Historic Point Loma home once lived in by a decorated general
Published - 10/15/19 - 07:30 AM | 4424 views | 4 4 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The home at 3202 Curtis St. in Loma Portal.
The home at 3202 Curtis St. in Loma Portal.
It may not look like much by today’s standards, but the home at 3202 Curtis St. in Loma Portal has quite the history.

Built in 1928 by Chris A. Cosgrove for his parents, Augustus and Louise Cosgrove, the home was historically designated in October 2017 as the Augustus and Louise Cosgrove/Chris Cosgrove House.

Chris A. Cosgrove is considered an established master builder in the city of San Diego, and built many homes and commercial buildings around town, according to Alexandra Wallace, principal researcher at Legacy 106 Inc., based in La Jolla.

Wallace was involved in preparing the now historic home’s nomination report for historic designation along with husband Kiley Wallace an architectural historian at the firm. Legacy 106 offers historic preservation and archaeology services for homeowners seeking such historic designation.

Worthy of a General

In 1935 and 1936, 3202 Curtis St. was rented by Marine Brigadier Gen. Herman H. Hanneken and his wife Margaret.

According to Hanneken's obituary published in the San Diego Union on Aug. 26, 1986, he was one of the most decorated men in the U.S. Marine Corps on his retirement as a brigadier general in 1948, Wallace said. 

Hanneken was also awarded two Navy Crosses, a Silver Star, and the Legion of Merit, as well as several other awards from nations such as Haiti and Nicaragua, she said.

Author Paul Kirchner, in his 2009 book, “More of the Deadliest Men Who Ever Lived,” included Hanneken along with George Patton, Manfred von Richthofen, and Richard the Lionhearted. In fact, there is a lot of info online and in books about Hanneken, Wallace said.

“In June 1920, Hanneken, then a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity for his actions in Haiti, which resulted in the death of bandit and rebel leader Charlemagne Peralte,” Wallace added.

In early 1929, Capt. Hanneken led a patrol with a Mexico-born volunteer general named Juan Escamilla near the San Albino Gold Mine in Nicaragua. Hanneken and Escamilla captured Sandinista Gen. Manuel María Girón Ruano, second-in-command to Augusto Sandino, and for the next month interrogated Girón about various aspects of the rebellion.

On March 2, 1929, Lt. Hanneken executed Girón. Augusto Sandino eluded Hanneken, but in February 1934 was captured and executed by members of the Nicaraguan National Guard. After his actions in Haiti, Hanneken had developed a reputation as a "bandit catcher," and this reputation was further solidified after his capture of Girón in Nicaragua, Wallace said.

Besides the general, Wallace said the home has had around seven owners since it was first constructed.

She said what makes it truly special is that the “ home is an excellent example of Spanish Eclectic style architecture.”

And as a historian, she said she found a few things particularly interesting about the home at 3202 Curtis St.

“It was one of the first homes constructed by Chris A. Cosgrove after he moved to San Diego around 1923. He later went on to become a prolific builder in the San Diego region but also constructed properties in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and Borrego Springs. Legacy 106 Inc. had Cosgrove established as a master builder while 3202 Curtis St. was historically designated in October 2017.”

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Ronald V. May
October 19, 2019
This is the second time SDNews.com has published an article on a house that Legacy 106, Inc. researched and produced the nomination report that got both the house designated as historical, as well as getting Chris Cosgrove designated as a master builder. I authored the primary underlying report in 2003 that got the Cosgrove house at 5310 Canterbury designated historica and said report laid the foundations for getting him declared a master builder. To be accurate, SDNews.com should cite both authors, Ronald V. May and Kiley Wallace, for this report.
Bruce Coons
October 18, 2019
The previous owner commissioned another firm to say it wasn't historic saying it was too modified, they wanted to bulldoze it. SOHO proved it wasn't modified and had it deemed potentially historic and they pulled their bogus historic report. Gald it got a good owner and they hired a reputable firm to do the report.
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October 18, 2019
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