By Jim Miller
Coming up Broadway from downtown, it’s the one thing you can’t miss: the Quartermass/Wilde house, the Xanadu of Golden Hill. In the heart of a district of historic homes, this one serves as a monument to the elite status of Golden Hill in the beginning of the last century. One of the biggest of the remaining Victorian mansions in the city, it is also one of San Diego’s most spectacular historic structures.
With its marvelous rococo towers, Doric columns, and stunning domed cupola, the Quartermass/Wilde House looms atop the hill. This gorgeous Queen Anne Victorian mixes in elements of classical revival style as it sits above the street on stone retaining walls amidst a beautifully landscaped yard featuring a huge Star Pine. When one approaches the house from the intersection of Broadway and 24th, the stairway of the unique corner entrance beckons like Gatsby with the promise of unspeakable wonder.
Once inside, one is greeted by an ornately carved stairwell, walls covered with wood paneling and elaborate tapestries, stained glass windows on the landing, a wine cellar, and 8800 square feet of elegant domestic space. Built in 1897 by department store owner Ruben Quartermass, this mansion spoke the status that was the elite enclave of Golden Hill. [Read more…]