In the late 1880s, the glittering St. James Hotel was the city’s first skyscraper; it was an amazing five stories high! It was called the “glittering St. James” because the upper three stories were adorned with round tin plates ,which shone brilliantly when hit by the sun. The building, built by Dr. Peter Remondino, literally […]
Like most sites in the Gaslamp , the Schmitt/Sensenbrenner Building lot had its origin in a sale from Alonzo Horton to John B. Boyd in 1872. And – like most historic sites and buildings, it had a plethora of venues housed therein, before establishing its ultimate name and identity.
The Steele Building (1908) Southwest Corner of 6th and Market St. Architect: Edmond Blachmann Architectural Style: Victorian Commercial The Steele Building or Block is significant not only because of its early development, but because of the notable personalities associated with the financing and construction on this parcel. There is evidence that a small wooden structure […]
The stately Victorian building still standing on the corner of 5th and E has housed many financial institutions and numerous businesses. Having undergone several remodels, it is a testament to imagination, transformation and progress.
The Sun Café 421 Market Street 1873-1883 The early history of Lot A/Block 082/95, where the Sun Cafe sits, is a most circuitous one. On March 18,1869, Alonzo Horton sold the property to Mary C. Smith, who promptly sold it to E.P.Figg, who returned it to Mrs. Smith, who resold it to Mr. Horton. Mr. […]
Douglas Hotel, Clermont/Coast Hotel, Ideal Hotel & the Crossroads, 1887-1985 As lead tour guide and historian for the Davis-Horton House Museum, I often wondered how the tour guide business got started. I inadvertently found the answer, while researching something entirely different. Not all Gaslamp “Landmarks” are buildings! San Diego’s first tour guide, known from coast […]
The Grand Pacific Hotel 1887 SW Corner of 5th and J Street Architects : Clemments and Stannard Architecture: Victorian On June 15, 1850, the City of San Diego Pueblo Lot 1156, all portions, was sold to Thomas Sweeney, Thomas Matsell, Daniel P. Clark and Joseph T. Sweet. They were respectively, a one-armed U.S. Army officer, […]
When Alonzo Horton arrived in San Diego in 1867, he did what any newcomer would do – he looked for a place to live. Fortunately for Mr. Horton, there were three houses and the barracks left from William Heath Davis’s earlier attempt to establish a seaport in the area. Horton purchased one of the houses, […]
Royal Pie Bakery 554 Fourth Avenue 1911 Architecture: Contemporary Architect: Unknown In late 1869, Alonzo Horton sold lots J and K between H St. (now Market St.) to Jacob Kihner and Samuel Barkley. They, in turn, sold the north half of lot K to Mr. Charles Westphal, who promptly set about improving the property. The […]
720 Fourth Avenue, northwest corner of G Street Architect : John Lloyd Wright Prairie Style of Architecture- Modern As one strolls through the Gaslamp, most notice that although each building has its own unique characteristics, most are basically what can be termed “Victorian.” The exception is the Golden West Hotel. It is devoid of the ornate […]