California Art Club

Pasadena, CA



Alfred Mitchell Homes Receive Historic Designation from the City of San Diego


A house lived in as a young adult by pioneer San Diego landscape painter, influential art teacher and California Art Club member Alfred Richard Mitchell, and another, said to be the subject of his first oil painting, have both joined "Deep Hearth," the house he built, all in the South Park neighborhood, in receiving official historic registry by the San Diego Historic Sites Board on October 28th,1999. (left: Cathy Springs, Mitchell Home, oil on board, 8 x 10 inches)

The Mitchell family home in the 1500 block of Granada, designed by William Sterling Hebbard in the colonial revival style, is now designated as San Diego Historic Site #391. The house was completed October 18, 1910 and purchased by George and Carrie Mitchell, the artists' parents, in April of 1914.

The Bartlett/Webster House at Granada and Cedar (see left, photo by Aaron St. John), an elegantly simple blend of Craftsman, Prairie and English styles, also designed by Hebbard and said to be the house Alfred Mitchell first painted as a student of Maurice Braun (ca. 1914), is now designated Historic Site #392. The research and historic designation for both were written by Ms. Beth Montes, present owner of the Bartlett/Webster House.

"Deep Hearth," designed by Alfred Mitchell and his wife Dorothea, with the help of Lloyd Ruocco at the office of architect Richard Requa, and built in the 1500 block of 31st St. in 1937, was previously designated San Diego Historic Site #202 in 1986. Mitchell traded a picture for the architects' services and did much of the original carpentry and painting himself. He also designed the brass hardware, which was cast by friend and sculptor James Tank Porter, again in exchange for a painting. Requa had been responsible for many of the buildings in the California-Pacific Exposition in Balboa Park in 1935.

Another South Park house with ties to Alfred Mitchell is "Treasure Trove," the family residence of Mitchell's bride, Dorothea Webster Mitchell, in the 1000 block of 32nd St. This house, designed in 1913 by architects Frank Mead and Richard Requa, was also the wedding place of Alfred and Dorothea Mitchell.

The Bartlett/Webster House will be on the walking tours of both the SOHO (Save Our Heritage Organization) Arts and Crafts Fair and the San Diego Old House Fair on April 2 and June 10, 2000, respectively, and the San Diego Regional Chapter of the California Art Club will be present painting on location in the neighborhood during both festivals. Plans are also being formulated for an exhibition and competition of the works that will be completed celebrating the historic craftsman era bungalows in the area.

South Park is just south-east of Balboa Park, site of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition and home to many museums and the world famous San Diego Zoo. The San Diego Museum of Art currently hosts an exhibition of early San Diego landscape painters, including Alfred Mitchell, through January 9, 2000.

Compiled and written by Aaron F. St. John, Chairman, San Diego Regional Chapter, California Art Club. For information regarding the San Diego Regional Chapter: Contact Mr. Aaron F. St. John, Chairman, at (858) 672-3811. Revised 3/4/00.


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For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 10/20/10

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