North Park, a Community of San Diego, California

by Philip J. Erdelsky, a resident of North Park since 1976


This sign stands in the middle of University Avenue, one-half block west of 30th Street, in the heart of North Park. Click on it for a photograph.

1. What is North Park?

San Diego, California, thinks of itself as a "city of villages". Some of its communities (neighborhoods) have rather clear-cut identities and are marked by official signs, even if they never were independent municipalities. Their boundaries are vague in some cases, but their hearts are unmistakable.

North Park is one such community. It is bounded roughly as follows:

North Park has a definite "downtown" area, which is marked by a large sign in the middle of University Avenue near 30th Street. A drawing of the sign is shown above; click on it for a photograph. The sign is actually a replica of the original, which was torn down in the 1960s and replaced in 1993 when local residents realized what had been lost. Some other communities of San Diego have similar signs in their "downtown" areas.

Other communities of San Diego near North Park are Hillcrest, University Heights, Normal Heights, Kensington, City Heights, Burlingame and South Park. The community status of Burlingame is doubtful; it is sometimes taken to be part of either South Park or North Park.

2. North Park Maps

Detailed street maps of North Park and some of the surrounding area in central part of San Diego have been compiled and posted on this Web site.

More maps are being added as they are compiled.

These maps are as accurate as I can make them, but some errors and omissions are practically inevitable. If you spot an error, please E-mail me at pje@efgh.com.

The maps show streets, alleys and mailboxes, and also the approximate locations of business districts, parks, and open space reserves. They are drawn to scale at 528 pixels per mile (10 feet per pixel).

When you click here, the map of North Park has an additional feature. If you click on an intersection, a little schematic map of the intersection will appear, showing the postions of stop and yield signs, a traffic light if the intersecion has one, and arrows indicating all permitted turns.

You are permitted, even encouraged, to copy parts of these maps for use in brochures, flyers and other Web sites. A simple acknowledgement is appreciated.

The maps were compiled from USGS topographic maps and aerial photographs, and from my own surveys. Some of this material has been posted on this Web site:

The posted topographic map is a composite pieced together from parts of the following four 7.5-minute USGS topographic maps:

These images were downloaded from a California Spatial Information Library (CaSIL) FTP site. Unfortunately, the quadrangles didn't fit; a small area was left unsurveyed. This area has been filled in on the composite map.

These topographic maps, like most of the USGS 7.5-minute quadrangles, are a few years out of date. However, the newly constructed section of California Highway 15 through East San Diego has been added.

The aerial photograph of North Park was pieced together from images downloaded from TerraServer 6.0. It is a large file (almost 3 MB) which may take a long time to download over a slow connection. The new aerial photograph of Burlingame and South Park was made in the same way.

The street layout of North Park and nearby communities is described in my essay The Streets of Central San Diego.

3. North Park Businesses

I've compiled a list of businesses in the heart of North Park, and I try to keep it up to date. However, I can't keep up with all the changes as fast as I'd like. If you spot something that's out of date, I'd like to know about it.

This is not a commercial website. None of the businesses have paid to be listed. And ALL recognizable businesses are listed.

4. North Park History

I don't know much about the history of North Park. I've lived here since 1976, but the community is much older than that. However, I have tried to do my part in historical preservation by photographing and archiving information that many people don't even notice. See my essay The Sidewalks of North Park.

5. Transportation in North Park

No fewer than seven bus lines go through or near North Park:

All of these have connections to the San Diego Trolley. For more information, see www.sdmts.com.

6. Other Sources of Information

An organization called North Park Main Street (formerly North Park Organization of Business) is a sort of chamber of commerce for North Park. You may want to check their Web site:

North Park is now home to a unique collection of art galleries with their own business organization called North Park for the Arts. Their Web site is:

The History Committee of the North Park Community Association has a Web site with interesting articles on North Park history:

The community newspaper North Park News now has a Web site:

The 30th Street Web page has information about businesses on 30th Street:

Additional useful information will be found on other websites and pages:

  1. San Diego County, California: A Bicyclist's Paradise
  2. Transportation in San Diego County, California

Please e-mail comments, corrections and additions to the webmaster at pje@efgh.com.