The enchanting Beach Barber Tract, one of La Jolla’s oldest neighborhoods, is named for Phillip Barber, who arrived there with his family in the early 1920s. Barber bought land in what was then called Neptunia and began to develop the area. This coastal enclave contains many historically designated homes, including the Spanish colonial built by Barber for his family.
According to the Barber Tract Neighborhood Association, the tract’s current boundaries lie along Olivetas Avenue and run west to the Pacific Ocean and along Fern Glen on the south to Marine Street on the north.
The community’s most famous landmark is the WindanSea Beach, immortalized by Tom Wolfe in his collection of essays entitled “The Pump House Gang.”
During the 1920s, Barber sold small parcels of land in the community on which he had built individually designed homes. Many of the designs were influenced by the European revival style that was becoming popular throughout the country. The Depression slowed development for a decade, but building began anew during the 1940s, when some of San Diego’s most renowned architects created homes that are still cherished today. It is not surprising that this neighborhood contains an abundance of historically designated homes.
The housing stock in the Beach Barber Tract is varied, comprising not only elegant estates but also quaint Tudor and Mediterranean cottages and affordable Spanish style condominiums. Some of these homes are directly on the ocean, with others only a block or two away. All are within walking distance of WindanSea Beach with its wide, sandy stretches and famous surfing location, known especially for its huge winter waves.
Beach Barber’s picturesque narrow streets are framed by vine-covered walls and garden gates. Restaurants and shops, clustered along La Jolla Boulevard, are within walking distance. The Village is also nearby.
Residents of Beach Barber Tract feel a strong connection to the community, and the local neighborhood association sponsors a number of events each year that create even stronger bonds. With its casual beachside ambiance, this area is a bit livelier than the Hermosas. Residents consider it a little piece of paradise.