The Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego is an example of a depressed location within a downtown district of a city that is revitalized to become a successful commercial and entertainment area.

Fifth Avenue at Market Street at the height of the boom in the 1880’s boasted one of the few paved streets in San Diego. This was the city’s business center and it was lit up at night by 100-foot tall arc lamps, whose bulbs were changed daily. The boom collapsed in 1888, but it left behind Victorian-style buildings.

Long called the Stingaree, lower Fifth Avenue became the Gaslamp Quarter in the 1970’s when property owners set about restoring their century-old buildings. To complement the private improvements, the city of San Diego installed special period light poles and brick pavers on the sidewalks.

Victorian Buildings

The Gaslamp Quarter is 16½ block of historical neighborhood in downtown San Diego; the area is listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. The neighborhood is the center of downtown night life. It is home to many events and festivals, like the Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp, the Street Music Festival, Taste of Gaslamp etc.

There is an abundance of dining options which reflects global cuisine; the area draws a very cosmopolitan populace. There is no shortage of eclectic cuisine to be found in the Quarter from Italian, Irish and Mexican delicacies to Asian, Middle Eastern and traditional American meals. Bars in the District provide an exciting alternative to the same old dull bar experience.

Shopping venues abound in the Quarter. While numerous clothing stores occupy storefront locations in the Quarter, the adjacent Horton Plaza is the largest shopping center accommodating numerous stores. The Quarter is an oasis for fashionistas and shopaholics as it offers large well-known stores and private local boutiques.

Art is also big in the District with a variety of galleries; there is an array of impressive artwork to appreciate in the Gaslamp Quarter.

One of the Numerous Art Galleries