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Saturday, March 7, 2020


North Park historian Katherine Hon has created a compilation of previous work that chronicles the community she loves called History Snippets: Past Matters Stories of North Park. Over three dozen stories are collected from Hon's freelance writing published from 2015 through 2019. The author will read and sign books at a free event March 7 at 4 pm at the Marston House Museum Shop, 3525 Seventh Avenue.

This book is a great reminder of what has given the North Park community its character for so many generations. Each article is well written and well chosen. There are tributes to the recently departed Pekin Café and Paras Newsstand. Among the many engaging pieces are articles on the golden age of tile as seen in Arts and Crafts bungalow fireplaces, and on the terrific neon signs so prevalent in the 1940s.

There is one on affordable housing in the 1930s, and a remembrance of the tragic Normal Heights fire in 1985. SOHO members will be pleased to find a column honoring George Marston, and Alana Coons, SOHO's education and communications director, contributed the foreword.

This book is a must-have catch-up primer for the newbies, who now call North Park home.  It also reminds long-time residents of the neighborhood’s proud architectural history and updates the emerging retail vitality and craft beer boom.

Hon’s book is available for sale at Verbatim’s book store, 30th & North Park Way and the Marston House in Balboa Park.

Marston House Museum Shop (pictured above)
Open Friday, Saturday & Sunday · 10am-5pm

San Diego's premier shopping destination for lovers of historic architecture, gardens, and preservation is SOHO's museum shop at the Marston House Museum & Gardens in Balboa Park. Housed in the mansion's charming 1905 carriage house, the shop is brimming with a distinctive mix of attractive gift items for home and garden; high quality Arts & Crafts style art pottery; plein air paintings of Balboa Park; and hard-to-find art and architecture books. Proceeds from sales of these items of lasting value support the educational mission of SOHO and the Marston House, and enhance the museum experience for San Diegans and tourists alike. Admission to the shop is free.

You'll find signature products created especially for SOHO and the largest line of Arts & Crafts style art pottery and tiles in the city. Items are carefully curated to celebrate the estate's history and the interests and legacy of the Marston family. George W. Marston is best known as a visionary civic leader and developer of Balboa Park, a philanthropist and San Diego's first preservationist. He was also an avid gardener.

SOHO exclusively carries specialty plants (in season) from the Geranium George collection, two of the colorful varieties are named for Marston and his wife, Anna. Among other merchandise that reflects the Marston House aesthetic are art pottery vases and jardinières, Arts & Crafts style tiles framed in oak, woodblock landscapes, and vintage botanical prints.

SOHO has also commissioned custom products inspired by the flora and fauna of the five-acre property. A lyrical eucalyptus leaf motif that William Templeton Johnson, one of San Diego's most prominent early 20th-century architects, created for the Marston home is now featured on elegant handmade tiles and letterpress items, such as note cards and coasters.

Shelves are stocked with SOHO's wide-ranging publications, which make great gifts for art, architecture and history lovers and explorers. You'll find Marston House exhibition catalogs, such as Irving Gill: Progress & Poetry in Architecture and Art of the Park: 100 Years of Art in Balboa Park (1915-2015). You'll also find The Art Traveler Guide: A Portrait of Balboa Park, which features the expressive, brilliantly colored paintings of RD Riccoboni, and self-guided tour booklets of San Diego's historic neighborhoods.

Designed to complement the Marston House architecture, the cozy, 750-square-foot carriage house is worthy of a visit in its own right. Paneled in warm, rustic redwood with handsome doors and windows, it includes an original horse stall. SOHO added comfortable chairs from the Marston family to encourage visitors to sit and browse through the shop's large collection of books on regional architecture, home décor, gardening, nature, and history.

The Marston House Museum & Gardens, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the finest remaining residential design of the noted architects William S. Hebbard & Irving J. Gill. Owned by the city of San Diego, the property is managed by SOHO, the San Diego region's largest preservation organization.

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