The Historic Heart of San Diego
The Gaslamp Quarter is a major reason that tourists flock to San Diego. Known as the Historic Heart of San Siego, the16.5 block neighborhood is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and contains 94 structures that are historically and architecturally significant. The San Diego Gaslamp Quarter is said to have gotten its name from the gas-lamps that commonly lined the streets of the town during the late 19th and early 20th century. Most of the Gaslamp’s Victorian commercial buildings and facades were built during the turn of the century, and are now home to a diverse selection of fine dining, nightlife, and arts and culture hotspots.
Although originally established in the mid-1800s, it wasn’t until 1974 that efforts to revitalize the Gaslamp Quarter were put into motion. One of the main goals of these efforts was to preserve the area’s historic aesthetic, and to restore significant Victorian-style structures and points of interest. All of these steps paid off when in 1980, the Gaslamp Quarter was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. From that point on, residents have worked hard to continue the restoration and protection of the area.
The Gaslamp Quarter has an interesting history that tells of failures, successes, gambling halls and a boom-town. From its early days as a red-light district, the Gaslamp Quarter has since transformed into a city of rich history and current entertainment. On top of maintaining its old world charm, this district is also home to a plethora of quaint, charming shops and establishments. One can spend an entire day in the Gaslamp Quarter, shopping at one of the many trendy boutiques or in the multi-level outdoor mall, Horton Plaza. The Gaslamp Quarter also plays host to a number of events and festivals, including Mardi Gras celebrations and the annual Summer Street Scene music festival.
Locals recognize the area for its bustling art and music scene, as the Gaslamp Quarter serves as playground for hip, eclectic San Diegans. Aside from trendy restaurants and bars, there are also numerous music venues that frequently host live performances. Live jazz is played every night at Croce's Restaurant and Bar while Patrick's Gaslamp Pub invites authentic blues players to perform each night. Salsa, rock and even Irish music can also be found at the local venues.
Art galleries are also a common sight in the area, many of which hold artwork of the past and present. From the well-known Chuck Jones gallery that exhibits the cartoon artist's creations of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck to the modern day works of Tim Cantor, there is an array of impressive artwork to appreciate in the Gaslamp Quarter.