On Nov. 28, 1895, Edward Corrigan opened the Ingleside Racetrack in the southwestern corner of The City. At that time, Ocean Road — now Ocean Avenue — was rural and distant, far from the Victorian splendor of downtown.
The track was an instant hit. In 1900, Ingleside even hosted the area’s first auto race. But business eventually flagged. In 1906, the Ingleside Racetrack served as a camp and hospital for infirm earthquake survivors.
By 1910, the track was gone. Three years later, the first phase of the neighborhood known today as Ingleside Terraces was completed.
Traces of the racetrack’s legacy remained. A few jockey houses were converted into residences, and remain there today. And when the street pattern for the new neighborhood was laid out, one street — Urbano Drive — followed the exact path of the track itself.
The home at 540 Urbano sits on what was once the grandstand. It was built in 1923, almost two decades after the last thoroughbred left the starting gate.
Today, you are much more likely to hear piano music in 540 Urbano than a starter’s bugle. Its present owner, George Hernandez, conducts a Filipino singing group, the Saringhimig Singers, out of the home.
Hernandez and his wife have now placed the home on the market after five years of ownership, listed by Brian Leung of Coldwell Banker for $1,169,000.
Though they did not live in the home long, Hernandez and his wife, Gladys, found time to completely renovate their kitchen while preserving the elegant original details of the home’s other rooms.
Ingleside Terraces houses the sights and sounds of many ghosts: thoroughbreds racing down the backstretch, sprint cars charging around a dirt-strewn corner, earthquake refugees finding shelter in converted stables — and now, as the Hernandez family moves on, the music of voices in harmony, coming from the living room of 540 Urbano.