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October 26, 2017
Reception & Ceremony
The US Grant
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Historic Preservation

Alcazar Court

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.

  • Orchid Nominee

  • Project Address:

    3802 3rd Ave

    Project Owner/Developer:

    Donna McLoughlin

    Owner Contact Name/Email:


    Project Architect/Designer:

    Michael Brennan of Carson Douglas Landscape Architecture


  • Nancy Moors

    Donna has done a wonderful job on this bungalow courtyard. More Hillcrest property owners (residential and commercial) should take her lead and preserve the little neighborhood character left.

    This is a beautiful example of preservation.

  • Alcazar Court

    Thank you Nancy, for your kind comments! We love our corner at 3rd and Robinson in Hillcrest!

  • Alcazar Court

    Michael Douglas Brennan of Carson Douglas Landscape Architecture
    cd-la.com/ did an amazing design work for our 5 front yards. Our guests love it here!

    • Michael Douglas Brennan

      Thank you Donna! This was such an incredible property to collaborate on with you. Every time I walk by the bungalows I get that goosbumpy feeling knowing we did something great for the neighborhood 🙂

  • Anji Taylor

    It was amazing to watch the careful and beautiful transformation of this Hillcrest gem! Although bungalow courts are by nature charming, Donna has taken the concept of neighborhood beautification and property restoration to new heights. Alcazar Court has really raised the bar in the recreation of modern, practical and comfortable living and hospitality spaces, without sacrificing taste – a significant challenge in today’s property market.

    • Alcazar Court

      Thank you, Anji!xo

  • Maggie Cass

    What a beautiful renovation! It is such a pleasure to drive/walk past the property in Hillcrest – it’s just so charming. And I hear each unit has all sorts of awesome, modern technological conveniences, courtesy of Gabe Stover, tech consultant extraordinaire. Donna truly assembled a great team to execute her vision and the result is fabulous.

    • Alcazar Court

      Thank you, Maggie for your kind words! 🙂

  • Don Fay

    It was amazing to watch this property not only be saved but truly restored. In a neighborhood that is becoming more and more indistinguishable from the rest of the metro area, it’s nice to have this outpost of 1920’s San Diego preserved. What could have been another condo block is an oasis in the middle of the city.

    • Alcazar Court

      Thank you, Don!xo

  • Morgan LaFave

    I stayed in the studio and even with that being the smallest option we had plenty of room. They are not only beautiful and comfortable, they are walking distance from any restaurant or bar you want to go to. Also convenient Lyft distance from everything else. I recommend them to everyone who says they want a trip to San Diego.

    • Alcazar Court

      Thank you, Morganxo!

  • Shawn LaFave

    Our entire family has stayed at Alcazar Court and we will do it again when we travel to San Diego. It is the little things that create the best memories when traveling and these Bungalows have everything would need plus they feel like home. So comfortable. And Donna is such a gracious host. These are the best place to stay when in the San Diego area.

    • Alcazar Court

      Thank you, Shawn! xo

  • mcgrue

    If I ever renovate a property, I hope to do it as well as Donna did at Alcazar Court. She’s built a beautiful experience that integrates into and contributes to the Hillcrest community.

    • Alcazar Court

      Thank you, Mcgrue!xo

  • Christine Tobias

    I always make of point of driving on Robinson St. when going through Hillcrest. Passing by Alcazar Court is truly a pleasure as it’s as stunning from the street and just an indication of the level of quality and design within each bungalow. I’m delighted to know I can send my best friends to stay at Alcazar Court when visiting San Diego.

    • Alcazar Court

      Thank you, Christine! xo

  • Sean McLoughlin

    I love Alcazar Courts. This was just such a thoughtful renovation, with so much attention to detail. I especially love the courtyard, which enhances the neighborhood and especially the corner it’s on. It makes me happy every time I drive or bike past it. Having been inside the units, I also really like how functional the kitchens are, and how the Murphy beds create comfort but also more space when tucked away. Ms. McLoughlin really put a lot of love into redoing these units, and it shows.

    • Alcazar Court

      Thank you, Sean!xo

  • Sharon Israel-Roiz

    This preservation is so awesome. So much research done and so many artisans involved. Plus it is amazingly lovely. Fabulous

    • Alcazar Court

      Thank you, Sharon!xo

  • Susan Spoto

    Alcazar Court embodies San Diego and it’s architectural and cultural heritage.

    • Alcazar Court

      Thank you, Susan! xo

  • Susan Campbell

    As a past recipient of an Orchid Award, I was thrilled to see Alcazar Court nominated. If there was ever a deserved candidate, this is it. We need more and more of this level of care, commitment and attention to detail in our renovations, as well as original designs in architecture, interiors and landscaping. Brava Donna McLoughlin and the Alcazar team!

    • Alcazar Court

      Thank you, Susan

  • Frank Bell

    Stayed in the lovely complex last fall and found it first class in every respect. Well deserved nomination!

    • Alcazar Court

      Thank you, Frank!

  • Heidi Spurgin

    I had the pleasure of watching this project evolve from concept to completion, and was lucky to be part of the branding team. From the start, Donna thought out every element, and spared no expense in tracking down architectural and period details that snapped the units together like a perfect jigsaw puzzle. The results are evident in the adoring feedback from her guests, which really is the only honor you need in the hospitality biz. Third and Robinson has earned this Orchid nomination!

    • Alcazar Court

      Thank you, Heidixo

  • Rob Lewis

    Donna’s transformation of Alcazar Court is nothing short of a miracle. After years of driving by this property and wondering what its fate would be, I was thrilled to see the end result. Donna took the time to carefully study the project and determine the best way to not only restore it, but to improve it. This is a very well deserved nomination; we need more projects like this in San Diego!

    • Alcazar Court

      Thank you, Rob!

  • Andrew Spurgin

    Take something old & loved, save a valued piece of history & make it new again. Bring back the laughter & familes, memories & meals. Aside from this simply stunning renovation this is what has been accomplished with Alcazar Court, deserving in every way of an Orchid!

    • Alcazar Court

      Thank you, Andrew!

  • Leesie van Roon

    This project is an example of thoughtful preservation married to modern sensibility – a much needed approach to older neighborhoods in San Diego. Ms. McLoughlin created a lovely addition to a busy part of Hillcrest, providing a restful spot for travelers and passersby. Imagine what this approach could bring to other ares nearby!

    • Alcazar Court

      Thank you, Leesie! xo

  • Laura LaFave

    Alcazar Court is an amazing oasis on the corner of Robinson and 3rd in Hillcrest. Donna McLoughlin has meticulously transformed the once neglected bungalows and overgrown yards into a place that is beautiful, functional and inviting. She has made the property better than new, while still maintaining the original architectural integrity, and her efforts are certainly worthy of an Orchid

    • Alcazar Court

      Thank you, Laura! xo

  • Gabe Stover

    It was an exciting experience getting to set up all of these excellently designed bungalows. The blending of modern convenience and classic style make for a unique stay in a great area of San Diego.

    • Alcazar Court

      Thank you, Gabe! Thank you for your good works to help bring these bungalows to the 21st century.

  • Kira Onchira Young

    Alcazar Court gives you an undeniable neighborhood feeling. It makes you want to live here. Everything is quality and it shows. As someone who lives in the neighborhood, I truly appreciate what the homeowner and the designers have done. Such an amazing project.

    • Alcazar Court

      Thank you, Kira! We appreciate your kind words! We love being part of this neighborhood.

    • Alcazar Court

      Thank you Kira, for your kind words! We love our neighborhood and corner in Hillcrest!

  • Alcazar Court

    Alcazar Court – Five 1924 Bungalows with modern and vintage touches. Come Stay With Us – Everyone is Welcome Here! http://www.alcazarcourt.com
    #airbnb #alcazarcourt #weloveithere #SanDiego #carsondouglaslandscapearchitecture #our5frontyards #historicpreservation #sohowinnerforhistoricpreservation2017

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P.O. Box 122228
San Diego, CA 92112-2228
Federal Tax ID: 95-3513927

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