The Heart of Kensington - Neighborhood Preservation Advocacy
Forbes Requa Model House

The Forbes-Requa House is a 1931 classic Spanish revival designed by Master Architect Richard S. Requa, reflecting his study of 17th and 18th century houses in Spain. Requa designed the home at the zenith of his career, when he was hired by the City of San Diego Parks Commission to refurbish Balboa Park for the upcoming California Pacific Expo in 1935.

The Forbes-Requa house was one of five model homes built by George Thomas Forbes, the developer of the Kensington Heights subdivision, to show prospective homebuyers.  This masterwork is especially important because it served Forbes as a model home in the sales campaign for Kensington Heights, which was one of the most exclusive communities in San Diego during the Great Depression.
Forbes furnished the house and landscaped the yard for showing between 1931 and 1933.  Original photographs from the time when the house was a model home show the furnished house as it was then.
French doors and wide windows open to a rear yard patio deck and upstairs to capture light and breeze. Original wrought iron balcony, window and interior curtain rods and lighting fixtures contribute to the Spanish theme.
Requa designed built-in shelves and cabinets to compliment smooth plaster walls and hardwood floors.  The living room exhibits large open beams painted dark and hand-stenciled in light yellow and green floral patterns.  While the home retains all of its original features, it has been tastefully updated by Interior Designer Rebecca Buchan from the renowned Denton House Interiors, one of the top design firms in the western region of the country.
The home’s original occupants were Judge Clarence Harden and his wife, one of San Diego’s pioneer woman attorneys, Sarah Fitzpatrick Harden.  After living and socializing in the house for 69 years, the Hardens, who were pillars of the San Diego legal community, sold the house to the current owner, who is also an attorney.  Thus, the home has always been owned by a member of the legal profession.
Our thanks to Ron V. May and Dale May of Legacy106 for the information from the historical designation report for this house.
Behind San Diego is a romance of love, chivalry and struggling pioneers. - Davis Baker Company advertisement, San Diego Union, 21 February 1926