Sunday, January 28, 2007

12/15/06: A Taste of San Diego History

I believe I've mentioned in several of my blog entries that my family has long been San Diego natives.

I did a little Googling this week, and found out that yes, we've been in San Diego for a loooong time. Just over a century, to be precise.

In 1900, William Quayle and his sons Edward and Charles moved from Denver to San Diego to continue the family architectural firm. Despite amazing work in the Denver (including the H.H. Thomas House in the 1870's, now on the Denver Historical Registry, as well as the First Avenue Hotel in South Denver) and Fort Collins areas, William transferred the firm to Southern California. William died in 1906, and then his sons, the Quayle Brothers, took over and built some of San Diego's landmarks.

They worked on creating Balboa Park for the 1915-1916 California Exposition by designing the Salt Lake and Union Building just east of the present Organ Pavilion. They also designed the North Park Theatre in 1928, the Old Police Station in downtown San Diego in the late 1930's, The Silvergate Lodge Masonic Temple in 1933.

Currently as part of downtown redevelopment, Edward's classic Fletcher-Sammons Building on 6th and Broadway (1906 and expanded in 1910 by both brothers) is being renovated into valuable loft spaces. They also designed the Pythias Lodge Building on the corner of E and Third, as well as the Elks Club on Cedar Street, which currently houses the Cal Western School of Law. They also created beautiful single-family homes in the neighborhoods of Mission Hills and Golden Hill/South Park.

I have much more to look at. Apparently a family member long ago put together a catalogue of all their buildings, and I also found a Master's thesis on William, Edward, and Charles Quayle in the University of San Diego library. Since I am an alumnus, I think I can find and copy it. I hope to get there over the Christmas break. My mom has tons of stuff at her house, including the catalogue, which I plan to document.

And the burning question .... Are we in the Quayle line related to the former VP, Dan Quayle?

The answer, although not verified, is "most likely." William hailed from the town of Ramsey on the Isle of Man, and that's where Dan Quayle's heritage also lies. I plan to check it out quite thoroughly as soon as I have both the time and the strength.

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