Mystery of the Black and White Houses: Part II

by on August 1, 2022 · 3 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Colleen O’Connor

Just to keep the questions coming about “who, what, when, where” in the yet unsolved mystery of the Black and White Houses, here are a few more examples to add to the mix.

[Here’s Part I.]

Confined to just one street in Point Loma.  On Talbot Street alone, in a three-block sampling, are three such black and white houses (among dozens and dozens popping up all around the city), shown below.

As you can see, all are white with black trim.  Some are recently painted, one is “eco-friendly,” but two have no identifying markers about designers, construction, painters, etc.  These are more typical of the mystery homes.  Ordinarily, the remodelers have advertisements outside the perimeters of their work.  Not the majority of these houses.

Thus, the questions remain.  Are these just a “fad” as some have suggested?  Those replacing the previous Spanish, mid-century modern, colonial, craftsman or Mediterranean trends?

Here, however, the existing architectural ancestors of “previous” fads have all been painted over in black and white; as well as several newly built post-modern versions.  Versions that are often built in odd-shaped, difficult to build lots.

Some have been painted just previous to “for sale” signs; some right after.  Many have “granny flat” units tucked alongside, above or behind the original structure.  And others have trees surrounding the perimeter of the property.

So, the mystery continues as to the source of funding.  A venture capital firm, LLC, stealth corporation, or just an individual buyer who, like so many others, likes the black and white house colors popping up in the older San Diego neighborhoods.

And finds discount prices on the popular colors.

To make the mystery more interesting, make a bet on what color the once charming Spanish house (recently gutted save for a back section that qualifies as a “remodel” fix for lower developer fees) will be painted once it is finished.    Located across the street from St. Agnes church and next to an earlier “black and white” modern redo, one can watch as this house design progresses.

Fun.  Solve the mystery.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Bearded OBcean August 1, 2022 at 3:04 pm

I’d venture to guess you could come up with about 10 other color schemes to find similar patterns.

Perhaps people just enjoy the aesthetic. Sometimes a duck is just a duck.


sal August 1, 2022 at 3:29 pm

My wife is a real estate agent for Compass (here in OB if you’re looking for one!). She says it’s a modern look designed to sell or update homes. She calls it the ‘Compass look’ though there is no relation to the company really (other than the Compass logo is also black and white).


Gravitas August 2, 2022 at 11:37 am

From a friend: North Park area “overrun with black and white houses.

“There are three B/White House’s on Adams and about 7 on Van Dyke. We beige houses are being overrun!”


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