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Our Neighborhood Business District is San Diego's premier entertainment destination. Come Shop, Dine, Play and Take Care of Business. We have more than 150 Restaurants, casual cafes, bars, taverns and diverse nightclubs! There are more than 100 interesting shops and boutiques. Find 25 nearby hotels easily. Choose from many types of tours or select a specific date to visit to participate in one of our world class special events. We are across the street from the San Diego Convention Center, overlooking Petco Park and the San Diego Bay. We're also close the San Diego Airport, Horton Plaza, the San Diego Zoo and the City's business district The Gaslamp Quarter Association is here to help!
The Gaslamp Quarter is the historic heart of San Diego, California. It is a 16½ block historical neighborhood in Downtown San Diego and is the center of downtown night life. The Quarter is home to many events and festivals, including Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp, Taste of Gaslamp, ShamROCK, a St. Patrick's Day event, the Gaslamp Auto Showcase and more.
Photo: Nick Biliotti
The area is listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places as Gaslamp Quarter Historic District. Its main period of development began in 1867, when Alonzo Horton bought the land in hopes of creating a new city center closer to the bay, and chose 5th Avenue as its main street. After a period of urban decay, the neighborhood underwent urban renewal in the 1980s and 1990s, and is today an energetic business and entertainment district.
The Gaslamp Quarter extends from Broadway to Harbor Drive, and from 4th to 6th Avenue, covering 16½ blocks. It includes 94 historic buildings, most of which were constructed in the Victorian Era, and are still in use with active tenants including restaurants, shops and nightclubs.
When development of the area began in the 1860s, the area currently known as the Gaslamp Quarter was known as New Town, in contrast to Old Town, which was the original Spanish colonial settlement of San Diego. The name "Gaslamp Quarter" is a reference to the gas lamps that were common in San Diego in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Four new gaslamps have been installed at the intersection of Market Street and 5th Avenue to evoke that time.
1850: William Heath Davis buys 160 acres in what will eventually become the Gaslamp Quarter. Despite heavy investment from Davis, little development happens in this period.
1867: Alonzo Horton arrives in San Diego and purchases 800 acres of land in New Town for $265. Major development begins in the Gaslamp Quarter.
1880s to 1900s: Now known as the Stingaree, the area is home to many saloons, gambling halls, and bordellos. The district was very popular with the locally stationed sailors.
1950s-1970s: The decaying Gaslamp Quarter becomes known as a "Sailor's Entertainment" district. The area was not very popular among the local community.
1970: It was only during this year that the public interest in preserving buildings downtown, especially in Gaslamp Quarter started
1976: The city adopted the Gaslamp Quarter Urban Design and Development Manual, aimed at preserving buildings in the area, and the redevelopment of Gaslamp Quarter as a national historic district.
1982: Gaslamp Quarter became the major focus of the redevelopments in downtown by the city of San Diego. And troughout the years to come the Gaslamp became known as one of the most dinamic and entertaining districts of San Diego.
Photos: Nick Biliotti
The Gaslamp Quarter draws a cosmopolitan populace to its streets. While the Quarter is largely devoid of sky scrapers, and instead has high rise buildings, the architecture is sophisticated and reflects a period of Victorian-style development in the city. The name sake of the Quarter, gas lamps line the streets of the Quarter on all blocks of the area. The abundance of dining venues reveals international aspects of the city that provide people with a variety of dining options reflecting global cuisine.
Shopping venues abound in the Quarter. While numerous clothing stores occupy storefront locations in the Quarter, adjacent Horton Plaza is the larger shopping center accommodating numerous stores.