WW II Era Article About Housing Projects in the Midway

by on December 20, 2021 · 3 comments

in History, Ocean Beach

Here’s the article in a legible format:

S.D. Frontier Housing Project to Provide Shelter for 15,000 When Completed in Midsummer; Homes cover 500 Acres
Only Linda Vista Has Larger Area Or Population

San Diego’s newest and second largest federal public housing project, the Frontier, will be completed and ready for occupancy by mid-summer, Aubrey M. Davis, area manager of the federal housing authority, announced today.

The project will mark the end of the planned public housing construction in this area. With its 3500 units it will be exceeded in size only by the Linda Vista project, with its 4846 units.

The front page of the Tribune-Sun, published May 20, 1944, contains a report on the federal government’s Frontier housing project in San Diego.

(The Tribune-Sun)
Frontier will house an estimated 15,000 persons, as compared to the estimated 20,000 residing at Linda Vista.

At present, Davis said, Frontier has 1100 units occupied and 200 more are expected to be ready within the next few days. It covers approximately 500 acres north of Rosecrans st. and on both sides of Midway and Frontier drs.

Frontier’s growth has been a constant one, Davis explained. He said the project first was planned to include only 700 units, but ten was pushed up to 1000 units, and finally the 3500 total called for under the nearly completed program.

It is one of 25 projects in San Diego county, ranging in size from one of 20 units at Oceanside to city size Linda Vista, the fast array all being under supervision of Davis and his staff.

Units at Frontier house four to eight families. Those still under construction are of the eight-family type.

“Completion of the project,” Davis said, “should make an appreciable difference in San Diego’s present housing lack. The project should not place an undue strain on our bus and street car facilities, because most of those living in apartments are and will be employes of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corp. and thus are within walking distance of their work.”

The government’s development of Frontier, Davis pointed out, will enable the ground to be used for residential or commercial purposes during the post-war era. He said that the land never had been utilized in the past because of lack of sewer facilities and other utilities, but that these will remain when structures are removed and this will be available to care for permanent building development.

In cooperation with Consolidated, the housing authority is providing for a playground for children who will dwell within the project. Infant care centers are also a part of the program, to enable mothers to engage in war work.

The federal housing program to aid San Diego in contributing to defense and war plant work began in December, 1940, when the Linda Vista project was authorized. Since that time more than a score of housing projects have bee net up in all sections of the county.

From the archives of the San Diego Union-Tribune

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Pia December 20, 2021 at 11:24 am

Thanks for sharing this story!! Here is a bit about the Linda Vista Housing Project: “Based on the immediate housing needs, the construction objective of the Linda Vista Housing Project was 3,000 dwelling units for more than 13,000 people with a 300-day construction deadline. The houses were
designed by PBA architect C.D. Persina who focused on functional and simple designs. He designed all the houses with the same floor plan; allowing for low-cost and efficient construction. Construction was
contracted to Los Angeles based McNeil and Zoss Construction Companies who had previous experience in constructing extensive projects including public buildings for the federal government. Construction
began on December 28, 1940 with use of assembly line techniques and large-scale organized and economical methods to finish within the set time constraints. At the peak of production, up to forty houses were being completed each day.” Source: https://www.sandiego.gov/sites/default/files/legacy/redevelopment-agency/pdf/lindavista/lvtenantactbldghrar.pdf


Kathy Carey Hunyor December 23, 2021 at 4:30 pm

Thanks for this article. I lived in a 4-unit building in Frontier housing from 1949 to 1955 with my parents. Most adults were military veterans, and there were loads of kids to play on the large lawns, and crossing the levee to the San Diego River where we’d catch poly wogs at low tide. Frontier elementary school was close by, and we could ride bikes and roller skate on the sidewalks and blacktop at school.


Frank Gormlie December 25, 2021 at 9:40 am

Kathy – thanks so much for sharing those memories; they sound idyllic – and maybe something that needs to be replicated in the “new” Midway District – loads of kids playing, catching polywogs at low tide, biking and roller skating on sidewalks. The area does not have to be an entertainment “mecca” with only young, single professionals living in the sky-rises.


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