San Diego's Historic Mission Hills Neighborhood

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“People don’t come here and leave a few years later. They come here and they stay here.”

“People don’t come here and leave a few years later,” says resident Debbie Quillin. “They come here and they stay here.”

With its green canyons, this setting was irresistible to bungalow-era settlers seeking the outdoorsy life. Early preparations for the Panama–California Exhibition of 1915 helped turn what had been a small settlement of 1880s Queen Annes into a fashionable community featuring the latest styles. The dominant Craftsman influence began in 1909 with the arrival of builder Nathan Rigdon, a minister-turned-developer whose designs blended eastern Craftsman style and Foursquare massing with Prairie School elements. Rigdon often joined forces with builder Morris Irvin, who was responsible for 125 houses here. The luster of this upscale streetcar suburb has not faded.