The Coast News Group
The Top Gun house received a new coat of paint and added murals. The murals by artist Paul Knebels depict its fame as a movie location and historical building. Photo by Promise Yee
The Top Gun house received a new coat of paint and added murals. The murals by artist Paul Knebels depict its fame as a movie location and historical building. Photo by Promise Yee
Featured Rancho Santa Fe

‘Top Gun’ house gets a noticeable makeover

OCEANSIDE — A new coat of yellow paint, two murals, and an information sign are causing people to stop and look at the “Top Gun” house on Pacific Street.

The Queen Anne Victorian beach cottage, built in 1887, had become weatherworn over the years.

Now murals by artist Paul Knebels and signage installed on Feb. 12 alert people to its historical significance.

“It’s never been off our radar list,” Kristi Hawthorne, president of the Oceanside Historical Society, said.

The house was built by Dr. Henry Graves and is known in history circles as the Graves House. Its distinct architecture includes gingerbread features and an ornate chimney.

It is considered the best last-standing Victorian of its era.

Part of its historical merit comes from it remaining in its original location.

“A folk Victorian is absolutely rare by the beach,” John Daley, vice president of the Oceanside Historical Society, said.

The house is more widely recognized for being featured in the 1986 “Top Gun” movie starring Tom Cruise and is fondly called the “Top Gun house.”

Future plans are to restore the house after construction for a $209 million luxury hotel development begins on the site where the house stands.

As part of the development project SD Malkin Properties will temporarily move the house to trench out space for underground parking. Then the house will be restored for adapted reuse by the developer, relocated on the site and used as a shop and tourist attraction.

Since the hotel project was approved before Gov. Jerry Brown disbanded city redevelopment agencies, the timeline for building is uncertain.

Daley said an optimistic date for construction to begin is October.

To maintain the house’s historical integrity its architectural features will remain intact and preservation efforts will match the original exterior features and interior trim. The porch will be redone and flooring will be restored to original wood.

“It will be restored to its closest historical state,” Hawthorne said.

The Oceanside Historical Society and SOHO (Save our Heritage Organisation, spelled with a Victorian “s”) have been working to preserve the house for quite some time.

“It’s the last of its kind,” Bruce Coons, SOHO executive director, said. “We worked with the city and developer to explain its historical significance. At one time it was thought of bulldozing it. We’re excited they’re restoring it.”

Thanks to the groups’ efforts the Graves House is on the national register of historic buildings, which protects it under secretary of the interior’s standards for historical preservation.

“Architecture influences our lives and adds to our quality of life,” Coons said. “It’s hard to explain a connection. You don’t realize something until it’s gone.”

Speculations are the 500-square-foot house will be used as a coffee house, gift store, or ice cream shop once restoration is completed.

 

1 comment

Almeda June 28, 2014 at 9:38 pm

If you intend to work as an electrician or electrical contractor in either of those
cities (or Kent or Wayne County), then you need to contact the building department in either of those counties or cities to find out how to qualify for a local license.
Seperated from dimmers there are also controls that can include all of the lights in a room on pre-set controls,
possibly you prefer to have the lights programmed to different moods
– very bright, very dim or some lights on and others
off. Whether they are decorating for you the Electrical outlets Rochester NY or may be working for your house or the
office, or may be the work is relating to the installation of a new automatic generator, or it may be any
kind of electrical problem Rochester NYyou can get best quality services and complete satisfaction as well.

Comments are closed.