August 8th, 2017 at 11:00 am


The hacienda-style hilltop home at 3131 Zola Street in Point Loma is on the market for $2,495,000, listed with Lisa Perich of our La Jolla office. The home was designed by famed architect Richard Requa and built for San Diego pioneer grocer Mat Heller.

Built in 1928, the two-story Spanish/Mediterranean-influenced home encompasses 4,763 square feet of interior space. Architectural details by Requa include white stucco walls, balconies with wrought-iron railings, heavily tiled roofs, and wood flooring throughout.

“This house has been maintained and is a wonderful example of early San Diego architecture,” Lisa said. “Among the home’s many features are a magnificent staircase, windows, doors and balconies that draw you to the beautifully landscaped grounds and the many Requa design touches. Blue Spanish tiles frame the mahogany front door, and throughout are Spanish-tiled floors and arched hallways with richly toned wood accents.”


See all the way to downtown

The five-bedroom, four-bathroom residence has a first-floor picture window with a view of the lush, well-groomed yard and downtown San Diego in the background. Arched alcoves and rich wood doors remain from the original build of the house. A secluded swimming pool with deck is on a lower level.

Heller opened his grocery store in 1892, when the city had a population of about 17,000, and operated it for 40 years. For his home, he purchased an entire city block and persuaded the city to abandon projected streets on three sides, leaving Zola as the only access street. Heller later divided the block into four parcels, all occupied by family members.


Owned 55+ years by prominent San Diegans

The home’s third owners were retired Superior Court Judge Ross G. Tharp and his wife, Betty. The Tharps purchased the home in the early ’60s and owned it for over 55 years. They were prominent San Diego residents. Judge Tharp was admitted to the California Bar in 1952, served on the Municipal Court for two years, and was appointed to the Superior Court in 1971 by then-Governor Ronald Reagan. He was a Superior Court judge for 20 years, a San Diego City Councilman, and also served as Deputy Mayor.


As avid fans of Spanish and Mediterranean-style homes, the Tharps diligently preserved and protected the original feel of the property. Judge Tharp bought the corner lot across the street and built another single-story home in the Spanish/Mediterranean style. He also purchased a lot to the west of this property and maintained the existence of the canyon and trees. He added building restrictions to the deed so the lush canyon would be preserved.


To arrange for a showing of this lovingly kept home rich in San Diego history, contact Lisa Perich at 619-865-1022 mobile, 619-865-1022 office, or For more information, please visit

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