Western Trips

Western Trips

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Visit San Diego's Popular Gaslamp Quarter

San Diego, California is a magnificent city to experience with a seemingly endless list of attractions to visit. One unique site located in downtown San Diego, very near to the Convention Center and Petco Park where the Padres play baseball, is the Gaslamp Quarter, often referred to as The Gaslamp.

gaslamp quarter san diego
Street in Gaslamp Quarter
The Gaslamp Quarter is the hub of dining, nightlife and entertainment in downtown San Diego. It's estimated that there are over 100 restaurants and nightclubs in the general area. In addition to that, the Gaslamp Quarter is home to ninety-four Victorian era buildings some constructed as early as 1873. The Gaslamp Quarter is a National Historic District.

San Diego's Old Town and New Town

There are many instances where a city's original location is in it's present day downtown area. San Diego's story is a bit different. Old Town San Diego and it's historic structures are located north of the downtown area where the Spaniards originally settled. Old Town is the site of the original town plaza and is now a state historic park. Old Town San Diego is located at the foot of Presideo Hill.

The idea of New Town San Diego took root after California became a state in 1850. Within a few decades of heavy promotion for this new business location, companies and businessmen began relocating there mostly because of it's proximity to the bay and shipping. By 1900, 5th Avenue between Market and Broadway, busy with electric street cars, towering arc lamps, and unique elegant architecture stood as the commercial hub of the new city.

san diego gaslamp district
One of the many Gaslamp Quarter restaurants
Historic Gaslamp Quarter Buildings

Many of the buildings in the Gaslamp Quarter have significant historical associations as well as distinctive architectural characteristics highlighting important years in San Diego's history. The best source for information regarding the historic significance of San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter is the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation. In the general area of the Gaslamp are ninety buildings that are on the Register of Historic Places.

To give you an idea of the background of some of these structures, we've listed a few below.

The Keating Building

Built in 1890, the Keating Building was built in a Romanesque style by Mrs. Keating as a tribute to her late husband, George. The Keating Building has the city's oldest steam powered elevator. The building is located at Fifth and F Streets.

san diego historic buildings
Backesto Building
The Backesto Building

The Backesto Building was constructed in 1873. Klauber and Levi, a pioneer grocer and general-merchandise firm, occupied the ground floor from 1879 to 1886. In 1892 San Diego Hardware opened at the site, relocating in 1923 to a few blocks north on Fifth Avenue. The Backesto Building is located at Fifth and Market.

Louis Bank of Commerce Building

Constructed in 1887, this Baroque Revival architecture style building is easily recognized by it's twin rising towers. The Louis Bank of Commerce building was San Diego's first built of granite. The building is located at 835 5th Avenue.

You may also enjoy the Western Trips articles on the links below... 

San Diego's Oldest Building in Old Town

Visit Beautiful Coronado Island and the Hotel del Coronado 

The Rare Collections at the San Diego Automobile Museum

balboa theater san diego california
Balboa Theater
The Balboa Theater

Built in 1924, the Balboa Theater was San Diego's first big downtown theater. The Balboa was built in the  era of palatial theaters. The theater opened at a time when motion pictures were gaining in popularity.

The theater was designed for vaudeville performances and films. In 1930 there was a renovation undertaken to accommodate movies with sound. Designed by architect William Wheeler, the dome of the Balboa Theater was in the same style as the Santa Fe Railroad Depot also downtown.

The historic buildings listed above are, of course, just a few of the many structures still standing. Much more information can be found from the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation at www.gaslampfoundation.org

San Diego, California is a real vacationers paradise. Aside from the great weather and beaches, San Diego is home to the USS Midway which is now a museum on the bay on the western edge of downtown. The USS Midway served for nearly fifty years and is the perfect stop for the entire family. The world famous San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park is another must stop as are some of the historic buildings within Balboa Park.

Old Town, New Town, the Gaslamp Quarter, Coronado Island and everything in between makes San Diego, California a terrific vacation destination.

(Article and photos copyright 2015 Western Trips)

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