Revisiting Lomaland

Through 2018 | San Diego State University Library

One of the most fascinating San Diego stories is that of Lomaland, a vibrant community that existed from the end of the 19th century though the mid-20th century in Point Loma. The site is now occupied by Point Loma Nazarene University and, unfortunately, only a few of the original classical buildings remain. Lomaland was unconventional, to be sure, but it was an oasis of creativity that had its foundation in universalist ethics and altruistic ideals, serving as a cultural and educational center that was much talked about by the surrounding town. Now, the San Diego State University Library has mounted an engrossing exhibition about the local experiment devoted to 19th century Theosophy and New England Transcendentalism. Titled Revisiting Visionary Utopia: Katherine Tingley’s Lomaland, 1898-1942, the artifact-filled show is a visual treat for viewers. Lomaland encouraged music, art, literature, and dramatic productions. Imagine performances of Greek and Shakespearean dramas in the gorgeous Greek amphitheater, which remains today. Participants came from more than 20 countries. By 1920, the number of residents exceeded 500. Elements of antiquity, Victorian morality, and Indian spirituality coalesced in a unique community that found a great voice. 619.594.6791, library.sdsu.edu   Darlene G. Davies