Pictures & History of UC


Historic University City and Miramar Area: Day-to-day change may be hard to measure; but over the years, our area has changed dramatically.


University City History – University City’s history is also UCCA’s history. The first homes in University City were built in the early 1960s. By September 1969, the community had established a community organization known as the University City Civic Association. UCCA owes a debt of gratitude to the first directors of its predecessor organization, the University City Civic Association.

The first Directors of the 1969 University City Civic Association, as listed in the Articles of Incorporation, were:

  • Robert Starkey
  • Harold Riley
  • A. M. Vrooman
  • Charles Hughes
  • Thomas Sparks

In 2002, the association began to call itself University City Community Association; this was finalized with the State of California in 2003. The community association established the first print newsletter published in May 2002. The Officers at that time, as listed in the May 2002 newsletter, were:

  • Sandy Lippe
  • Carole Pietras
  • Mary Ann Guerra
  • Sandy Finch
  • Melodie Hallet
  • Dayna Hydrick
  • Darlene Ventimiglia
  • Linda Canada

Fast forward to today, and the Community Association continues to thrive with hundreds of volunteers serving on various committees and projects. Take a look:

2024 Update: What about current and future development in University City? Development, construction, and plans are ongoing. You can be part of the new development and growth in University City by attending the Planning Group and Community Plan Update meetings. Information at:

UCCA Marks 20-Year Anniversary in 2022:  Throughout 2022, UCCA newsletters featured a look back to the community history. Check out the 2022 newsletter archives at:

UCCA Marks 15-Year Anniversary: It Started with L.O.V.E. by UCCA’s first Vice President Carole Pietras: Looking back to 2002, when our community association was revived as University City Community Association (UCCA), computers were a lot slower; those who had email didn’t always check it, and a lot of communication was by plain old word of mouth. Read the entire post from Carole at

University City street videos from 1970: The City Clerk’s office has posted over 250 street videos on the City’s website. The collection consists of film created by The Transportation and Storm Water Department from January to October 1970. Described as a Photolog by the department, each reel of 35mm color film was taken by a camera attached to a car driving down the street or highway, producing street level views. The individual reels were converted to a digital version by the City Clerk’s Archives. In our University Community area, there are links to videos of Governor, Regents, Genesee, Eastgate Mall, Gilman, L J Village Drive, Miramar Road, and Torrey Pines Road. Take a look at

10 Years Later, University City Neighbors host Memorial and Tree Dedication to Honor Victims of Jet Crash:

Community plans December 8, 2018, Memorial and Tree Dedication to honor crash victims:

December 8, 2008 F-18 fighter jet crash:

History of University City, courtesy of Sandy Lippe; written and first published in 2008:

University City was subdivided in June 1960. Carlos Tavares, Irvin Kahn, C.W. Carlstrom, and Lou Lessor made up the leaders of University Corporation. The first lots and model homes were on Pennant Way, Soderblom, Stresemann, and Honors Drive.

University City was a master planned community of 2500 acres acquired in 1959 from Sawday-Sexton. Originally University City was supposed to serve as a residential haven for the University of California, San Diego employees and students, where both college presidents and janitors would be able to live in the same community. Instead, U.C. became a middle class community that celebrates its children and neighborhood, supportive of schools, sports leagues at Standley Park, and several houses of worship. The community is far different from the original goals of the planners in the 60’s.

By 1970, according to the Union/Tribune, U.C. boasted a population of 12,551 and 3,502 housing units. Four-bedroom homes were selling for $25,000 in the late 60’s. In 1976 U.C. homeowners voted to assess each home with an additional $300 tax to make sure Standley Park would have special amenities.

In 1984 the Union Tribune chose University City as a subject in its series on “Exploring San Diego,” where the paper focused on a front page, in depth article on a community. The lead paragraph by writer Jay Johnson read: “You expect to see Wally and the Beav at the corner, chucking a baseball back and forth, waiting for Eddy Haskel and another episode of harmless disaster.” Yes, U.C. was seen as a community of “residents who have a history of thinking alike and pulling together for a common cause.”

In the late 1960’s the community supported saving the two major canyons, Rose Canyon and San Clemente Canyon, threatened by road building and development. In 1976, University City High School was finally approved after some hard work and lengthy court battles opposing a minority of University City residents who didn’t want the high school near their homes or near Miramar Naval Air Station. UCHS finally opened in 1981.

The Golden Triangle label, referring to the 805 and 5 and 52 freeways carving out the community, was given to University City in 1984 when traffic, new residences in North U.C., and high density fears began. At the same time, University City Community Association was born under the guidance of Bob Vilven, who still lives here and is master of ceremonies of the U.C. Celebration on July 4th, an event that also began in 1984.

Turn the clock ahead to 2008 and you see many changes to U.C., but the community still remains the same in many ways. The University City Community Association, which was dormant for several years, was revitalized in 2001 and has been a voice for the community. The newsletter comes out once a month now. The street banner project has been established. Standley Park continues to act as a town hall as well as a site for activities and athletics, classes and meetings.

University City is “more than a neighborhood,” and families continue to enjoy the small town feel of South U.C., while looking to North U.C. for urban entertainment and shopping. The University of California, San Diego is still an important neighbor to us.

Photo Gallery from UCCA’s Legacy website:

Historic Aerials and more available for purchase at Historical Aerials at:;

University City circa 1953 with current major roads overlay Genesee and Governor circa 1966

University Hills is the subdivision located north of Governor Drive between Mercer and Genesee. Courtesy of Katie Dunahoo, take a look at the PDF brochure which includes information about the University City Master Plan, model home floor plans, and prices. The “Fine Art of Fine Living: University City Hills” is available at: University Hills – Fine Art of Fine Living – SPF Floor Plans

Model Home Plans “University Hills” courtesy of Aaron Sathrum as posted on Nextdoor:


Find more photos of early development in University City, including sales brochures, floor plans, and aerial views at at

To experience the history of University City through its newsletters, visit the Newsletter Gallery page at UCCA began newsletter production in 2001. If you can help ‘fill in the blanks,’ please let us know.

 Do you live in a University City home designed by William Krisel?

Original William Krisel designed Model Home on Award Row

Learn more about William Krisel’s University City Development at

Images from legacy UCCA website created in 2002:

Local History of University City, from the UC Community Association, San Diego California (1)_Page_1
Local History 2002; click/tap to view
Legacy Website - University City Community Association, San Diego California_Page_1
University City 2002, click/tap to view
Legacy Website - University City Community Association, San Diego California newsletter_Page_1
Newsletter Info 2002; click/tap to view
Legacy Website - University City Community Association, San Diego California about_Page_1
About UCCA 2002; click/tap to vie

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