Doors open on October 17 for the San Diego Adobe Home Tour


The ninth annual San Diego Adobe Home Tour, delayed by more than a year by the pandemic, is back on the October 17 schedule, to the delight of avid fans of the historic construction method.

With the theme “Romance of the Rancho,” the self-guided tour will take visitors to four North County properties, in Escondido and nearby Rancho Santa Fe.

The Osuna Adobe dining room was originally a porch from the ranch near Rancho Santa Fe, added after 1865 and later closed. The original two-room Osuna Ranch was later rehabilitated by architect Lilian J. Rice.

(Don Bartletti)

The tour includes a historic home built in 1831 and three residences built between 1926 and 1982, representing the spectrum of San Diego County’s adobe heritage. Visitors will get a glimpse of California’s multicultural roots in hacienda rancho and Californian ranch styles, where pioneering immigrant, Spanish and Mexican influences mingled.

This tour highlights the Osuna Adobe, built in 1831 near the village of Rancho Santa Fe. In 1924, Lilian J. Rice, one of San Diego’s first female architects, was commissioned to oversee the restoration and rehabilitation of the old adobe house. This historic property is rarely open to the public.

The recently restored grounds of Richard's 1926 adobe house are a fusion of period gardens, native plant sections and more.

The 1926 house built by Louis M. and Florence Richard stands on a hill above the Del Dios highway in Escondido. The result of the recent restoration of the grounds by the current owner is a fusion of period gardens, sections of native plants, Shinto meditation spaces, art deco and Spanish restoration gardens. Visitors to the Adobe Home tour can stroll through the gardens or enjoy a guided tour by a horticulturalist.

(Don Bartletti)

Further down the Del Dios Highway and atop a hill overlooking Lake Hodges is the Richard Adobe, a gated property with a 1926 house mixing Mexican and Neo-Spanish rancho styles.

In Escondido, participants will visit the Adobe Krichman, a 1958 ranch-style adobe hacienda built by construction company Weir Bros. Adobe, and the Zingheim Adobe, a sprawling 1982 hacienda-style ranch house of postmodern construction.

The Adobe Home Tour was created to promote the unique qualities of adobe houses, whose thick mud brick walls serve as ecological insulation, keeping the house cooler during the day, when it is hot, and warmer. at night when the temperature drops.

Richard Adobe's expansive living room overlooks the gardens and views beyond.

Richard Adobe’s expansive living room overlooks the gardens and views beyond.

(Don Bartletti)

The Zingheim Adobe is a more modern adobe house, recently renovated and with an open entrance and floor plan.

The Zingheim adobe built in 1982 is an example of a more modern adobe house that the current owners have recently renovated with an open entrance and floor plan. The adobe was built by Dr. William Zingheim, a dentist from Escondido with a passion for civil engineering and architecture.

(Don Bartletti)

Proceeds from the tour will support the Escondido History Center. Ticket holders will receive a full-color program containing information about the history and architectural significance of each house. Docents will be on each site to answer questions and ensure good social distancing by monitoring the flow of visitors inside each home. All COVID-19 recommendations and restrictions in effect at the time of the visit will be in place.

Tickets are available at or at the Escondido History Center. Ticket receipts can be redeemed on the day of the visit at one of two locations in Escondido and Rancho Santa Fe, for a program that lists the addresses of each of the properties. This is a self-guided tour.

The dining room at Krichman Adobe features the whimsical styling and vivid colors favored by the current owner.

The dining room of the Krichman Adobe, built in 1958 in Escondido by the construction company Weir Bros. Adobe, features the whimsical styling and vivid colors favored by the current owner.

(Don Bartletti)

The tour is a volunteer effort of the San Diego Adobe Heritage Association, whose mission is to inspire appreciation and understanding of adobe heritage in San Diego County. The association’s website serves as a resource for adobe homeowners looking to renovate, restore or maintain their adobe home, or for those interested in adobe construction.

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