Marston House Museum Shop
San Diego's newest shopping destination for lovers of historic architecture, gardens and preservation is the SOHO Museum Shop at the Marston House Museum & Gardens in Balboa Park. Located in the charming 1905 carriage house, the shop offers visitors a distinctive mix of attractive gift items, Arts & Crafts furnishings and books that support the museum's educational mission while enhancing the museum experience for tourists and San Diegans alike. Admission to the shop is free.
Visitors will find signature products created especially for SOHO that celebrate the estate's history and the interests and legacy of the Marston family. An avid gardener, George W. Marston is best known as a visionary civic leader and philanthropist who is also considered San Diego's first preservationist.
The 750-square-foot Craftsman-style carriage house, which has never been open to the public before, is paneled in warm redwood and features an original horse stall and handsome windows. It is cozily furnished with chairs from the Marston family to encourage visitors to sit and browse through the shop's wide array of hard-to-find books and publications on regional architecture, home décor, gardening, nature and history.
"We also carry unique gift items that reflect SOHO's dedication to education and advocacy in honor of our region's historic resources," explains Alana Coons, the nonprofit group's events and education director. "We're very excited to be introducing items of lasting value that complement the property's garden and decorative arts history."
Custom products now in the works include baskets of pine needles from the Marston House's historic Canary Isle Pine trees made by Kumeyaay artists of Baja California; exclusive handmade tiles using a beautiful eucalyptus leaf motif that architect William Templeton Johnson created for the Marston home; and SOHO has commissioned letterpress note cards and bookmarks using that same motif and others inspired by the flora and fauna of the five-acre property.
Visitors may also purchase specialty plants that are exclusive to the shop from the Geranium George project plant collection, named for Marston. Among other merchandise that reflects the Marston House collections are art pottery vases and jardinières, tiles framed in oak, woodblock landscapes and vintage botanical prints. All profits from the sale of these products support SOHO's educational programs.
The Craftsman-style estate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is known as the finest remaining residential design of the noted architecture firm of William S. Hebbard & Irving J. Gill. Owned by the city of San Diego, the property is managed by SOHO, San Diego County's largest preservation organization.
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MARSTON HOUSE MUSEUM & GARDENS
3525 Seventh Avenue, San Diego 92103
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