J Scott Shannon (ashetlandpony) wrote in then_now,
J Scott Shannon

La Jolla Cove, then and now

(x-posted from ashetlandpony)

I love old postcards, especially ones that depict bygone-era scenes from a area that I'm familiar with. I went to school at U.C. San Diego, in La Jolla, California, so La Jolla Cove is a place I've visited a number of times over the years.

This postcard was mailed over 100 years ago.

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What a difference a century makes...

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Flickr is such an amazing resource! The above photo is an almost perfect match for the postcard, and was taken by Flickr user ZenState in 2004. I'm actually quite surprised to see that one of the houses in the old postcard is still standing: the low white bungalow at center. In fact, today it is the Brockton Villa Restaurant. (Click on that link and you'll see another old photo of the bluffside in what was probably the 1920s.) Evidently the house was built c.1894 by a Dr. Rodes from San Diego.

Just past the Rodes house to the left used to be a series of 3 old bungalow houses (they evidently weren't built yet at the time of the 1906 postcard). My fisheries teacher in graduate school lived in one of them when he attended Scripps Institute in the 1960s. He said his house still had its original brass gas lighting fixtures! I remember those little houses from when I lived in La Jolla from 1972-77, but all 3 were demolished in the 1980s.

And that huge pink monstrosity on the bluff in the recent photo – that was built before the California Coastal Commision came into existence. There's no way on Earth that sort of thing would be allowed to be built today. (Thank goodness!)

At the left in the background of both images is the La Jolla Shores and Mount Soledad areas of San Diego. Virtually unoccupied in 1906; in 2007, it's one of the most densely populated areas in North County, and one of the richest, too...

Here's another Flickr image showing the rest of the bluff today (this one by Flickr user Bloodygene).

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There at center you can see two more early-20th century bungalows (they were probably there in 1906, but were obscured by rocks in the postcard). And all those huge stately palm trees – those are likely around a hundred years old, too.

And here's the postcard's addressee.

The postmark is partial, but it's undoubtedly Coronado, as the Hotel del Coronado (built in 1888) was THE tourist destination in the San Diego area during the time when the postcard was mailed. And Gardena! A hundred years ago, it was only a rural post office (R.F.D.). Today, it's a city of 57,000 people – an urban concrete jungle south and west of downtown Los Angeles.

Like I said, what a difference a century makes...


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