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Point Loma Then & Now: Revisiting 1980s series on San Diego neighborhoods

News 8 looks into the history of Point Loma and what it's like today. We revisit the beautiful homes and businesses of the seaside neighborhood featured in 1987.

SAN DIEGO — In many ways, Point Loma embodies what it means to live in San Diego. On one side, the bay, a natural harbor used for centuries by fishermen and the hub for sailing culture in the city; on the other side, the Pacific Ocean with sunny beaches and homes that sit on cliffs facing the sunset. 

It's home to countless landmarks and proud military traditions. The hilly roads giving stately houses the finest views of downtown.

As one of the oldest residential areas in San Diego, the roots of this community run deep.  

Some things you'll always find plenty of in Point Loma: beautiful boats and bluff side homes.

Generations of families have found paradise on Point Loma, like longtime fisherman Frank Brenha.

"I'm 72 and it's been here for 72 years," he said outside of Point Loma Seafoods. "We just come down here when we were kids and played down on the docks. It was a great, great community."

The harbors, as they were when News 8 profiled Point Loma in 1987, are the lifeblood of Point Loma -  a multimillion-dollar industry that brings locals and tourists from around the world to fish and sail the Pacific Ocean. The area is home to three yacht clubs and a sportfishing landing.

"This fleet behind us represents about 75 vessels that employ approximately 1,500 individuals are a huge economic driver for the Port of San Diego," said Frank Ursitti, the owner of H&M Landing

Though the waterfront hasn't changed much. The hills of Point Loma have become one of the hottest real estate markets in San Diego. Massive homes with some of the finest views in Southern California have drastically increased the property values since 2004. The median home price in Point Loma has doubled to over $1 million.

"[It's] overcrowded. Rosecrans is like just gridlocked all the time," said Brenha. "It used to not be like that and used to be empty lots and now everything's like, really built up."

"Delightful, lovely climate, lovely people. There's always nice people here," said Nina Robeson of Point Loma back when News 8 Interviewed her in 1987.

At the end of the day, Point Loma is still that seaside neighborhood that Robeson had on back in 1987 - home to incredible views and world-famous landmarks. Point Loma is truly an iconic neighborhood of San Diego.

The Old Point Loma Lighthouse which stood watch for 36 years in the 1800s still stands as a museum as of 2021. You can see why she was taken out of out of commission in this profile from 1994.


Celebrate San Diego was a 1986/1987 series about neighborhoods of San Diego County. CBS 8 anchor-reporter Connie Healy and a team of photographers roamed the county and delivered in-depth profiles of several towns and communities in the area. They were history lessons focusing on changes and progress.

Many long-term residents she spoke with reflected on what it was like to grow up in their town and what they thought of all the changes they had seen. One really gets a sense of what the character and personality of the community were like in each profile - and how diverse the county really is. 

Thirty-five years later, we're sending out a team of reporters to see how things have changed or stayed the same in each of the nearly 20 neighborhoods we covered in the mid-1980s.

Connie shares her memories below of working on this fantastic series:  

"I love talking to people. People make the news, not newscasters. They simply report how we live our lives. But sometimes it enriches that picture to add a little perspective by not just looking at where we are today, but how far we've come. In the 1980s, Celebrate San Diego did just that. It painted a picture of daily life that was much different from the one we live today, and a city that many of us wouldn't even recognize.

Talking to people, listening to their stories is what reporters do every day. But these stories of life in San Diego 50 to 100 years ago were amazing. This city has come a long way in the last 30 years but some of the people in these stories saw change at the speed of light. I would encourage you to take some time to take a look into our past, revel in the present and celebrate the wonderful city that we all call home."


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