The Heart of Kensington - Neighborhood Preservation Advocacy
This place matters

"Named for a borough in London, England, Kensington is a pioneering subdivision dating to 1910. With its stone gateways, ornamental lighting, and curving streets, the neighborhood is a strong candidate for designation as a historic district.

"The homes are all unique and all with a distinctive individuality acquired over generations of proud home ownership. Homes are located on narrow streets with the garages placed at the rear of the lot or off alleys. This creates a wonderful pedestrian-oriented community where everyone walks and knows their neighbors."

So goes the description of our little neighborhood in the Mid-City Communities Plan.  As we approach the centennial of the founding of Kensington, we can proudly say we are home to 35 historic designated resources.  But we have so much more to preserve and celebrate!

Nomination submitted for first Kensington historic district

A formal request for designation of the Kensington Manor Unit No. 2 Historic District has been submitted to the City of San Diego's Historical Resources Board.

Kensington Manor Unit No. 2 is a historic subdivision of the larger neighborhood of Kensington.  The subdivision map was filed with the County Recorder on September 25, 1925 and shows the curvilinear streets following the natural topography out to canyon rims.  Landscaped parkways between the curbs and sidewalks showcase original classic Marbelite street lights.

The district encompasses fifty-one single family residences on parts of Sussex Drive, Canterbury Drive and Westminster Terrace.  The houses, built between 1925 and 1941, include Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, as well as an English Tudor Revival home, and several Minimal Traditional style homes.

Two houses in the proposed district are already individually designated as historical resources - the 1927 Cora M. and Cora Lee Wells House, and its next door neighbor, the 1926 William F. & Leta B. Gernandt House.  Another house at 4904 Canterbury Drive was identified in the 1996 Mid City Historical Survey as meeting the criteria for individual designation, but has not as yet been designated as an historical resource.

The applicant team, headed by Kensington resident Priscilla Berge, submitted the nomination package to the Kensington Talmadge Planning Group for review and recommendation to the City.  The planning group's vote was nearly unanimous in supporting the designation, and a letter to that effect was sent to the Historical Resources Board and City Planning Department.

Note that due to a ruling by the City Attorney's Office, processing of this application by HRB staff has been put on hold.  The explanation is that the applicant is a member of the Historical Resources Board and, even though she does not direct City staff or influence their work, there is a perception of a conflict of interest.  Processing will continue if and when she is no longer a member of the board.  Note that this differs from the policy set for the Planning Commission, in which architects and developers are members of the board, yet are able to recuse themselves from a vote if a project in which they have an interest comes before the commission.