By Annie Lane
At the corner of Euclid and University avenues in City Heights there is a wonderland of activity, architecture and, perhaps, some of the friendliest people in San Diego. That is where this Field of View will focus, with a quick jaunt up the street to some nearby Buddhist temples.
Cerberus Motorcycles is owned by Dave Hargreaves and Erik Borowitz, who moved here from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Housed inside the famous Egyptian Garage on Euclid Avenue, the pair is guarded by garage dogs, much like their business motif would suggest.
Built in 1922, Hargreaves said the garage served as an electrical substation that supplied power to the streetcars that ran from Park Boulevard to Euclid Avenue, where the line ended. Currently, there is a plan to restore the building to its original luster as time and money allow. Hargreaves said it’s simply been a matter of connecting with people who have the talents and knowledge necessary to take on the task—like his mother, for example, a stained glass artisan who has fashioned replicas of the now broken second story windows.
Sam Aziz, owner of Big City Liquor which is connected to the garage, was kind enough to bring bottles of water out to us as we stood in the blazing sun admiring the building’s façade. He spoke of his life since moving here from Iraq, his efforts to send his children to college and remembers watching the silhouettes of dancers in the second story windows of the famous City Heights Ballroom across the street.
A small residential block away stands the iconic Euclid Tower, which has been a staple in City Heights since 1932. It and hosts bands among other events. According to an article written by Julia Ann Erwin outlining the Tower’s history, the architect of the building remains unknown. The pylon that tops the octagonal structure, now brightly colored instead of the dreary grey it once was, is hollow and stands 110 feet high — bold and happy-looking against the cobalt blue sky. For an in depth, and equally charming, walk down memory lane, take a look at Anna Daniel’s article, The Euclid Tower and the Ghost of Christmas Past.
There’s more to come for City Heights, so stay tuned ….
All photos by Annie Lane.