Kensington is named for a borough in London, England, and its pioneering subdivision dates back to 1910. Developers designed this unique neighborhood based on its geography and the non-standard layout due to its location on a narrow peninsula isolated on three sides by steep slopes, much of which is dedicated open space. Kensington offers a miniature "Main Street" along Adams Avenue, replete with coffee shops, restaurants, a branch library and the regionally famous Ken Theatre. With its stone gateways, ornamental lighting and curving streets, the neighborhood is a strong candidate for designation as a historical district.
Talmadge was established in 1925 by real estate developers Roy and Guy Lichty. Talmadge was named after Norma Talmadge and her sisters, Constance and Natalie. The three sisters were noted silent film stars. It's a special hidden neighborhood, which is the cousin of Kensington and surrounded by beautiful canyons. Today, Talmadge is comprised of a mixture of single-family homes and mid-size to large apartment complexes. Talmadge is also home to the Talmadge Gates Historical District. Talmadge has a Maintenance Assessment District (TMAD) for the purpose of improving the public right-of-way with landscaping, ornamental lighting and traffic calming devices. TMAD was voted by the residents into effect and approved by the City Council in 2001. As part of this beautification effort, Talmadge has planted more than 400 trees along its streets and drives during 2001 and 2002.
The Complete Boulevard Planning Study worked with the City Heights and Talmadge communities to propose multi-modal mobility infrastructure improvements within the El Cajon Boulevard corridor between Highland Avenue and 50th Street, and produced a planning study that includes preliminary engineering drawings for the highest priority improvements. Please visit the project's web page for more information.