Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Gill, Irving J., Architect (firm); Thorp and Shockley, Building Contractors (firm); Irving John Gill (architect); Shockley (building contractor); Thorp (building contractor)

Dates: constructed 1907-1908, demolished 1979

2 stories

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3060 6th Avenue
Bankers Hill, San Diego, CA 92103-5846

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The Melville Klauber House stood at Redwood Street and 6th Avenue in Hillcrest, facing Balboa Park.


Architectural historians considered the Melville Klauber House one of the finest remaining residences when a developer chose it for demolition in the 1970s. Its destruction and the lot's vacancy for a decade thereafter caused deep resentment among some in San Diego's historic preservation community.

Building History

Architect Irving J. Gill (1870-1936) produced this residence for Melville and Amy Salz Klauber. Melville Klauber, along with V. Hugo Klauber, served as the Managers of the Klauber Wangenheim Company, Incorporated, wholesale dealers in "groceries, cigars, tobacco, crackers and candies, woodenware and paper, teas, coffee, spices and extracts." (See San Diego City Directory, 1917, p. 620.) In 1917, Klauber Wangenheim had its headquarters in a building on the northeast corner of Market Street and 4th Avenue. The Melville Klauber House was located at 3060 6th Avenue also known as 3060 Park Avenue, while V. Hugo lived at 2626 Park Avenue.

Building Notes

In 03/1908, the Los Angeles Herald mistakenly indicated that Irving J. Gill was preparing a new house for Melville and Amy J. Klauber in Pasadena, CA, not San Diego. It stated of the Klauber Residence: "A permit was issued in Pasadena for erection of a residence for Melville Klauber. It will be on lots at the southwest corner of Park avenue and Redwood street. The main section will be 70 x 60 feet. Exterior finish will be cement plaster over brick. The structure will be two and a half stories, beside basment, and will cost $21,000. Thorp & Shockley have been awarded the contract by Architect Irving J. Gill and work is under way." (See "To Erect $21,000 Home at Beautiful Pasadena [sic]," Los Angeles Herald, vol. 35, no. 165, 03/15/1908, p. III-5)

The Historic American Building Survey photographed, gathered documentation and produced measured drawings of the Klauber House in 1962.

The historic preservation group Save Our Heritage Organisation stated on its web site of the battle to save the Klauber House: "In 1979 SOHO's hardest fought preservation battle ended with the demolition of the 1907 Melville Klauber House, designed by Irving Gill and Frank Mead. Despite lawsuits, countersuits, State Supreme Court hearings, proposals from a youth hostel, plans to move it to Heritage Park or into Balboa Park, and even the airplane crash death of the developer, nothing could stop the loss of this high-profile icon, universally considered to be Gill's best remaining work, after the loss of LA's Dodge House." (See Save Our Heritage, "Klauber House," accessed 05/15/2018.)


The Klauber House was razed in 1979 for a proposed condominium tower; a fierce preservation fight occurred over the demolition. (See Wayne Swanson, Los Angeles, "Little Left Of Gill's Building Legacy," published 06/25/1986, accessed 05/15/2018.)

PCAD id: 4460