What Makes College View Estates Special?
We are a diverse, friendly, social community with many Mid-Century modern canyon view homes. We know each other well and often stop to chat on the front yard. We gather for block parties, progressive dinners, community meetings and a monthly “First Friday” social hour.
College View Estates is an entirely residential community of 341 single family homes.
With only two entrances and no major through-roads, it is a quiet and very safe community. Though self contained it is centrally located, adjacent to Interstate 8 and the trolley, providing easy access to the city and coast, major shopping centers and hospitals.
We are served by excellent public schools, and our neighbor, San Diego State University, provides a great variety of cultural, sports, and recreational activities right at our doorstep.
College View Estate Architecture
Nationally recognized Mid-Century modern architects, Bill Lewis and Henry Hester, designed homes in the neighborhood. Many other homes were developed with the influence of other great Mid-Century architects. Often appearing modest from the curb, once inside many of these homes behold stunning canyon views.
For info on Mid-Century Modern architecture visit Modern San Diego’s College Area web page: http://www.modernsandiego.com/CollegeArea.html
Map: View CVE Map
History of College View Estates
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.
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. (See more ads at the bottom of this page)
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 plotted 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 to build on. An original owner 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 which subsequently became College Gardens Court. 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.
Thanks to Jim Newland, College Neighborhoods History Project, for information on the Drogin era written for the College Neighborhoods Foundation CVE Home Tours.