd
Streamline Modern, modest one story corner storefront. Façade should be preserved or reconstructed as part of a new project.

- 2302 El Cajon Blvd - Russian/Georgian Restaurant
Mission Revival with craftsman windows. Building is probably from the 1910's-20's, could have been influenced by the SD 1915 Balboa Park Exposition. Building façade should be preserved or reconstructed as part of a new project.

- 2305 El Cajon Blvd
International Style design, probably a 1960's building. Building section fronting El Cajon Boulevard with side entrance is worthy of preservation as a good example of International Style.

El Cajon Boulevard from Oregon St. to I-805

Click on the Significant Sites (Yellow Dots) on the map above, or click the profile button next to the sites below.

A-RATED: Stand Alone Significant Sites

El Cajon Blvd. SW corner at Idaho. UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS WATER TOWER/FOLSOM COURTS, North Park Water Tower, Reservoir and Recreation Center
Excellent example of Functional Design of the 20th Century, and a long-standing multi-purpose structure.

2900 El Cajon Blvd - Rudfords Restaurant
Modern Design. Important socially significant site associated with the Swedish community. Building has had some modifications but could easily be restored.

2901-03 El Cajon Blvd - ABC Pianos
Streamline Modern with tile base and fixed awning. Tile detailing includes two courses of tile to one strip of steel. Parapet linear detailing and curbed at the corner with a transitional section to the next building along El Cajon Boulevard

2925 El Cajon Blvd
Expressionistic Modern Building, reflective of the influences of Eric Mendelsohn. Has brick and glass storefront with sign fin.

Streamline Modern. Designated. Façade will be reconstructed.

2933-47 El Cajon Blvd

Art Deco brick storefronts with excellent brick detailing. Some sections have original transom windows.

3035 El Cajon Blvd - GREAT WESTERN BANK
Modern Shell Structure roof. Early 1960's. Few of these structures in SD. Shell roofed structure spans an entry porte-cochere.

3045-51 El Cajon Blvd - BENBOUGH MORTUARY - El Camino Mortuary
Colonial Revival with peripheral porticoed facades of square columns, and Colonial Revival detailed entrances.

3069-75 El Cajon Blvd - Birdland
Bauhaus Style, probably an early building (1930's?) with no ornamentation. Curbed roof corners, square pipe section steel railings on balcony and stairs. Probably a hotel or residential court with storefronts on El Cajon. Poor rough-stucco job inconsistent with style could be restored through a good soft re-stucco.

3095 El Cajon Blvd - Botanica Chango
Streamline Modern. Original fabric throughout.

3094 El Cajon Blvd - VASA HALL
Spanish Revival Style building of social historical significance due to association with Swedish Community in San Diego. Front windows are vinyl; side windows remain original wood frame windows.

3150 El Cajon Blvd
Art Deco building with round windows, multi level parapet wall and tile base. Section of building has a parapet with vertical stepped Art Deco detailing. Corner has horizontal streamline detailing.

3169 El Cajon Blvd - SDG&E SUBSTATION F
Spanish Colonial Revival.

B-RATED: Contributing Sites

- 2310 El Cajon Blvd
Streamline Modern with fixed awning. Building façade should be preserved or reconstructed as part of a new project.

- 3024 El Cajon Blvd - Karate
Futurist Modern fixed awning tile base and column facing concrete block building. 1950's. Façade should be preserved or reconstructed as part of new project.

- 3118 El Cajon Blvd
Craftsman house, a relic of very early times on El Cajon Boulevard. House should be incorporated in new project or façade should be reconstructed and integrated into new project.