National City – still up and coming
Kile Morgan and Herman Baca, recollections of vato, Victorian houses and bungalows, Alfred Isham, distressed homes, sanctuary city, Granger Hall, Kimball Park
Workers pour concrete for path leading to bridge.
- To the south of San Diego, within range of the shadows cast by the Coronado Bridge, lies National City. Frequently described as the “backlot" of San Diego, at first glance NC lives down to its nickname; and few people, cruising to and from Tijuana, feel any incentive to stop there.
- By Bettina Brownstein, Feb. 26, 1976
Aztec Printing Shop. "The city is trying to cover itself with a blanket of secrecy. They didn’t want to release the officer's name."
- Home was a plot of land on a small street in National City. You don’t need to know the address; it’s gone now too, or its spirit is gone. It is obscured from the traffic on I-5 by rows of warehouses, but you could find it if you really looked. It is in sight of the steeple of a small Catholic church. All you will find now, of course, is a house, the fossilized shadow of a lush yard. When I knew it, the land was alive and strange and over-brimming with magic.
- By Junior Garcia, Feb. 1, 1996
Children's gravestones, Holy Cross Cemetery. Mostly, I tell this story for all the burning bad boys and girls out there, all you killers in your khakis and Impalas, all you rucas with your big hair and you dead-eyed young vatos with your little tattoos and mustaches.
- I drove further into National City and studied these ubiquitous bungalows. Forever present were foreboding bars on their windows and doors, “Keep out," “Do Not Enter," “Stay Away,” they said, each with a hint of individuality. Visible were thick vertical bars, ornate bars, latticework bars, tic-tac-toe bars, all painted in various shades of white, yellow, turquoise, and even cerulean blue.
- By Susan Vaughn, Aug. 28, 1997
Frank Kimball House and Museum. National City was incorporated in 1887 and within a few years was dotted with ornate Victorian homes.
Photo by Sandy Huffaker, Jr.
Alfred Huntington Isham
- Isham built a home at Kimball’s Addition — National City — because he thought that the Santa Fe railroad line would end there. He partnered with H.L. Story, who co-built the Hotel del Coronado, and Frank Kimball, founder of National City, who’d also come to San Diego for his health. They thought they saw in the gregarious Isham — who could convince atheists that paradise loomed beyond the next bend.
- Jeff Smith, Sept. 13, 2007
- What’s the difference between National City and Rancho Santa Fe? Well — er, uh — money comes to mind. Last year, median household income in National City was $44,130, according to figures provided by the San Diego Association of Governments. That was far under the county median of $68,388. But the median household income in Rancho Santa Fe last year was around $200,000.
- By Don Bauder, June 11, 2008
- Relatively speaking, despite a 3.3 million-dollar structural deficit, National City’s finances are in pretty good shape -- that’s what mayor Ron Morrison told nearly 40 residents during a special city-council-sponsored “strategic planning and budgetary workshop” inside Kimball Senior Center on D Avenue on Saturday, March 21.
- By Dorian Hargrove, March 24, 2009
- It's the one thing you think about, down here in Little Manila. In the restaurants, the TVs are tuned to TFC, The Filipino Channel. Telethons are going on between soap operas, reports are coming back from Cebu,
- Leyte, Samar. Figures are being slapped up on screens. "Does your family need urgent help in the Philippines? 71% no; 29% yes."
- By Ed Bedford, Nov. 15, 2013
- On Jun. 19, the National City Council voted unanimously to adopt a Compassionate City resolution in support of its immigrants. While no one opposed the designation, the special meeting was a re-hearing on the issue that follows a lawsuit. In a city with nearly 25,000 immigrants and refugees — two out of every five residents — words matter, even if they can't stop Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
- By Sheila Pell, June 24, 2017
Rosenda Perez with oldest son (photo from Al Dia)
- On October 31, Save Our Heritage Organisation released their annual list of the most endangered historic sites in San Diego. Granger Music Hall was one of three new sites added to the top-ten list this year. The other seven, including Balboa Park, remained on the list from last year.
- By Julie Stalmer, Nov. 6, 2017
Granger Music Hall
photo courtesy of Save Our Heritage Organisation
- “I don’t know if you saw it before, it was not a very nice area,” said Nadia Nunez about Paradise Creek where it runs through Kimball Park in National City. Nunez is community manager for youth organization ARTS (A Reason to Survive), which has occupied the former NC public library building on the north side of the park since 2012.
- By Leorah Gavidor, Dec. 31, 2018