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This glamorous woman, seen in an ad from 1955, invited potential CVE residents to the Harmony Homes sales office on 55th Street.
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College View Estates History

When San Diego State Teachers College (now San Diego State University) moved to its new and remote location “on the Mesa” in 1931 there was no other development in the immediate area. Faculty and students remember rabbit hunting in the hills and canyons of what is now CVE. Homes were built first on the south side of campus; CVE neighbor Kathleen Cunningham Veinbergs moved to Lindo Paseo Ave. with her parents in 1943.

Development of College View Estates began in 1954 when developer Leonard Drogin built three and four bedroom, two bath homes on Manhasset, Remington, Saxon, Penny, Redding and Hewlett. This “Harmony Homes” development was one of his earliest high end tracts and represented the mid-century interest in “modern” architecture. These ranch style homes were advertised as a “masterpiece of open planning and contemporary design, truly for the young at heart….” They and later homes feature open beam ceilings and hardwood floors.

Young families flocked to post-WWII developments such as CVE, and produced the baby boom. Don and Roberta Eidemiller, who moved to Hewlett in 1956, recall that their children had many, many neighborhood playmates; and that wildlife from the surrounding countryside was a regular sight on the street.

Between 1958 and 1962 Drogin platted the more expensive view lots on Bixel, Dorman and Drover Drives, building upscale “cutting edge contemporary style” homes aimed at professionals. A 1960 ad for a $28,100 home on Bixel said: “seldom have discriminating home buyers had such an usual opportunity to purchase a fine home with a magnificent view in San Diego’s most sought-after residential area.”

Drogin also offered lots for individuals, such as the Nepi family, to build on. Rosary Nepi, former CVEA President, recalled the early days when she watched small private planes landing at an airstrip in Alvarado Estates.

A creek ran along the south side of CVE. This subsequently became College Gardens Court (what happened to the creek?). The east end of College Gardens Court and Stone Court were developed in the early 1960s and the homes along the west end of College Gardens Court were added in 1965.

Three homes have been built since the 1960s developments: on Bixel, a Bill Lewis-designed mid-century modern with 1970s flair, and two on adjoining “unbuildable” lots on Manhasset. One of these, the 1979 earth-integrated “organic style” home, was a pioneer in environmentally-conscious building. Read more about the home. Many other CVE homes have been so substantially remodeled the original owners would not recognize them.

Thanks to Jim Newland, College Neighborhoods History Project, for information on the Drogin era written for the College Neighborhoods Foundation CVE Home Tours.