San Diego Historical Landmarks—#14B: Casa de Cota site

San Diego Historical Landmarks

Old Town San Diego State Historic ParkWithin Old Town San Diego State Historic Park (San Diego Historical Landmark #14) are many historic buildings and rebuilds. We’ll explore nine of them since they also have been designated San Diego Historical Landmarks.

The second one, San Diego Historical Landmark #14B, Casa de Cota site, remind me of the song by The Eagles where they paved over paradise and put up a parking lot. Here is what the Casa de Cota site looked like a couple of days ago:

Casa de Cote site

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sadly, that’s it, and I have proof:

Casa de Cote site

Casa de Cote site

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Lots of nagging questions….

The sign is a California Historical Landmark sign, indicating that the Casa de Cota site was historic enough to make it onto their list, too, at #75.

I walked around the parking lot but didn’t find a plaque to tell me more about the Casa de Cota site. So we’re left with research online, at the San Diego History Center, and at the library.

Here is what the San Diego History Center has:

“Built in the mid-1830’s by Juan or Ramón Cota, this house stood for over a century on the corner of Twiggs and Congress Streets, before being destroyed by United States Army bulldozers during World War II.”

The California Parks web site isn’t of any additional help:

“This adobe is said to have been built about 1835 by Juan or Ramon Cota.”

Hey! At least we have something to go on!

A book found online titled “San Diego in the 1930s” tells us that ca. 1937 the Casa de Cota was “a two-room fragment of an adobe house which is rapidly falling into ruin. Above an interior doorway is the date 1852, approximately the year of construction.”

I found three old pictures but, sadly, they are owned by the San Diego History Center, and since they want a minimum of $95 per picture to use them, well, that ain’t happening in this century or the next, so here are links to the three pictures:

Casa de Cota 1

Casa de Cota 2

Casa de Cota 3

I could not find any information on Juan or Ramón Cota so I don’t know if the adobe was historic because it was old or because of who Juan or Ramón Cota were.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For the introductory blog post
to San Diego’s historical landmarks,
click on San Diego’s Historical Landmarks.

For previous posts in the
San Diego Historical Landmarks series,
go here.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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9 thoughts on “San Diego Historical Landmarks—#14B: Casa de Cota site

  1. Andy Oldham

    Sometimes you do with what you have. I think you did a marvelous job with this post. I can certainly see why it was torn down. Glad you didn’t have to pay to refer the links. I can’t for the life of me figure out why, after seeing the photos why “anyone” would pay for those anyway, lol. Thanks, another informative post!

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    Reply
    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I think the reason why there are so few photographs of San Diego’s past is because they all are owned either by the San Diego History Center or Google Images, and both want way too much money in usage fees.

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  2. frederick anderson

    Certainly looks like it needed loving care back there in the ‘thirties, or it would as likely as not have fallen down by itself. Without knowing something about the Cota family I don’t suppose there was enough incentive to preserve it. Interesting, though, in the context of the old town.

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