About the Palomar Apartments
The Palomar Apartments was built in 1914 and is a four-story complex designed by architects Frank B. Mead and Richard S. Requa.
The exotic imagery of the Palomar Apartments can be attributed to the influence of each architect. Born in New Jersey in 1865, it was Mead who was initially influenced by North African architecture due, in part, to a visit to North Africe to photograph the Bedouin villages of the Sahara. Coupled with Mead's contribution in the design of the Palomar is that of Requa. Born in Nebraska in 1881, the younger Requa became an apprentice with Irving Gill in 1907, despite the fact that he lacked any formal training as an architect.
Aside from its architectual integrity, The Palomar is significant due to the notable personages who once lived there.
Between 1914 - 1950, the San Diego City Directory lists approximately 84 individuals, including owners, managers, and tenants. Not included in the directory is Wallis Warfield Simpson, who subsequently became the Dutchess of Windsor (Edward VIII, King of England gave up the crown to marry
Mrs. Simpson). In his book, The Dutchess of Windsor, author Charles Higham states the Wallis Simpson lived in Apartment 104 of the Palomar. Apartment 104, according to Higham, "was one of the only two apartments with a view and one of the very few with a separate bedroom. "At the time of Simpson's residence, the view from 104 included that of Balboa Park, "which still had many signs of the big 1915 Exposition."
As was the case of Simpson, the City Directory does not list aviator Colonel Charles Lindbergh who stayed in the Palomar before embarking upson his famed trip across the Atlantic in the "Spirit of St. Louis" on May 10, 1927. He is supposed to have stayed in apartment 201.
The plaque and miniature replica of the "Spirit of Saint Louis" pictured on the left hang in the atrium of the Palomar.