The Journal of San Diego History
Spring-Summer 1987, Volume 33, Numbers 2 & 3
Thomas L. Scharf, Editor

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Restoration work in 1978  

Restoration work in 1978 by the Civilian Conservation Corps.


Drawing Room  
The Drawing Room is noted for its 18 foot wide bay window with portraits of Shakespeare, Goethe, Corneille in art glass.

Damage from the March 1986 fire  
Damage from the March 1986 fire was extensive, as these two photographs attest to.

Damage from the March 1986 fire  
Only the fire department’s previous knowledge of the house and its valuable contents saved the Villa from complete ruin.

No recent history of the Villa Montezuma would be complete without mention of “Psyche” the ever present Victorian feline who has made this famous San Diego residence her home for over 10 years.

After the disastrous March 1986 fire Psyche was missing for several days. When she finally reappeared the local newspaper conducted an “interview” with her to assess her reaction to all the commotion. She is seen above surveying the damage on her own, and with the present Villa Curator Lucinda Eddy.

Just before its initial restoration in the early 1970s, the Villa Montezuma was near total demise, as these photographs show.


Note also that the door way (right) had been moved from its original location.

Interior restoration work has included re-leading the many art glass windows and re-installing period wall coverings.


These scraps of wallpaper were used to reproduce the gallery’s original papers.

A roof top gargoyle.

The Villa’s upstairs gallery hosts many art shows and exibits. Here, a portion of “Up Tight and Down Under” a show of Victorian undergarments.