The Top Gun House
aka The Graves House
The Graves House was built in 1887 by Dr. Henry Graves as a vacation home. The house is a 500 square foot oceanfront Queen Anne Cottage.
Originally located at the corner of Mission Street between Pacific Street and Myers, the 2.8-acre parcel was, until restoration in 2019/20, one of a few buildings in Oceanside sitting on its original site.
The house is believed by many to be the last and best existing Victorian-era house in San Diego County. Its distinct architecture includes gingerbread features and an ornate chimney.
In 1985 Paramount Pictures rented the house for two weeks and used it as the home of Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Blackwood, played by Kelly McGillis in the iconic movie “Top Gun”.
In the movie, Maverick arrives at the house on a motorcycle to meet his girlfriend, Charlie.
Released in 1986 the film is credited with solidifying Tom Cruise as a box office success. Since that time, the house has been a popular attraction for both residents and visitors.
Over the years since the movie and despite its tourist attraction, the house fell into disrepair due to a lack of money for upkeep.
The house was eventually fenced and available only as a walk-by location on the beach.
The Graves House was saved from tear down in 2019 because of efforts by the Oceanside Historical Society and the Save Our Heritage Organization of San Diego.
As a requirement for getting City building permits for a new luxury hotel, SD Malkin Properties took the Graves House off-site for restoration then set it down again in May, 2020 about a block north of its original location. Cost to restore the cottage—about $1 million.