"FINEST IN THE WEST"
Step through a doorway that once welcomed flapper girls and bootleggers to discover a carefully crafted, boutique-style building that artfully blends unique historic elements with a modern living experience.
In 1921, the original developer James E. Collumb partnered with German-born and New York trained architect Eugene Hoffman (also designed the John D. Spreckles building, and William Penn Hotel) to design the iconic building, originally intended to be one of a larger, 4 building complex comprising the entire block between 3rd & 4th Avenues, and Juniper and Kalmia Streets. The rest of the complex was never built, but The Barcelona was completed in 1923 and has proudly served the city of San Diego and ever since.
Now nearly 100 years old, The Barcelona was originally constructed as a full service apartment-hotel, complete with a solarium, ballroom, restaurant and golf course. City directories first listed it as the “Finest in the West.” The same structure still stands today, with significant upgrades to the electric and plumbing systems, as well as a seismic retrofit of the roof parapet.
In 2001, it was awarded designation as registered Historical Site Number 440 under the Mills Act by the City of San Diego’s Historical Resources Board, for embodying the distinctive characteristics of the Spanish Colonial Revival/Spanish Eclectic architecture. During the 1920’s and 1930’s, Spanish Eclectic/Revival Style architecture was all the rage on in the southwest United States, capturing the rich architectural heritage of old Spain, and incorporating decorative details of Moorish, Gothic, or Renaissance origin.