Alcazar Court is a landmark example showcasing what San Diego’s cherished bungalow courts have the potential to become. The inclusion of modern amenities, attention to historic details and embrace of outdoor living have turned this into one of the most beloved and recognizable properties in the heart of Hillcrest.
Background: In 1924, architect and builder Pingree Ives Osburn constructed a Spanish Revival-style bungalow half court on a corner lot in Hillcrest. Some 30 years ago, its classic white stucco walls gave way to orange paint. Aluminum-framed sliding windows were installed and screen doors hid the original 12-light, arched front doors. The front court was enclosed by a chain-link fence when the current owner bought them three years ago. After about 25 years of deferred maintenance the property still had charm but was in need of major repairs and updating.
The current owner Donna McLoughlin had a vision to transform the bungalows into vacation rental units with historic character married to modern conveniences. She preserved as much of the 1924 fabric as possible, bringing the wood windows back, refinishing and repairing wood floors, trim, and moldings. Working with the original floor plans, her dedicated team carved out a galley kitchen, livable bedroom and dining areas, and a spa-style bathroom in each unit.
Donna worked with local Landscape Architect Michael Brennan to re-imagine the outdoor spaces and to design furnished patios for each unit. The existing Candelabra Trees were carefully preserved through the construction process and new Olive trees were brought in to create a grove effect in the courtyard. The drought tolerant landscape is rich in details from high quality masonry and stucco work to wooden gates adorned with wrought iron finishes and decorative planted pots throughout. The restored porches and courtyards have become welcoming outdoor rooms adorned with appropriate Spanish-style touches.
The newly updated courts have enhanced the neighborhood and revitalized a prominent corner in Hillcrest. They have also demonstrated to San Diego what can become of our historic Bungalow Courts when given the proper investment. One would hope that more local Bungalow Courts follow a similar path forward.