Introduction to National City, California
National City, California is located in San Diego County, only 5 miles southeast of San Diego and 10 miles north of the Mexican border. The city is bordered by Chula Vista (to the south) and Lincoln Borders (to the east). Major highways servicing the city include Interstates I-5 and I-805 as well as California State Highways 15, 54 and 94.
Incorporated in 1887, National City is San Diego County's second oldest city. Sitting on land purchased by the Kimball brothers in 1868, the city grew slowly. Attempts by the Kimballs and others to make National City a prime railway link to points east never fully panned out, although some track was laid in the area. In the ensuing years, the city became a prime destination for migration by Easterners attracted by its outstanding climate. Miles of tree-shaded streets and Victorian homes appeared in the city, many of which remain to this day.
Historic Sites in National City
National City is steeped in California history, with several of its sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Granger Music Hall was originally built in the late 19th century by Ralph Granger, a music lover who struck it rich in the silver mines of Colorado. Beautifully restored, the existing structure is painted in its original colors. The Brick Row on Heritage Square is a series of 10 individual row houses built by Frank Kimball in 1887 in an architectural style unique to this region but modeled after the row houses of Philadelphia and similar eastern cities. The Santa Fe Rail Depot, built in 1882, is the only original transcontinental railroad terminus in the United States that is still standing. St. Matthews Episcopal Church, built in 1887, is designed in a style patterned after an English Countryside church. National City Boulevard, also known as "The Miracle Mile of Cars," spans the north-south length of National City and serves as a living museum of travel and reminder of the time when California became the center of the New Car Culture.