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Guide to the Trepte Construction Company Building Project Records MS 222
MS 222  
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Collection Details
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  • Preferred Citation
  • Comments
  • Processing Information
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Biographical / Historical Notes
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

  • Title: Trepte Construction Company Building Project Records
    Identifier/Call Number: MS 222
    Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 2.5 Linear feet (5 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1921-1965
    Abstract: This collection contains information about Trepte Construction Company’s projects from 1921 to 1965, including project listings and cost analysis. There are also records on the Ocean Vista Corporation and information on the Sumas Reclamation Project.
    creator: Trepte Construction Company.

    Preferred Citation

    Trepte Construction Company Records, MS 222, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.


    Walter Trepte maintained a keen interest in the construction industry. He was an avid reader and kept abreast on current trends in construction. The scrapbook in this collection of the Marsh Construction Company’s Sumas Reclamation Project and the article from Engineering News-Record regarding the suction dredge that the Marsh Construction Company used in the Sumas River may have been used as research documents by Walter Trepte for Trepte Construction’s many projects.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Sean Flores on November 7, 2011.
    Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research. Itemized database can be accessed at the San Diego History Center Library.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

    Biographical / Historical Notes

    Trepte Construction is San Diego’s oldest construction company. Moritz Trepte, an immigrant from Germany, founded the Trepte Construction Company in 1895. Trepte originally migrated to San Francisco in 1890, and then came to San Diego to join his brother-in-law, Herman Stroele, in starting a carpentry and cabinet making business, Trepte & Stroele. It lasted a year before Stroele moved to Los Angeles for what he viewed as greater opportunity. Trepte remained in San Diego where his place of business was a small cabinet shop.
    In those first years, Trepte’s business activities consisted mostly of cabinet making, store fittings, remodels and repairs. The firm began to take on larger projects primarily through government contracts to build military facilities, and then went into the construction of buildings for well-known companies or individuals. Moritz Trepte’s son, Walter Trepte, entered the business in 1913, and eventually became president in 1928. Walter also created the Ocean Vista Corporation in order to facilitate management of construction projects on a subdivided yet vacant tract of land between the following streets: to the North, Boston Avenue, to the East, 43rd Street or Highland Avenue, to the South, Gama Street and to the West, 40th Street. Since Walter’s involvement, the Trepte Construction Company has played an active role in every era of San Diego’s development, completing nearly 5,000 construction projects including more than 40 in the historic Gaslamp Quarter.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains information regarding Trepte Construction Company building projects from 1921 to 1965. Included in this collection are project ledgers containing costs and sketched diagrams of construction projects. The Company’s projects include those commissioned by both locally and nationally prominent clients such as the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Military, San Diego Trust and Savings Bank, Scripps Memorial Hospital, Simon Levi Company, Isis Theatre, Safeway Stores, Frost Hardwood Lumber Corporation, Solar Aircraft Company, Rohr Aircraft Corporation, Ryan Aeronautical Company, Consolidated Aircraft, and the National Biscuit Company also known as Nabisco, Inc. Many of the projects produced structures that have become prominent fixtures in San Diego history such as the U.S. Grant Hotel, El Cortez, Spreckels Theatre, and the Marston Company Store. The Company was also involved with projects for the California Pacific Exposition that was held in San Diego. The collection also includes a notebook of statistical analyses of construction projects from 1925 to 1931 listing unit costs, job costs and material usage ratios. The corporation record book for the Ocean Vista Corporation as well as a Sumas Reclamation Project scrapbook and article are also part of the collection.


    Items in the collection are arranged by subject and chronologically. Itemized database can be accessed at the San Diego History Center Library.

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    Some pages in the ledgers are partially or completely detached from the bindings. Taped labels are detaching from ledger spines. Cover of Sumas Reclamation Project scrapbook is crumbling and has signs of mold.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    California Pacific International Exposition (1935-1936 : San Diego, Calif.).
    Consolidated Aircraft (Firm).
    El Cortez Hotel.
    Frost Hardware Lumber Corporation.
    Isis Theatre.
    Kraft Foods Company.
    Marsh Construction Company.
    Marston Company Store.
    Nabisco, Inc..
    National Biscuit Company.
    Ocean Vista Corporation.
    Pacific Greyhound Lines.
    Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company.
    Rohr Aircraft Corporation.
    Ryan Aeronautical Compnay.
    Safeway Stores, Inc..
    San Diego Chamber of Commerce.
    San Diego Gas and Electric Company.
    San Diego Trust & Savings Bank (Calif.).
    San Diego Yacht Club.
    Sandford Hotel.
    Scripps Memorial Hospitals.
    Sears, Roebuck and Company.
    Showley Brothers.
    Simon Levi Company.
    Solar Aircraft Company.
    Spreckels Theatre.
    Sumas Reclamation Project.
    Trepte Construction Company.
    Trepte, Moritz
    Trepte, Walter
    U.S. Grant Hotel (San Diego, Calif.).
    Balboa Park (San Diego, Calif.)
    Construction projects
    Gaslamp Quarter (San Diego, Calif.)
    Military Bases, American
    Naval Air Station North Island (Calif.)
    San Diego (Calif.)