La Jolla is a seaside community, occupying seven miles of coastline along the Pacific Ocean, and home to hundreds of beachside residences and a variety of businesses.
A Brief History of La Jolla
La Jolla was originally settled by the Kumeyaay. Research and archaeological findings show that these natives settled the coastline about 10,000 years ago.
La Jolla’s land eventually became incorporated into San Diego in 1850, though the area lacked any permanent settlers. Nineteen years later, two brothers, Daniel and Samuel Sizer, each bought a plot of land. These 80 acre plots were sold to the brothers at $1.25 an acre.
Frank Botsford joined the brothers in 1886, purchasing his own plot of land and developing it. Botsford proceeded to survey, subdivide, and auction pieces of land.
In 1890s, the railroad brought even more growth and development. Real estate developers took interest in the town’s coastal property and built resorts to attract visitors. La Jolla became an artist colony, bringing newspaper heiress Ellen Browning Scripps, who was generous with her wealth. Today, we see her name on several landmarks in La Jolla and beyond, such as the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and Ellen Browning Scripps Park.
Population Over the Years
Over the years, La Jolla has seen quite a boom in population growth.
- At the beginning of the twentieth century, La Jolla had a modest 350 residents.
- Between 1900 and 1920, La Jolla’s economy strove from tourism, and at the end of World War I, the town grew to 4,000 citizens.
- The stock market crash and the subsequent Great Depression devastated development in La Jolla with only a few new homes built. When World War II began, La Jolla was home to 7,700 people.
- After World War II, service members settled in La Jolla. Large subdivisions sprouted up on mountain slopes, while old horse trails were cemented over for further development. By 1960, over 17,000 people lived in La Jolla.
- Today, La Jolla is home to well over 40,000 people.
Style of Homes
The look and design of La Jolla’s homes has been affected by the area’s coastal environment as well as the trends of the day. Mixing the beach cottage look with a California Spanish style and sleek, modern trends, construction companies and architects sometime preserves La Jolla’s historical designs, but often design and build to current trends.
Most of the homes in La Jolla are constructed well structurally. A large number of homes are in the coastal zone, but exempt as long as 50% of the existing exterior walls are maintained. Popular projects are major home renovations where all but the minimum amount of walls are left, and the entire home is rebuilt. This often includes second stories and walking view decks. Being that the home values are very stable in La Jolla, the area is one the most consistent areas for home improvement in San Diego County.