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North Park History

The North Park Historical Society was formed in March 2008. The group had formerly operated as the North Park Community Association (NPCA) History Committee, which started in 1988. The working committee was formed with the purpose of increasing people’s awareness of the history that surrounds them in North Park, and to promote the preservation of North Park history. In doing so, the committee increased people’s appreciation for North Park, and helped them to take pride in this particular place and to gain an increased sense of community. After 20 years of working as a committee, the group transitioned into the independent North Park Historical Society.

Since our official formation as an independent non-profit corporation in May 2008, we have conducted  highly successful Historical Walking Tours of the Dryden District and the commercial core of historic North Park along University Avenue, have obtained  501c3 tax exempt status with the IRS, and have won an Award of Excellence for History from the City of San Diego Historical Resources Board for publication of our book on North Park’s first 50 years, North Park: A San Diego Urban Village, 1896-1946 by the late Donald Covington.

Since September 2008 we have been open to supporting memberships. Your membership of $20 per household supports our activities to preserve North Park’s cultural and architectural history.  Attached is the membership form.

The following is a brief summary of the accomplishments of the History Committee prior to 2008:

  • Research:
    • Acquisition of memories, photos and records pertaining to the two founding families of North Park: the Hartleys and Klickas
    • Recording of and copying of many pertinent land documents and newspaper articles important to the history of North Park
    • Taping of oral histories of long-time community citizens
    • Researching numerous resources for information regarding biographies, businesses, land development and interesting stories relating to the history of North Park
    • Indexing all North Park Community Association Newsletter articles
  • Education:
    • Publication of Once Upon A Time In North Park articles on the North Park Community Association website
    • Publication of two calendars featuring photos and history of North Park and University Heights in 1996 and 1997
    • Publication of articles in North Park News
    • Annual public lectures during Historic Preservation month (May)
    • Sponsored the Centennial Celebration of the founding of North Park
    • Conducted walking tours of Burlingame
  • Advocacy:
    • Participated in the Greater Mid-City Historic Site Survey
    • Served on the Georgia Street Bridge committee

In May 2007, the History Committee completed a book on the first 50 years of North Park, entitled North Park: A San Diego Urban Village, 1896 – 1946. This keepsake coffee table book has more than 90 historical photographs. It is available at many locations throughout North Park and on Amazon.

In the past several years we have achieved the designation of the North Park Dryden Historic District, reprinted Burlilngame, The Tract of Character by the late Donald Covington, organized three annual car shows, participated in community festivals, written articles that were published in North Park News and Uptown News, and presented lectures on historical preservation to grade school students, among other activities.

Buildings

Images coming soon

Water Tower

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Dryden District

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