The Oldest Building in the Gaslamp Quarter Closing to the Public
The Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House Needs $150,000 to Stay Open
April 29, 2021, San Diego, CA—Built in 1850, The Davis-Horton House is the oldest standing structure in Downtown San Diego and serves as the home of the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation (GQHF) who operates the Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House. For the past two years, the Foundation has not been able to hold its largest fundraiser, ShamROCK (a downtown block party) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, putting the organization in serious financial strain.
“We rely on ShamROCK for over 70% of our operating budget every year. Losing the event for two years has been a huge hit to our organization,” says GQHF Executive Director, Rhiannon Luna. “We’ve been relying on grants, savings, income from virtual programs and donations, but without a large-scale event or increased community support we can’t survive much longer.”
The GQHF has tried every avenue available for funding, applying at private, local, county, state, and federal levels. Unfortunately, the grants and support received over the last year of closure are not enough to sustain the Foundation and the Gaslamp Museum beyond June.
Hope on the Horizon
This May, the GQHF is holding a fundraiser, Save the Gaslamp Museum, to help keep the Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House open to the public. The cost to keep the museum open is $15,000 a month, and our goal of $150,0000, allows the Museum to stay open until we can organize a large-scale fundraising event. Securing these funds will provide the Museum:
- Reopen 5 days a week for house tours and guided Gaslamp Quarter walking tours
- Overhead for annual fall community event
- Retention of museum staff
- Continued maintenance on the Davis-Horton House
A Community Hub
The little yellow saltbox house has been an icon in the Gaslamp Quarter for decades, hosting the free family-friendly Fall Back Festival every November and opening the pocket park as a space of respite for locals and tourists free of charge. The Gaslamp Museum is also the only organization collecting the diverse history of the Gaslamp Quarter.
“This house museum is unique because it’s not a grandiose mansion, it’s a small family home where everyday people like nurses, soldiers, and merchants lived,” explains Rhiannon Luna. “We take pride in telling the stories of those people here at the Museum.”
After closing over a year ago, the Museum is planning to reopen for limited hours starting May 7, 2021 to continue serving the community. The house will be open for self-guided tours Fridays and Saturdays, 10 am-4 pm, and guided Gaslamp Quarter walking tours will be available select Saturdays 11am. Private virtual tours of the house and Gaslamp Quarter are also still available.
Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation
The Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation (GQHF) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, located in the Davis-Horton House on the corner of 4th Avenue and Island Avenue, in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter. The GQHF celebrates the history and culture of the Gaslamp Quarter through exhibitions, lectures, and guided tours. The Museum is open Fridays and Saturdays 10 am-4 pm starting May 7, 2021.
Learn more at gaslampfoundation.org.