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Ginty House, 1886 1568 Ninth Avenue

Prestigiously at the highest point in the city on Cortez Hill when built, the 1886 Ginty House was a prominent visual landmark that could be seen from as far away as Coronado. Saved from demolition in 1999 and moved to its present location, the single family residence was initially intended to be the centerpiece in a planned row of upscale houses. It was the first home to be constructed on its block during the booming 1880s, in the midst of San Diego’s historic transformation from frontier town to sophisticated young city. The original owner, John Ginty, a businessman and realtor, chose the best site to build in the new and affluent neighborhood emerging just north of downtown.

The Ginty House is in the Stick Eastlake style and represents some of the finest and best architectural design, materials and construction methods used in San Diego at the time. An unusual design feature relates to the builder’s original intent to construct closely adjacent houses on both sides. The rear portion of the building is wider than the front so that to avoid looking directly into the neighbors’ homes all windows are angled to face forward including those located on the rear rooms.

Barely any expense was spared to construct this home. It was once seriously threatened and fortunately through many efforts it remains today as a beautifully rehabilitated Victorian masterpiece.


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