Chula Vista has often been referred to as a “bedroom community” and–no–that doesn’t mean what it meant in the 1970’s. If swingers exist, in these sullen days of the 2010’s they seem to be sleeping, as the stereotype goes.
National City is even more sleepy, a quintessential suburban stereotype.
But I’ve driven through these streets many times out of an Andy Warhol-type curiosity. Art & culture is usually most vibrant in the places where nobody else is looking.
Turns out, if you drive along the suburban streets of Chula Vista or National City, you’ll suddenly notice — POP! An impressive home will slap you awake. Prominent Victorians and other architectural styles will throw you back into a past when this was a wealthy agricultural community that grew lemons, oranges and olives. Today, the number of historic sites in both Chula Vista and National City number in the low 100’s, particularly homes on the Mill’s Act. The Chula Vista Historic Homes website lists 74 historic homes and the National City government website lists another 27 homes.
In the past, home tours have been given in both cities by caring aficionados of our local history and architecture.
This week I plan to share two of these home tours with you. In 1997 the Chula Vista Heritage Museum published Historic Chula Vista: Historic Homes and Other Historic Sites. I’d like to share with you the ten most important sites from that brochure. Additionally, I am reprinting the brochure from the National City Heritage Days Home Tour given in 2003.
The tours can be self-guided and make for a wonderful Saturday afternoon drive through rich architecture and history.
Hope you enjoy and Happy New Year!