Between 1927 and the 1950's the El Cortez Hotel was the tallest building in San Diego. Today, it is the 28th tallest. Over the years it has changed occupations and declined in repairs. To protect this iconic landmark when the El Cortez Hotel was threatened by demolition the San Diego Historic Site Board designated it an historic site in 1990 and in 2002 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Besides it being the tallest in town, two other distinctions made this Spanish Colonial Revival architectural styled building stand out, the exterior glass elevator, and a moving sidewalk known as the Travolator.
This is no longer a hotel, but the famous and beautiful Don Room and the gardens, just outside, is still used as a private events venue. Planning a wedding in San Diego? This would be a lovely site for the reception.
Anyone interested in architecture can see this gem at:
702 Ash Street, downtown San Diego.
Seaport Village is a nice village along the bay.
They have many shops and resturants to vist. Get there early to aviod the jammed pack parking lot.
They have a nice walk along side the Seaport village that you can take in the views of the bay and skyline.
If you get hungry and want some good pizza or just italinan food, find, Asaggio. Good price and good food. They have a nice patio that you can sit at and watch the water traffic on the bay.
Now dwarfed by the city’s modern skyscrapers; the ten story St. James was once the tallest building in San Diego. In 1914, the San Diego Union extolled it as “First Class in every respect , with excellent service.” The hotel features 146 rooms, a barber shop, a Turkish bath, a billiard room, and observation room that boasted the finest view in San Diego. The hotel also had the convenience of hot and cold running water in every room.
Ramada Inn & Suites
Gaslamp / Convention Center
830 6th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
828 6th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Located 844 6th Avenue in Gas Lamp Quarters.
This wonderful four story building was built by Entrepreneur Samuel Fox built this four-story, at the cost of $500,000. Mr. Fox’s Lion Clothing Company was the sole tenant of the building until 1984. The interior has 16-foot ceilings, antique oak wood paneling, walnut window frames, cast-iron decorative grills, heraldic lions in full relief, sculptured terra cotta spandrels, and an overhanging tile roof.
Located 531 Broadway & 6th Avenue in Gas Lamp Quarters.
This lovely Victorian hotel is three-story structure that began serving community relief services in 1901 such as Helping Hand Home. Children's Hospital of San Diego occupied the building until 1920. It has been kept loved and enjoyed ever since.
Far East Trading Company Limited
904 Fifth Avenue San Diego, CA
Located 366 5th Avenue in Gas Lamp Quarters.
He was known as a community leader and a businessman. He was respected throughout his community, and was one of the first who helped with forming good relations with the white establishment during his time. Ah Quin and his wife Sue had their two story-home on 3rd Street and raised a family of twelve children. Quin's home no longer exists, but the building that housed the Quin family produce business remains next door. He was a highly respected member of the early Chinese community holding the unofficial of "Mayor of Chinatown." Being able to speak bilingual, he was a spokesman for the community and all those who needed him. Sadly he was killing by being struck by a motorcycle in 1914.
Located at 429 3rd Avenue at the Gas Lamp Quarters
This building was a place where Chinese immigrants, mostly men could learn English and find employment. Religious instruction and living quarters were also provided here now it houses the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
San Diego Chinese Historical Museum
404 Third Ave
San Diego, Ca 92101
Hubert Howe Bancroft moved to Market Street in 1870 after the completion of a lavish 5 story building, here he developed the largest combined mercantile and manufacturing, wholesale and retail, book, stationery and publishing business in the world. It was often called the Bancroft Library or Pacific Library. Sadly this building burned in 1886, but fortunately, the library had been moved from the fifth floor of the Market Street location to a specially constructed fire-proofed brick building on Valencia Street. Hubert Howe Bancroft formed two new companies: The History Company, and the Bancroft Company. In August 1887, under these new imprints, the production, publication, and marketing of Bancroft's Works resumed in the rebuilt quarters at 723 Market Street, known thereafter as the History Building. Business ended in 1897.(retrived 22/11/09 from the www.oac.cdlib.org/view?docId=kt8779n9js;developer=local;query=;style=oac4;doc.view=entire_text)
It's other lives include the AZTEC THEATER and now it houses the
Pacific Gaslamp 15
701 5th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101 United States
Located at 665 5th Ave San Diego, Ca 92101
The Architects were Burgett and Osgood who designed it in Classical Revival at the cost of $300.00. The lot was bought by Dr. John Pierce Backesto in 1867. The building didn’t get finished until 1873, but modified in 1887. It was one of nicest buildings during its day. It had tenants such as clothiers, milliners, jewelers, a grocery store, liquor store, general merchandisers, hardware store, real estate offices, photographer's studio, and ship chandlers and steamship companies.
The upper floor housed 39 sleeping rooms. San Diego's pioneer grocer Klauber and Levi occupied the ground floor from 1878 to 1886. San Diego Hardware in 1892 opened here, but by 1923 relocated to a store farther up Fifth Avenue.
The upper floor were turned into business offices. The ground floor is occupied by various commercial businesses including restaurants and a market.
Located 614 5th Ave in Gas Lamp Quarters.
Built in 1874 with only two stories, the Old City Hall is of Florentine-Italianate style. Two more floors were added in 1887. Rooms are 16 feet high, 12 foot windows framed with brick arches. The interior has antique columns, ornate ceilings, a wrought-iron cage elevator, and a skylight on the fourth floor. Originally constructed to house the Consolidated National Bank, but when the top two floors were finished the Public Library moved in the third floor. The City purchased the building in 1891 from Ralph Granger. The San Diego City Government offices were moved into the building. Edwin Capp was the first Mayor to serve in this building, but unfortunately was involved in a scandal over profit-making on the purchase of a smallpox vaccine for the public.
Louis Wilde was another hoot of a Mayor in 1917 who donated the Horton Plaza fountain to the City. He had even renamed D Street to Broadway. He owned the U.S. Grant Hotel and it was where he lived. He hosted a debutante ball in 1920 for his daughter Lucille at the Hotel del Coronado where The Prince of Wales was a guest. Mayor Wilde used this gala to snubbed his political enemies by not inviting them to this event. This building was completely restore to its former glory in the 1980’s.
Jimmy Love's restaurant and bar
672 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
The third and fourth floors lofts.
Located 644 5th & G, SW Corner in Gas Lamp Quarters.
An example of a typical retail structure of the 19th century. The Reed Wyman Hardware Company was managed by E.C. Field and J.C. Field. In 1908 they formed their own hardware store. Deliveries were made by a sidewalk access to the basement. A slide carried the merchandise to the basement and a pulley system was use to send merchandise to the street level. A butcher shop, adult book store, and men’s furnishings have also been tenants.
Located 753 5th Avenue in Gas Lamp Quarters.
In 1910 this site became home to W.H. Sorrille’s Dream Theatre, which continued to operate until 1924. At this time proprietorship passed was passed to Leon Bradler who kept it open for six more years as the U.S. Theatre. In 1931, the vacant one story brick building underwent extensive alterations which resulted in its present appearance. The structure was later home to a men’s furnishings, an adult book store, and restaurant.
755 5th Ave, San Diego, Ca 92101
Located 755 5th Avenue in Gas Lamp Quarters.
This wonderful building is still owned by the Spencer and Ogden family who bought the building from Charles De Laval in 1881 and then added the second floor in 1885. The building has been restored. Previous tenants included realtors, an import business, drug stores, a home furnishing business and dentists, including one who dubbed himself "Painless Parker".
The Bitter End
770 Fifth Avenue
San Diego, Ca 92101
Located 770 5th Avenue in Gas Lamp Quarters.
Built in 1913 as a elegant Oxford Hotel touting as a "no rooming house" but but only a first-class, downtown hotel with a double room with private bathroom and toilet cost $1.50. It still serves as a upscale hotel with kitchens and all the luxuries of home. Located on the ground floor are other businesses.
511 F St.
San Diego, Ca 92101
777 5th Avenue,
San Diego, CA 92101
Starbucks Coffee Company
5th & F Street, San Diego
511 F Street
San Diego, CA 921016308
Located 511 F Street in Gas Lamp Quarters.
Mr. Marston had a successful business one building to the left next door, so it was time to move up to make room for his department store. He moved into this building and was here till 1896. The San Diego Federal Savings moved in 1885. Sadly the building experienced a fire in 1903, but it was retored. It was here the first Gas Lamp was placed on the corner in 1885 until in 1886 the first electric arc lamp was illuminated here.
Mister Tiki Mai Tai Lounge Restaurant
801 Fifth Avenue,
San Diego, CA 92101
Located 809 5th Avenue in Gas Lamp Quarters.