Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Heritage Park ~ Victorian Village ~ Whaley House ~ San Diego, CA

Historic Old Town San Diego is about a mile square and includes some great sights to see within that area.  One such place is a Victorian Village at Heritage Park that is a new location for several homes of Victorian architecture.  This area was dedicated to preserve the beautiful designs of some of those old homes of San Diego and the renovations began in 2010.
Photo shows a group of the homes
Yard and Burton House on street in Victorian Village
These houses were slated to be demolished after WW2 so over the years, public and private funds were raised to cover the costs to purchase, relocate and restore these historic buildings with their interesting stories.  Each home, named after the original family who built the home, has some history written about them on a display board in front.  

Home has classic victorian design with shingles, the corner tower and a veranda encircling it.
Christian House 1889 in Victorian Village
These houses have been completed on the outside and the gardens are lovely, too. The windows were all covered in paper as the restoration has not been done on the inside but one day they will all be available for Inn’s and Bed and Breakfast, following through with the historical theme. 
original builder was John McConaughy
McConaughy House 1887 in Victorian Village
One house has been fully renovated and now operates as the Coral Tree Tea House, so named after the beautiful coral tree that sits in the center of the street out front.  It was busy with a private party while we were there so we didn’t go inside but I took plenty of photos of the coral tree that kept me busy.   
The blossoms are opening up in the warm April sunshine
Blossoms of the coral tree
The coral tree is a Erythrina x sykesll Australia, for those who may wish to check it out further, the color was amazing.  It was gorgeous and complements the street with the vivid color of flowers on there. 
This large tree is blooming with vivid orange blossoms
Coral tree in centre court of Victorian Village
I started to notice more coral trees as we drove around the city after this and saw several; none of them had a lot of leaves but they did vary on that.  I am thankful that our timing was great to see those blooms.
The temple was open for the public to view
Temple Beth Israel in Victorian Village, Old Town San Diego
Temple Beth Israel is the oldest synagogue in San Diego and was relocated in 1978. We did walk through the temple, which is very simple in design.  It is now being operated by the County of San Diego and they will take bookings for special occasions. 
The gas lamp lights the way on San Diego street
Whaley House on San Diego Avenue
There are other heritage homes outside of Heritage Park and perhaps the most famous would be the Whaley House Historic Museum which was built and began as a family home in 1857.  It has had several changes over the years, adding colorful stories to its history, including being a haunted house.  Ghost hunting tours are done once a month and also on Hallowe’en for those who wish to take their chances on seeing a ghost, sure not for me! 
The creative design on the roof of this building is from Victorian era
Side view of The Whaley House Museum Shop 
Next door to the Whaley House is their museum shop that is a gift store and tourist information center. Tickets to tour the Whaley House Museum are available here, they’re both closed on Wednesdays during their winter months.  The building shows a great profile of Victorian style on their roofline.   
There are so many wonderful sights to see in San Diego.  Visit the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park by clicking here and enjoy the sights and treasures there. Then come down to the San Diego Waterfront to see that, too. 


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