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Home of the Week

A Piece of San Diego's Past

February 11, 2001|RUTH RYON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Two San Diego pioneers made this Victorian their home, which with its main house, caretaker's cottage and carriage house is a city historic site. Because of the designation, the compound, known as the Britt-Scripps Residence, is zoned for use as a private home, bed-and-breakfast or office building.

About this house: Eugene W. Britt, a young attorney, built the home in 1888 during the great San Diego land rush. He became a judge in Los Angeles and sold the property in 1901 to E.W. Scripps, founder of United Press International and a chain of newspapers. Scripps owned the house until 1909, using it when doing business in the city (it took a full day to make the horse-and-buggy journey into town from his ranch, about 15 miles to the northeast. After Scripps sold the house, it was used as a Christian Science Reading Room, boarding house and chiropractors' offices. In 1949, it was purchased by a doctor who lived there for five years before using the house strictly for his offices. He retired in 1972, and the house stood vacant until 1979 when San Diego's first bed-and-breakfast opened there. A favorite with honeymooners before it closed in 1992, the house was leased in 1995 to an attorney. The lease expires in 2002.

Asking price: $1.75 million.

Size: The three structures on the 15,000-square-foot corner lot total about 5,000 square feet.

Features: Designated City of San Diego Historic Site No. 52, the Britt-Scripps Residence qualifies for tax benefits. The house has bay windows, patterned shingles, a three-story tower and a wrap-around porch. There is more natural light inside than in typical Victorians, due to large windows.

Where: 406 Maple St. in the Banker's Hill area of San Diego, within walking distance of restaurants, theaters and museums.

Listing agent: Elizabeth Courtier, specializing in historic and architectural properties for Willis Allen Co., La Jolla. (619) 813-6686.

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Ruth Ryon can be e-mailed with candidates for Home of the Week at ruth.ryon@latimes.com.

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