Bookended by University Heights to the west and Kensington to the east, the community of Normal Heights is rapidly becoming a San Diego hot spot. Situated above Mission Valley between Interstate 15 and Interstate 805, this diverse and rejuvenated community is bursting with coffee shops, restaurants, antique stores and affordable pubs.
The “Normal” part of Normal Heights refers to the State Normal School, which is the predecessor to San Diego State University, formerly located in nearby University Heights. The State Normal School building now serves as the Eugene Brucker Education Center, the central office for the San Diego Unified School District.
Normal Heights was founded in 1906 and began as a grid of dirt roads and streets plotted by the University Heights Syndicate under the direction of D.C. Collier. It was originally more than a mile away from the end of the only trolley line which ended in nearby University Heights. By the 1920s Normal Heights was considered to be a working class community with two churches, modest bungalows and a variety of smaller businesses.
The article notes that there are few chain stores, giving Normal Heights a small, local feel.