How the Rich and Not-So-Famous Once Lived in Point Loma: the Bowman-Cotton House

by on August 20, 2019 · 0 comments

in Ocean Beach

Ever wonder how the wealthy of Point Loma once lived (and some still live)?

In a recent tour published by the San Diego Reader, local OB writer Dave Rice takes us through the historic Bowman-Cotton House in Point Loma, at 2900 Nichols Street. Constructed in 1929 by a protegee of Irving Gill, the 5,000 square foot mansion sits on the edge of San Diego Bay with its own private dock and direct access to the water.

It’s seen by some as “one of Point Loma’s most iconic waterfront homes,” and an epitome of San Diego Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, with a contemporary interior.

Master architect Richard Requa – who studied under Gill – supervised its construction. As Rice recounts, Requa was ” the primary architect overseeing construction in Balboa Park for the California Pacific International Exposition, the second of the two world’s fairs held in San Diego in 1934 and 1935.”

Now, the palace is up for sale. As Dave states:

A complete remodel was performed by Ione Stiegler of IS Architecture following the home’s most recent 2005 sale. Previously, the home was used as a wedding and party venue, much to the dismay of neighbors and the structure itself, which suffered heavy wear and deferred maintenance. While updating the interior, care was taken to preserve and restore the historic elements of the design, resulting in a Mills Act designation that allows any prospective purchaser to receive a significant property tax deduction. …

The Bowman-Cotton House last sold in 2010 for a reported $4.1 million before the renovation, though the home has a taxable value of just $874,000 and an annual tax bill of about $10,000. The current owners, Pacific Soethby’s Realty CEO Brian Arrington and wife Colby, listed the property for sale in early August with an $8,750,000 price tag that remains unchanged to date.

Here is more from the Reader:

Before the Exposition, Requa focused on bayfront homes both in Point Loma and Coronado, where the “designs stand out examples of his creative imagination unfettered by the clients’ financial status.” The home …with … a one-third acre lot looking out onto the Shelter Island Yacht Basin, is one of those examples.

 “Enter through the gates of this historic property into the lush courtyard and be transported to another time,” the promotional copy continues. Opening the mahogany front door reveals “stunning views to the waterfront just past the original, delicate wrought iron balustrade on the main staircase.”

Arched doorways lead to either the home’s living room or formal dining room, itself adjacent to “the gourmet eat-in kitchen, featuring marble counters, Viking appliances, beautiful stone flooring, a walk-in pantry, hand-carved arched mahogany pocket doors to the dining room, and direct access to the family room.”

The master suite includes two private balconies and an attached den with “floor to ceiling view window” along with his-and-hers walk-in closets and bath with steam shower. The home includes three more en-suite bedrooms, as well as a guest house that was reportedly once the cottage of a Portuguese fisherman, and a game room built to connect the structures.


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