As one the county?s oldest communities, National City has an established business environment that provides much in the way of economic opportunity. The city is home to thousands of businesses, corporations and military offices, including Naval Station San Diego, and Pasha Group. There is also the Mile of Cars, an auto mall that generates a good portion of the city?s sales tax revenue.
Retail activity is strong as well. The Westfield Plaza Bonita, for example, is a large indoor shopping center that attracts shoppers from all over the county. There is also the South Bay Plaza and other, smaller shopping centers throughout the city. Shoppers seeking more unique items may make the short trip into Downtown San Diego or Baja California.
Historic landmarks in National City include Granger Music Hall, Brick Row on Heritage Square, Santa Fe Railroad Depot and St. Matthews Episcopal Church. Granger Music Hall was the creation of Ralph Granger, a silver tycoon who loved stringed instruments. The hall was constructed such that no microphone is needed; sound travels from one end to the other naturally, because no wall is parallel to another. Once earmarked for demolition, the hall was saved, relocated and subsequently restored by National City residents.
Brick Row consists of 10 rowhouses originally constructed in 1887 for the officers of the Sante Fe Railroad. The units, separated by 12-inch thick, interlocking brick walls, were designed to give the young city a progressive appearance and to make the executives feel at home.
The railroad depot predates Brick Row by about five years. Today it is the country?s only original transcontinental depot that?s still standing. The depot has been restored and converted into a local railroad museum.
Lastly, there is the gorgeous St. Matthews Episcopal Church. Efforts to build the church began in 1872, when a parcel of land was donated by the Kimball family. The Kimball family, and Frank Kimball in particular, were heavily involved in the early development of National City. Frank pushed the church project forward in 1882 after he was elected as secretary to the Episcopal Society. The church is designed to replicate the style of an English countryside church.
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