Torrey Pines Lodge prepares for its centennial!

The Torrey Pines Lodge has been welcoming visitors for nearly 100 years. In 2023 the historic adobe building, nestled in the beauty of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, will celebrate its centennial!

When I visited the Torrey Pines Lodge this weekend, several docents told me that plans are now being made for observing its centennial. I hope to attend public celebrations next year!

As I walked through the old building, which today serves as a Visitor Center, I viewed a few displays concerning its history.

I’ve taken photographs for you to enjoy. (If you’d like to see more of the Lodge’s interior, and several of it’s museum-like exhibits, check out an old blog post here.)

The San Diego Union newspaper article, dated January 1, 1923, describes the new Beautiful Adobe Lodge.

Tableware from the days when the Torrey Pines Lodge served as restaurant.

Dinner was one dollar! Motorists on their way through to San Diego or Los Angeles could also purchase Mexican and Indian rugs, blankets, pottery, baskets, etc. at the Lodge.

The Torrey Pines Lodge was dedicated on April 7, 1923.

In the summer of 1922 when construction began on the Torrey Pines Lodge, this area consisted of a treeless and windswept sandstone bluff.

Miss Ellen Browning Scripps, a noted San Diego Philanthropist and the sole contributor to the acquisition of what was called at the time, “The Torrey Pines City Reserve,” donated the funds to build the Torrey Pines Lodge…

…Architect Richard Requa was noted for his pueblo and Mayan style of architecture, and designed many buildings in San Diego’s Balboa Park…

The Lodge was built from sun baked adobe bricks, made on the construction site from local clays. Miss Scripps also brought Hopi Indians from the Southwest to aid in the making of authentic adobe bricks…

The Lodge and its restaurant opened to the public in February of 1923 and was an immediate success, perhaps due to its stunning scenery and location adjacent to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Highway…the main road between Los Angeles and San Diego until the mid-1930’s…

…the Lodge was a favorite day trip…as well as being a popular stop for tour buses of the era. The Model T Fords of the 1920’s found the highway’s steep grade a challenge…

Old photographs shows dining tables on the Lodge’s front terrace.

The beautiful Torrey Pines Lodge in 2022. Some restoration work is visible.

A wooden plaque inside the Lodge.

The Torrey Pines Lodge is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


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Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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