History of the Historical Foundation

Rallied by business owner and former City Councilman Tom Hom, an assortment of San Diego citizens banded together in the mid -1970s to work toward a common goal – that of cleaning up the urban blight that had decimated the downtown area, and to refurbish the many beautiful buildings that remained from the Victorian era.

The love of history and architecture drove their vision, producing a vibrant neighborhood designed to draw both residents and visitors to its 16 ½ block area. After being christened “The Gaslamp Quarter,” the district was placed on the National Historic Register in 1980. Subsequently, The Gaslamp Quarter Foundation formed in 1981 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable corporation.  In 1996, its name was changed to the “Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation” in order to reflect its role in historical preservation.

These preservation efforts culminated in acquiring and restoring the William Heath Davis House, now the home of the Foundation and recently re-named the Gaslamp Museum.

William English currently serves as President of the Board of Directors, while Catalina Preskill carries out the duties of the Executive Director. Other Board members, three staff members and a dedicated crew of volunteers work tirelessly to promote the mission of the Foundation, keeping the museum and gift shop open Tuesday through Sunday.

Whether you live nearby or far away, we invite you to stop by and avail yourself of a unique chapter in the Gaslamp Quarter’s history and the history of early San Diego.