North Park is a neighborhood in San Diego, California, USA. It is situated to the northeast of Balboa Park, bounded on the north by El Cajon Boulevard, on the south by Juniper Street and the South Parkneighborhood, on the east by Interstate 805 and City Heights, and on the west by Florida Canyon andHillcrest.
(As a side note, the pre-Interstate 805 boundary of North Park was
widely considered to be 35th Street, which is now part of City Heights.)
The North Park sign can be seen at 30th Street and University Avenue,
and this intersection is often considered to be the heart of the
neighborhood. North Park includes the subneighborhoods of Burlingame,
Altadena, and the Morley Field area (site of the proposed Dryden Historic District). North Park is part of the53rd congressional district,
and San Diego City Council District 3. Residents of North Park are
served by a vibrant and active all-volunteer group, the North Park
Community Association NPCA.
The NPCA hosts free Bird Park Summer Concerts, runs a Stop Graffiti
Now! campaign, connects neighbors who have common concerns, and promotes
local businesses through its Member Discount Program. North Park's
business community is also served by a business improvement district called North Park Main Street.
Like much of San Diego, in the 2000s North Park has seen significant
increases in housing prices. Some in the community believe this is
evidence that the community has undergone gentrification, however no comprehensive housing or population study has yet been conducted to confirm this point.
the summer of 1893, San Diego merchant Joseph Nash sold 40 acres
(16 ha) of land northeast of Balboa Park to James Monroe Hartley, who
wished to develop a lemon grove. The Hartley family began the arduous
process of clearing the land to prepare the earth for the grove, but
providing the fledgling trees with proper irrigation was always a
problem. Barrels of water had to be hauled from downtown San Diego up a
wagon trail that would eventually be called Pershing Drive.
the growth of San Diego eventually caught up with the original Hartley
lemon grove, it eventually became roughly bordered by Ray Street to the
west, 32nd Street to the east, University Avenue to the north and Dwight
Street to the south. Hartley deemed his area "Hartley's North Park" -
and years later, the name evidently stuck as the City of San Diego
referred to the new suburb as "North Park."
1911, Hartley's eldest son, Jack, and a relative (brother-in-law
William Jay Stevens) developed the plot into one of San Diego's first
residential and commercial districts. After first establishing "Stevens
& Hartley", North Park's first real estate firm, in 1905, Jack and
William built North Park's first "high rise" commercial building, the
Stevens building, on the northwest corner of 30th Street and University
Avenue (today's "Western Dental" building) in 1912. "Thirtieth &
University" became North Park's symbolic place name - and within 10
years, this became the heart of the community.
North Park was the site of the crash of PSA Flight 182, California's deadliest aviation accident to date.
North Park is a neighborhood of mixed architectural styles from many
eras, one area of note is the Morley Field area of North Park. Named for
its proximity to Balboa Park's Morley Field Sports Complex, this area is lined with turn-of-the-century Craftsman Bungalows and California Bungalows. Because many of the homes were designed by renowned designer and builder David Owen Dryden, the area is the site of a proposed "Dryden Historic District."
This historical district includes the homes along 28th and Pershing
Streets, both bordered on the south by Upas Street and to the north by
evidenced above, interest in the history of North Park (especially its
architecture) appears to be growing. Helping to foster this interest and
awareness is the North Park Historical Society, a local volunteer civic organization. The North Park Historical Society manages a website at NorthParkHistory.org which
contains many articles about historic sites, people and events; North
Park walking tours; and information about committee projects and meeting
information. Some of the site's extensive collection of articles on North Park's history were written by Donald Covington - historian, Dryden Expert and North Park enthusiast.
eclectic array of restaurants, as well as independent coffee shops, can
be found along the main arteries of 30th Street and University Avenue.
The area is also dotted with bars and night clubs that cater to a wide
diversity of patrons.
Ray at Night is a
gallery walk held the second Saturday of every month in North Park. It
is the largest and longest running artwalk in San Diego's history.
Nearby, the Birch North Park Theatre reopened after major renovations in 2005. It is the home of Lyric Opera San Diego.
North Park has a Farmers Market every
Thursday at the parking lot located at University and 32nd Streets. The
Spring/Summer hours are 3pm-sunset, Fall/Winter 2pm-Sunset. They
feature over 35 independent vendors; locally grown produce/flowers;
gourmet/ethnic foods; arts and crafts; books; and, often, live music.
San Diego Music Foundation hosts a large musical festival--North Park
Music Thing--in the fall on El Cajon Boulevard, which helps add to North
Park's reputation as a great community for the arts in San Diego.
a tradition every December, North Park holds its annual holiday parade.
Formerly known as the North Park Toyland Parade, it is now called the
North Park Lions Club Holiday Parade.
other urban San Diego communities, North Park has a high rate of
pedestrian activity, relative to other regions of San Diego county.
North Park is one of the most diverse communities in San Diego. It has sizeable populations of Latinos, Caucasians, and LGBT individuals. Businesses and residential neighborhoods alike reflect this diversity.
North Park is served by Interstate 805, which is accessible from the University Avenue and El Cajon Boulevard exits.
University Avenue and El Cajon Boulevard are the major east-west thoroughfares in North Park. University Avenue leads west to Hillcrest and east to City Heights and La Mesa. El Cajon Boulevard leads west to Washington Avenue and Mission Hills and continues east to the city of El Cajon. Florida Street connects North Park to Downtown San Diego through Florida Canyon in Balboa Park to the south, and to Adams Avenue and University Heights to the north. 30th Street connects North Park to Adams Avenue and Normal Heightsto the north, and to South Park and Golden Hill to the south. Texas Street heads north directly into Mission Valley.
There is substantial bus service connecting to Downtown San Diego as well as to the transportation hub in Old Town.
The busiest bus line corridor in the San Diego metro region, known as
the University Avenue transit corridor, traverses North Park.
The United States Postal Service operates the North Park Post Office at 3791 Grim Avenue.