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Kensington overlooks Mission Valley’s southern rim with many of its homes enjoying views of the valley. The area includes five subdivisions developed in the early part of the 20th century and named for a residential district in London. The distinctive California-Spanish style homes sit above steep slopes dedicated to open space. The homes owe their unique aesthetics to the development firm Davis-Baker.
This firm had already established a strong reputation in Pasadena building when they were hired by George Forbes in 1926 to develop his land in the Kensington area. San Diego was in one of its periodic real estate slumps in 1926 and Forbes knew he needed an improved product if his subdivision was going to succeed.
Davis-Baker immediately associated themselves with San Diego architect, Richard Requa, known for his work on the areas of Ojai and Rancho Santa Fe. Davis-Baker established an architectural committee and appointed Richard Requa the sole member. The firm established rules for the styles of homes and added a significant number of high-end improvements to the sub-division. The result was a delightful collection of “luxuriously modest homes of refinement.”
The shopping district along Adams Avenue is designated by a large sign hung over the street and is home to small shops offering services to residents and visitors. There is a vintage movie theater showing art films, coffee houses, restaurants, and a park with a playground for local children. There are also a number of vintage furniture stores in the area. Kensington is centrally located near I-15 and offers quick access to many San Diego attractions.