AKA: Marston House Museum, Hillcrest, San Diego, CA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Hebbard and Gill, Architects (firm); Sessions, Kate O., Landscape Designer (firm); Irving John Gill (architect); William Sterling Hebbard Sr. (architect); Kate Olivia Sessions (landscape designer); Albert Raymond Walker (architect)

Dates: constructed 1904-1905

2 stories, total floor area: 8,500 sq. ft.

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3525 7th Avenue
Hillcrest, San Diego, CA 92103-5008

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Building History

Architect, Irving J. Gill (1870-1936), of the firm of Hebbard and Gill, designed this dwelling for the San Diego businessman and early civic leader, George White Marston, (10/22/1850-05/31/1946); Marston was born in Fort Atkinson, WI, and came to San Diego in 1870, opening a dry goods store there. He died in San Diego, CA, at the age of 95, and was a leading figure in the movement for city beautification so popular during the Progressive era; Marston was very active in San Diego's civic affairs, being a several term member of the San Diego Board of Fire Commissioners, a member of the Board of Public Library Trustees, a member of the San Diego Park Commission, and was a Director of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. He was also involved in the foundation of Pomona College. Marston acted as an important social critic and liberal Republican politician in his adopted city, running unsuccessfully for the mayor's office in 1913 and 1917, but often influencing policy from behind the scenes; it is fitting that Gill would design a house for Marston, a man interested in Progressive ideals and personal frugality.

Building Notes

The Marston House sits on five landscaped acres, designe by landscape architect Kate O. Sessions (1857-1940) and contained 8,500 square feet. It is maintained by the San Diego Historical Society, the dwelling has a notable collection of Mission Style furniture and crafts.

The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) reproduced blueprints of the Marston House; one drawing, of the west elevation, was dated 09/23/1904, revised 10/28/1904. The draftsman was Albert R. Walker (1881-1958), who would later become well-known as a partner in the firm of Walker and Eisen.

Tel: (619) 298-3142 (2008).

National Register of Historic Places (December 16, 1974): 74000552 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 4503