Steve and Victoria Gore Welcome You to Clairemont
About 1950, two men developed what became San Diego’s largest post-war subdivision.
Its design represented a new concept in community living because development did not have the traditional grid system of uniform blocks and streets. Instead, winding streets and scenic view lots took advantage of the canyons and bluffs overlooking Mission Bay. The first homes, built by Burgener and Tavares Construction Company, had highly customized floor plans.
Due to the road structure Clairemont was laid out in a Northern direction from which “North Clairemont” evolved. However, Clairemont began to grow in an eastern direction which is now the political distinction of the area. Clairemonts western side has a majority of family homes created by Pardee homes. There are several apartments in this area but not nearly as many in the eastern side. The eastern side has row after row of apartments scattered around the area east of Genesee.
Local architects, Harold Abrams, Benson Eschenbach and Richard George Wheeler, designed 20 floor plans for the first development of 500 homes. Built in South Clairemont, these deluxe houses ranged in price from $13,000 to $20,000, featured spacious floorplans, large view windows, fireplaces, tiled bathrooms, paneling and the then latest kitchen built-ins. After the WWII years of housing shortages, San Diegans bought these homes.
Within a few years, several thousand houses had been constructed, including single family homes, duplexes and apartments. Since Clairemont was somewhat removed from the city proper, commercial business and retail shopping, schools, libraries and other city amenities were designed into the overall plan. Although the concept of suburban living is commonplace today, this approach was considered novel and Tavares’ vision for Clairemont had far-reaching implications for San Diego as it stretched the city limits outward and began the now familiar pattern of migration from city to suburb.