One of San Diego’s first suburbs remains one of its finest. Kensington is situated in a wonderful pocket east of Interstate 15 above the south rim of Mission Valley. Development of Kensington’s five subdivisions and 157 acres was begun in 1910 by G. Aubrey Davidson, who borrowed the name of his new development from London, England’s Kensington, and he incorporated several other English references via street names (Marlborough, Edgeware, Essex, Canterbury, etc.). Elegant river rock pillars were the development’s original southern boundary markers, and they can stillbe seen today along Monroe Avenue.
The developers promoted their new neighborhood as “a delightful collection of luxuriously modest homes of refinement”, and formed an architectural committee to make sure that design of all the homes met the high standards of this exclusive development. One of the committee members was local architect Richard Requa, who had spent several years in Spain studying the unique architecture found there. He is credited with influencing the primarily Mediterranean-style design that Kensington is famous for today.
Known now for its palm trees, manicured lawns, breathtaking canyon views, and throngs of friendly dogs, Kensington is also quite proud of her miniature “Main Street” which is bridged by the neighborhood’s famous pink neon sign. Residents love the “village” feel created by Kensington’s business district which is an interesting blend of small town and big city. Community anchors such as Ponce’s Restaurant (est. 1969), The Kensington Theater (1947) and Kensington Video (1963) are frequented along side more recent additions like Stehly Farms Market, The Burger Lounge, The Kensington Cafe, Cucina Sorella, and Starbucks.
Kensington also boasts its own community park and the Kensington/Normal Heights library, conveniently located on the main artery of Adams Avenue.