There's no date on this Howard Rozelle aerial but, once you get your bearings, you'll be able to pick up little hints that will help you figure it out. I'm gonna guess 1955.

I think the aerial photo is closer to 1960. The Crawford track is visible on the left and I'm not sure that would have been complete in '55. Also, I moved to the college area in 1961 and in the photo, the grading and construction of our subdivision is visible. My dad sold that tract of houses and I'm pretty sure that Baja Drive didn't extend from Campanile to 54th St. in '55. Fun though, to spy Horace Mann and the Campus Drive-In -- Jeff Lee '66

Great photo! But it can't be 1955 -- the Crawford football field and track are already there. I notice the area south of Manhasset Drive is just being developed (College Gardens Ct, Stone Ct, south extension of Hewett Dr). If anyone remembers when those homes were built, that'd date the photo. I don't know who built those homes, but the ones to the north were built by Crawford dads Drogin and McCorquodale --
Bob Richardson '61

You are right. Once I got my bearing with the photo, it was easier to find things. My parents lived at the end of Seminole. Made finding the olde homestead easier. (to the left of the foreground) The Radio Station KCBQ Transmitter, and towers were across the street. KCBQ moved about 1959-60 to Santee. The houses on the west side of Seminole went up pretty fast. The Campus Drive-in is intact. Most of the apartments have not been built in the area. You can see an L-shaped street just West of Seminole, but no apartments yet. I 'm thinking that your guess of 1963 is not too far off. Maybe a bit earlier -- 61-62. I first got married and moved away in the fall of '63 --
Pat Chambers 60

The Rozelle picture appears to be 1961. I grew up on College Gardens Ct which is under construction in the white spot almost dead center of the photograph, north of Montezuma Rd., west of San Diego State and a little east of Alvarado Estates. There appears that only one house on our street had been built, and our house is not yet up, but ours was built in '61 and my family moved in in '62 . . . so that's why I'd peg the date at '61 -- Keep up the good Colt work! --
Steve Taylor 76

I think '55 is too soon for this one - you can see the Crawford football field in it and that would not have been there in '55 as the school didn't open until the fall of '57. On the other hand, I think it's earlier than '63. My house was at the corner of 54th and Collier, which I'm pretty sure I've identified in the photo. The road cut for 54th from Collier through to Montezuma shows in the photo and I don't think that was done yet in '55 either. It started out as a cut for water and sewer mains and wasn't made into a paved road until later. My memory is that by '63 houses were beginning to be built in the canyon below my house and there's no evidence of that construction in the photo, and the house construction closer to the Montezuma end looks to be just beginning. It started at least a year or two before the houses were built at my end. By the time I graduated from SDSC in '64, the whole canyon was pretty much full of houses. It doesn't look like Collingwood Blvd is built yet, either. I'd guess the photo was from '59 - '60. Looking at Mission valley, it doesn't look like Westgate Park is there yet, either, although that would be pretty small in the photo and maybe its just too small to see --
Clyde Tyndale '60

I enjoy your photo quizzes, but coming up with dates is difficult. In this photo, I can use my limited athletic career to date two fields. On the left side of the photo is the Crawford High track, just east of Horace Mann. That makes it post 1957, but the field looks well established, so it is a few years old. I also see the new SDSC track along with Petersen Gym, just north of Montezuma Rd. I attended SDSC (SDSU came later) from 1960-65, and my first PE classes were at the new gym, so it is around 1960. There is lots of new construction going on all over the college area, but how to date them? I could see that a small subdivision is being built on the other side of Hardy Elementary School. A modern street map tells me it is College Garden Ct. I Googled that street, and found a house for sale. The real estate details claim a 1962 construction date. That's my guess for the photo. Did you notice the old landing strip in Alvarado Estates? I remember it from back then. The same man that built the airstrip also dug a bunch of caves above Montezuma Rd. Another family had their own cave system in Kensington --
Mike Fry 60

Pretty good guess on that photo. It was in the 1950s somewhere. I can tell because Henry Clay Elementary School (down at the extreme bottom of the picture) was still a school/playground at the time, not the park it's been for the past 40 or so years. I lived just south of the school/park. Clay was built around 1956. I never went there (I finished my term at John Muir), but my brother went to Clay for two years
Ron (no last name and I erased the email before I could get the email address and figure out who it was)

Return to Howard Rozelle Page

Return to Historic Photos Page