Sophie’s Arms is a classic San Diego building. First built as a hotel in 1908 by Samuel L. Rudolph, she was designed by well known San Diego architect, S.O. Spaulding. Originally named, “The Rudolph Hotel,” Sophie’s Arms has, throughout her long life, undergone numerous name changes as well as two major renovations. The name “Rudolph Hotel” stuck until 1911 when she became “The Rudolph Apartments,” which she remained until 1971. In the mid 90’s she was again sold and renamed “The Island Manor Apartments.”
Though not well documented, it appears that the building underwent two renovations; the first, in the early 70’s and another in the mid 80’s. Each did its fair share in stripping her interior of its original grace and elegance. Recently purchased in February of 2009, she was renamed, “Sophie’s Arms,” in memory of my beloved Mom. Sophie’s Arms is presently undergoing an extensive face lift and total body makeover intended to render her back to her original glory and splendor, making her the jewel of this Historic Neighborhood’s Renaissance.
Above is a 1904 postcard showing the corner of 20th and Market St. The grass knoll at the far left of this postcard is where Sophie’s Arms stands today.
On May 27, 1987, the property was declared and designated Historical Site Number 208-58 by the San Diego Historical Resources Board.