Heritage Park Review
A number of San Diego's important Victorian buildings are the focus of this 7.8-acre park, up the Juan Street hill near Harney Street. The buildings, moved here and restored by Save Our Heritage Organization, include Southern California's first synagogue, a one-room Classical Revival structure built in 1889 for Congregation Beth Israel. The most interesting of the park's six former residences might be the Sherman-Gilbert House, which has a widow's walk and intricate carving on its decorative trim. It was built for real-estate dealer John Sherman in 1887 at the then-exorbitant cost of $20,000—indicating just how profitable the booming housing market could be. All the houses, some of which may seem surprisingly colorful, accurately represent the bright tones of the era. The synagogue and the Senlis Cottage are open to visitors daily from 9 to 5. The latter contains a small exhibit with information on the history and original locations of the houses. The McConaughy House hosts the Old Town Gift Emporium, a gift shop specializing in Victorian porcelain dolls (open Thurs.–Tues. 10–5).
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