Murals of San Diego history in an Old Town alley.

Mural in Old Town alley depicts explorer Cabrillo.
Mural in Old Town alley depicts explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo.

I was wandering aimlessly around Old Town some time ago, just poking my nose here and there, when I discovered a whole bunch of beautiful murals! I found them in an interesting alley off San Diego Avenue, just south of the State Historic Park. The alley, a narrow walkway containing a variety of touristy wares, is called Avila Court. It’s tucked between the Old Town Surf Co. and Covered Wagon stores.

After looking at the artwork closely and talking to a lady working in the area, I learned most of the murals were painted by students from Grossmont College out in East County. Further research on the internet showed that there were originally ten murals, created in 2008, decorating over 85 feet of stucco wall. It’s apparent some of the murals were redone or altered in 2011.

Most of the murals depict people or places that are important in San Diego’s history. Those of you who follow my blog will probably recognize many!

Image of Charles Lindbergh and Spirit of St. Louis.
Image of Charles Lindbergh and Spirit of St. Louis.

Lindbergh’s famous airplane that crossed the Atlantic, the Spirit of St. Louis, was custom-built in San Diego by Ryan Airline Company.

Native American with flower painted in rich colors.
Native American with flower at night painted in rich colors.
Hotel del Coronado, buildings and beach scene.
Hotel del Coronado, buildings and beach scene.
Day of the Dead skeleton in front of the Whaley House.
Day of the Dead skeleton in front of the Whaley House.
Tuna fishermen and whale fluke off Coronado.
Tuna fishermen and whale fluke off Coronado.
Navy ship, huge surf and Mission San Diego.
Navy ship, huge surf and Mission San Diego.
Mural shows an American tall ship in San Diego Bay.
Mural shows an American tall ship in San Diego Bay.

I’m not sure who the whiskered military person is. If anyone out there knows, please tell us!

A combination of various old historic buildings.
A combination of various old historic buildings.
Point Loma lighthouse shines over Pacific Ocean.
Point Loma lighthouse shines over Pacific Ocean.
Tuna cannery worker and a Little Italy fisherman.
Tuna cannery worker and a Little Italy fisherman.
Star of India tied to dock at Embarcadero.
Star of India tied to dock at Embarcadero.
This part of one mural contains a gray whale.
This part of one mural contains a gray whale.
Sepia tone World War II era figures stand by old car.
Sepia tone World War II era figures stand by old car.
Seals, flowers and a cart on the beach.
Seals, flowers and carrying cattle hides from a beach.
Many murals were painted by Grossmont College students.
Many murals were painted by Grossmont College students.

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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