Saturday, November 22, 2014

The train and art work in Solana Beach

101 passes by the Solana's Beach train station.  The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad continues to parallel 101 to the east, but it is largely out of view.  The Coastal Rail Trail is complete through the city of Solana Beach and stays on the east side of 101 and the west side of the railroad trench.  A decorative arch welcomes pedestrians onto the trail.

Art work

Art work

 Art work

Art Work

Art Work

Train Station

Highway 101-Encinitas

Encinitas is  the next city south after Carlsbad.  Leucadia is within the city of Encinitas.  Most of the markers for Historic U.S. 101 are the small conventional markers.  Along much of this section of 101 are eucalyptus trees, that were planted along the highway as a beautification measure.  There is a state scenic poppy flower marker located just south of Encinitas Blvd.  Since this scenic route is on a county route, which is maintained by the city of Encinitas, the California poppy flower is posted on a pentagon cut in the shape of a typical county route marker.

Coast Highway 101 marker along sidewalk

In the heart of Encinitas, Highway 101 passes under the Encinitas Arch.

Encinitas sign over the highway

At the corner of Highway 101 and D Street, there are these markers on the corners.

Flower marker on a street corner

La Paloma Theater
La Paloma Theater

When first signed in Leucadia in 1997, Historic U.S. 101 was shown as "Coast Highway 101" or Coast Highway 101" within a U.S. highway shield.  This type of sign lasted until around 2001 or 2002, and it was phased out in favor of the brown signs.  The original design lives on in the tree gates in downtown Encinitas, which replicated the Coast Highway 101 design once seen along the historic route.  There is public art on the sidewalks in downtown Encinitas that include ode to surfing, El Camino Real and Historic U.S. 101.

Near Swami's is a "surfer crossing" sign that is seemingly unique to Encinitas

The La Paloma Theater is located on 101 in Encinitas.  On February 11, 1928, La Paloma Theater opened with the film, "The Cohen's and Kelly's in Paris."  The gala event was attended by Hollywood starlet and soon to be Academy Award Winner Mary Pickford.  It was rumored that she rode her bicycle all the way to La Paloma from Pickford Ranch for the event.

La Paloma, which means the dove, was one of the first theaters to show "Talkies."  Talking pictures premiered in 1927, with Warner Bros. film "Jazz Singer" starring Al Jolson.  Making the transition from silent films to "Talkies" did not happen overnight, so La Paloma was also equipped with a beautiful organ, which was a standard piece of equipment during the Silent era.  Films in the early days of motion pictures were usually preceded by a vaudeville stage act, and La Paloma was well suited for that.

There are two favorite beaches in Encinitas; one is called Moonlight, which is perfect for families and Swami's Beach, which was made famous by the Beach Boys' hit song, "Surfin' USA, which is one of San Diego County's prime surf spots.

Encinitas is home to the San Diego Botanic Garden, which features 37 acres of unusual plants from all over the world, including the largest bamboo collection in the United States.  The garden is located farther inland.

Public art in Encinitas along Historic 101!

Cardiff-by-the-Sea is the southernmost community within the city of Encinitas.  Cardiff-by-the-Sea is usually referred to as Cardiff.  Cardiff has its own Zip Code.  In 1911, this former farming community began to develop J.Frank Cullen broke ground to build new homes.  It is reported by the Cardiff Chamber of Commerce that it was Frank Cullen's wife, a native of Cardiff, Wales,  who persuade him to name the community, "Cardiff."  Many streets in Cardiff bear names this English-born landowner grew up with in his native United Kingdom.

Cardiff Reef is a popular surf spot in Cardiff that produces waves both professional and novice surfers enjoy year round.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Highway 101-Carlsbad

 As we head south on 101 from Oceanside, the next city is Carlsbad, where you can find beautiful beaches, three lagoons and of course, shopping.  There is a spa at Alt Karlsbad, which gave Carlsbad its name.  The historic landmark is where water was found in 1882 that had similar qualities to the water found at a famous European spa called Karlsbad in Bohemia(Karlovy Vary in Czech Republic today).

Carlsbad Village is within walking distance from Highway 101 and is home to many restaurants, cafes and antique shopping.  The Ocean House is on the corner of 101 and Carlsbad Village Drive and is a Victorian mansion that was built in 1887 by the owner of the Carlsbad Land and Water Company.

On the east side of Interstate 5 is Legoland and The Flower Fields of Carlsbad California, where flower lovers can walk nearly 50 acres of flowering giant tecolote  ranunculus.

One of the lagoons that we pass along the way is Agua Hedlonda and near the lagoon is Encina natural gas electrical generation facility.  The power plant sits on the east side and the Pacific Ocean is on the west.  When Carlsbad Blvd/101 meets Palomar Airport Road, the expressway will come to its end.  Historically, this was the point where the South Carlsbad Freeway connected to the Carlsbad Bypass, which today is Palomar Airport Road and Interstate 5.  Carlsbad Blvd narrows to one northbound lane as it passes under Palomar Airport Road.  This unusual configuration is a product of this interchange being the former southern terminus of the U.S. 101 bypass of Carlsbad north of here.

The next segment of Historic 101 is probably the longest and most well-preserved segment of original concrete expressway in Carlsbad.  A former exit ramp from 101 to Surfside Lane has been removed from service, leaving the old ramp visible to northbound travelers.  The original expressway concrete resumes between Breakwater Road and Island Way.  The palm trees and turf were not part of old highway landscaping.  This kind of landscaping was added when the adjacent residential development  was constructed.

101/Carlsbad Blvd becomes an expressway between Avenida Encinas and Poinsettia Lane.  there is older bridge railing and earlier standard guardrail in this area.  Another lagoon and creek is passed in this area and that is San Marcos Creek and Batiquitos Lagoon.

Carlsbad is an affluent seaside resort city that occupies a 7 mile stretch of Pacific coastline in North San Diego County.  The city is located 87 miles south of Los Angeles and 35 miles north of downtown San Diego.  Carlsbad is referred to as "The Village by the Sea" by locals.

The history of Carlsbad began with the Luiseno people who located one of their villages, Palamai, near what is today the Agua Hedionda Lagoon.  In the 1880's, a sailor named John Frazier dug a well in the area and began offering his water at the train station and soon the whistle-stop became know as Frazier's Station.  A test done on a second fresh-water well discovered the water to be chemically similar to that found in some of the most renowned spas in the world, and the town was named after the famed Spa in the Bohemian town of Karlsbad.

The Carlsbad Land and Mineral Water Company was formed by a German-born merchant from the Midwest named Gerhard Schutte along with Samuel Church Smith, D.D. Wadsworth and Henry Nelson.  The name of the town followed soon after, as well as a major marketing campaign to attract visitors.  The area experienced a period of growth, with homes and businesses sprouting up in the 1880's.  Agricultural development of citrus fruits, avocados and olives soon changed the landscape  by the end of 1887, land prices fell throughout San Diego County.  However , the community survived on the back of its fertile agricultural lands.  Carlsbad was incorporated in 1952 to avoid annexation by its neighbor, Oceanside.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Historic Highway 101-Oceanside and a beginning

As we drive along our concrete superhighways , wouldn't it be nice to imagine a kinder, gentler era when the road was an adventure and your car was a part of you.   For many that highway is 101, and in San Diego, 101 goes along the Pacific Ocean and passes through the beach communities between Oceanside and La Jolla.  Along the highway, there are still Victorian homes, 1950's gas stations, local cafes, coffee houses and lots of sandy beaches.  Father Serra built the missions in the late 1700's and needed a wagon road to connect them and so he constructed the first California highway.  This highway was called El Camino Real, which translates to King's Highway or The Royal Road.  For about 200 years this was the principal north-south route in California.  When Interstate 5 was constructed in the 1960's, 101 was bypassed.  Highway 101 provides a look at California in the early days.  In 1998, all 935 miles of 101 was given historic designation by the State of California.

The origins of Highway 101, or at least the portion that runs through San Diego County, date back to the early years of the 20th century, according to published accounts.  In 1902, California voters gave the legislature the power to establish a state highway system, using existing roads or building new ones.   In 1908, the San Diego County Road Commission was formed, with instructions to build 1250 miles of county roads.  Members included prominent city fathers as J.D. Spreckels, E.W. Scripps and A.C. Spaulding.  Petitions circulated around the county about road priorities and Oceanside with a population of less than 600, requested a highway be developed along the coast from San Diego to Orange County.  In January 1909, the commission finalized its report on road construction throughout the county.  Among the most ambitious projects were two highways and one ran from San Diego along the coast to Orange County.

Coming south from Orange County on Interstate 5, you can access 101 by getting off at Coast Highway.

There is also an El Camino Real bell erected along 101 to signal to travelers that a California Mission was nearby.  These bells were erected in 1906.  Mission San Luis Rey is located in Oceanside and is 3 miles east of the highway. See one of my other blogs called for information about the mission.   Another place to see, near the Mission, is the church at Prince of Peace Abbey, which was dedicated with the title of "Our Lady of Einsiedeln" on October 21, 1987.  Fr. Gabriel Chavez de la Mora, O.S.B., a monk of Tepeyac Abbey outside Mexico City was its architect and provided the designs and inspirations for nearly all its furnishing and artwork.  This gives the church at Prince of Peace Abbey a great harmony of design.  He also painted the "Prince of Peace King of the Universe icon in the church.

After seeing the Mission and the Prince of Peace Abbey, there is much more to see along South Coast Highway.  Starting down South Coast Highway, this wall art is on the side of a liquor store.  I happen to love wall art!

Next notable building on the way south is The Star Theatre.  The Star Theater still has live theater performances and is a good example of "Googie" Architecture that was popular in the 1950's.

 Googie architecture is a form of modern architecture, a subdivision of futuristic architecture influenced by car culture, jets, the Space Age and the Atomic Age.  Googie architecture originated in Southern California during the late 1940's and continued into the 1960's.  Features of Googie architecture include upswept roofs, curvaceous, geometric shapes and bold use of glass, steel and neon.  This architecture was also known as part of Mid-Century Modern.  The origin of the name "Googie" dates back to 1949, when architect John Lautner designed the West Hollywood coffee shop "Googies"  The name "Googie" had been a family nickname of Lillian K. Burton, who was the wife of the original owner. The building was destroyed in 1989.

The Star Theater was designed by architect William Glenn Balch and opened in 1956. It was one of 17 theaters Balch designed in California and the only one that is still in existence.  When the Star Theater was built, the marquee was the largest in San Diego County.  The marquee was famous for its size and and its animation.  The marquee is 65 feet wide and 6 feet high and is one of the few remaining examples.  Originally the marquee had neon flashing twinkling stars and a 48 foot cascading electric light waterfall, that no longer functions as its designer originally intended.

The next place is The California Surf Museum, which is not on Coast Highway, but is a notable place in Oceanside.  The California Surf Museum pays homage to the surf culture of Southern California with antique surfboards, historic photos and exhibits on early pioneer surfers.

The Oceanside Pier is down the street from the Surf Museum and is the longest over-water wooden pier on the West Coast. This is the 6th pier and was built in 1987.  The first pier was built in 1888 in a different location.  In 1894, the pier was rebuilt at its current location.  Other piers replace the 1894 pier in 1903, 1927 and 1947.  The concrete approach, ramp and stairs were built in 1927.

The Oceanside bandshell was built in 1950.  The first bandshell was built in 1919.  This bandshell was used in the 2000 movie "Bring It On" with Kirsten Dunst.

Recognize this next house?  The house was built in 1887 and officially is the Henry Graves house, but in 1986, this house was put into a movie with Tom Cruise, called "Top Gun" and this house is now referred to as the "Top Gun house".

Across the street from the "Top Gun" house are the Rorick houses.  The Rorick homes were built in 1906 and 1913 and are of the Craftsman style.  The homes were designed by David Rorick, Sr., who was former city attorney who came to Oceanside from Lawrence, Kansas.  The father of David Rorick, Sr. lived in one house and David Rorick, Sr. lived in the other.  David Rorick, Jr. was born in the family home in 1913.  David Rorick, Jr, was owner of Rorick Buick and a civic leader.

The George P. McKay building is down the street from the Surf Museum and was completed in 1908.  The first floor of the building was a general merchandise store and Mr. and Mrs. McKay lived upstairs.

Theodore C. Bunker purchased this property in 1885 from J. Chauncey Hayes and erected this 2-story brick structure that is down the street from the McKay building.  This building was constructed in 1886.  It was known as the Bunker House and was a family residence, as well as a boarding house.  When Mr. Bunker died, the family moved to Los Angeles.  Years later it was renamed the Traveler's Hotel.  The building is said to have a colorful history, from the stabbing death of  one of its owners to the years of use by prostitutes.  It is the oldest remaining brick commercial/residential structure in Oceanside.

More wall art:

Corner of Mission and Coast Highway:

This building was The first National Bank of Oceanside and was built in 1925.  This building replaced an earlier bank building built in 1887 that housed the library, city hall and private offices.  The building remained a bank until the depression and later housed a five and dime store and a men's wear store.

The J.E. Jones Hardware store was completed in 1913.  Jones was a farmer in the San Luis Rey valley and sold farm implements, hardware and household items.  It was later Howe's Hardware and eventually became Huckabay's Department Store for many years.  The Silver Slipper ballroom, a popular spent in the 1940's was located upstairs.

The Odd Fellows building was built in 1924.  The meetings were held upstairs, while the City Hall was downstairs.  In 1929, JC Penny Company leaded the downstairs for 40 years.

The Keisker Hotel was built in 1927.  The hotel advertised that steam heat and hot and cold running water to every room.  It was AAA recommended.  The hotel catered to travelers on their way from Los Angeles to Del Mar, San Diego and Tijuana.  It was renamed the Dewitt Hotel by the 1940's and now operates as the Dolphin Hotel.

The First Christian Church was built in 1928 and the congregation is the oldest in North County forming in 1875.  The beautiful stain glass windows are dedicated to the early charter members who lived in the San Luis Rey Valley.

The 101 Cafe started life as a small 20-seat diner in 1928 by the Ekegren family.  It was just the small dining room where the counters are now.  The restaurant was noted for the breakfast , which was and is still served all day.  The Cafe was named for Highway 101, which it fronted.  The Greyhound bus stopped in front until the 1940's when the bus station was located downtown.  The traffic for the restaurant came from Highway 101, which was the main access from Los Angeles to San Diego until 1953, when the main flow of car traffic relocated to Interstate 5.

Lucky Lackey, a local businessman, added an overhang around the building as it now exists.  Mr. Lackey found a successful restaurateur, John Graham, to operate the latest in eateries, a drive in called "Grahams" and the drive-in was run successfully until the early 1970's.  Graham also ran two other drive-ins in Oceanside.  Grahams' reputation as a hot spot for local teenagers spread widely, until places like McDonald's began to rise to prominence and drive-ins no longer prospered.  Graham adapted to the change by selling to-go items and changed the format to a coffee shop.  Through all this, the 101 Cafe has been a favorite of locals and tourists looking for friendly service and good food.  About 10 years later, a new owner changed the name to Randy's Coffee Shop.  The current owners  have changed the name back to  101 Cafe.  The 101 Cafe is the oldest continuously operating restaurant on the 101 in California.

This is one of the oldest buildings in Oceanside.  The Congregational Church was built in 1886 and the Methodists purchased the building in 1898 and called it home for decades.