by James N. Price
Stations of the Spreckels Empire
LA JOLLA HERMOSA
History: This architecturally splendid building was constructed as a passenger station and power substation for San Diego Electric, San Diego’s streetcar line, in 1924. The station served area residents until 1940 at which time most of SDE was dismantled. This SDE line was built on roadbed of the previous LA & San Diego Beach Railroad, which served La Jolla from 1894 to 1917.
Present Use: The La Jolla Hermosa station is clearly San Diego County’s most unusual railroad station conversion: this building now serves as the main chapel of the La Jolla United Methodist Church. What was the passenger waiting area at the rear of the building has been enclosed, serving as the church’s youth center. This is a very impressive building considering that it was primarily a power substation.
Location: This last remnant of San Diego Electric stations is located at 6063 La Jolla Blvd., just north of Bird Rock.
The beautiful La Jolla Hermosa station on the San Diego Electric as seen in the 1920s. The main building housed a power substation. Note the lack of other buildings in the scene.
The La Jolla Hermosa station today is the main chapel of the La Jolla. United Methodist Church, clearly San Diego County’s most unusual re-use of a train station!.