News 8 featured Hillcrest in its Neighborhood Series.
San Diego's Hillcrest neighborhood, known today as the region's LGBTQ community hub, has a rich history. That history includes the neighborhood's birth over a century ago, being one of the City's first "suburban" neighborhoods outside of Downtown, a downfall, and a revitalization by the LGBTQ community, artists, and other creative types.
The history has been told many times by many people, but we recently stumbled across a News 8 Throwback video from 1994 which told the history of the neighborhood from that time. Hillcrest had not yet celebrated its centennial yet (that didn't happen until 2007) but it still had a rich history to document.
In the video, News 8's late Larry Himmel spoke to both Warren Simon, the longtime former leader of the Hillcrest Business Association, and the late Eleanor Meadows, a longtime Hillcrest resident who grew up in the neighborhood in the 1920s.
Himmel said that "Hillcrest is generally recognized as one of the city’s more avant garde and trendy neighborhoods - and it’s been that way for almost 90 years." While some may argue that Hillcrest has had its share of ups and downs in more than 25 years since this clip was produced, most would agree that Hillcrest still is home to some of San Diego's most unique nightlife venues, shops, community events, and people.
Simon noted that the birth of Hillcrest is typically said to be in 1907 when the first lots were sold for as much as $10,000 (a pricetag that wouldn't even get one a new car today). These lots were sold following Mr. Henry Woodson's purchase of the Hillcrest tract a year earlier.
"It’s been a desirable place to be since 1907," said Simon in the video.