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Nob Hill Neighborhood

College View

Platted in 1926, the same year as it’s western sister Monte Vista, the College View Neighborhood was almost all built-out before WWII.

Map of College View Neighborhood

The College View Neighborhood NE


Platted in 1926, the same year as it’s western sister Monte Vista, the College View Neighborhood was almost all built-out before WWII. It starts along Carlisle Blvd, one of the main entry points to the different Nob Hill Neighborhoods & heads east four blocks to Morningside Drive; stretching from Lomas Blvd on the north to Central Ave/Route 66 on the southern edge. It’s a four block x four block rectangle of homes, that were once sitting on the eastern edge of the city (from the NHNA). In the image, two of the four blocks in the neighborhood—Aliso & Morningside—are undeveloped.


Flash forward maybe 15 years later, to 1950, another aerial photo shows the natural evolution of the neighborhood, with College View almost fully developed. By this time in the Greater Nob Hill area, other neighborhoods were being realized. On the map just north of Nob Hill are the makings for the Jefferson Middle School playing fields. Further east, the already-designed & now historic Bataan Memorial Park sits in the middle of the image; McDuffie Park, aka Hidden Park, is almost fully surrounded by homes by then; & the Del Sol or Twin Parks, which look like a tuning fork in the upper right of the image, were only rough-road-cuts in the landscape before 1950. A good map of Hidden Park, the Del Sol Parks & Altura Park further north, show you where they are now…


The College View Neighborhood stands out. It boasts stunning & historic examples of early classic Mediterranean, Territorial & Pueblo Revival styles. Also, though, the neighborhood is known for strong vernacular architecture: Different builders tinkered with prevailing styles at the time, often mixing architectural elements, like this cool house, or this SW Vernacular with a wavy parapet. The result in the neighborhood is a great number of homes that don’t seem to land on just one style, like this SW Vernacular home with a sweet mix of a Palladian window, arched doorway, ranch-style roof & dramatic pumice-stone fireplace.


Another sometimes unnoticed aspect of the neighborhood is the density. Unless purposely looking for them, you may not realize that you are passing many multi-family homes that coexist all around & next to the single family houses. Small historic duplexes are prominent throughout the neighborhood, & well-maintained triplexes stretch out along the east-west corridors, notably Marquette Ave. A few multi-family homes live in the neighborhood, too.


College View has great examples of well-kept Territorial style homes, like this one. Sweet examples of Mediterranean can also be found, this one with Palladian window. Here’s a Pueblo Revival triplex, & a single-family home with another undulating parapet.


Pueblo Revival & SW Vernacular style homes fill entire blocks on Solano & Hermosa Aves. Ranch style also becomes a thing by the 1940’s. Interestingly, you can easily tell which direction the neighborhood expanded: the further east you are in the four blocks, the more likely you will see Ranch-style homes, which became more prevalent as the years passed.


And of course, all Nob Hill Neighborhoods have their share of architectural whimsey. In the middle of the College View Neighborhood you’ll find what looks to be a Pueblo Revival style home turned contemporary, topped by an aluminum wave. Martin Grummer is the local architect of the redesign, one of numerous he’s completed in Nob Hill.


College View & the Monte Vista neighborhood to the west, together have recently been designated the Monte Vista & College View Historic District, giving it Historic Overlay Zone protected status. These Nob Hill neighborhoods add to the five existing historic zones already found in the city. Within the two neighborhoods, as seen on the map, 82% of the homes are considered contributing historic properties. A cool map of all the contributing historic properties in the district shows the importance of the area; local historian Spencer Nelson’s Nob Hill site features all properties with a historic plaque.


The neighborhood has a smattering of offices & retail businesses near the Central Ave Corridor at Copper Ave, but otherwise it is a residential neighborhood.


The neighborhood has some nicely-located Little Free Libraries surrounding it, in the Broadmoor Addition & to the west in the Monte Vista Neighborhood. Photos below are a small sampling of notable sights from the College View Neighborhood. Experiencing this residential neighborhood is like architecturally stepping back in time one hundred years. Exploring on foot provides a more creative & complete picture of Nob Hill.

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Chris Lucas
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