A mysterious, castle-like downtown building.

In downtown San Diego at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Ash Street you’ll find a very mysterious building. At first glance it appears to be a Gothic manor, or the corner of an impenetrable stone castle. Stranger still, a small shield on the building’s exterior includes the word GAS. Is this the castle in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, from which gas is expelled in your general direction? No–it’s a power substation of San Diego Gas and Electric!

The secure little building was designed by prominent architect Richard Requa in 1922, who would go on to become Master Architect for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park.

My imagination is always electrified when I walk past this unusual sight. Is a Frankenstein monster being assembled behind those dark walls?

Here are some photos!

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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.

One thought on “A mysterious, castle-like downtown building.”

  1. There was a whole era of powerful, dignified industrial architecture, wasn’t there? I can think of a number of examples in Toronto (including a former gas sub-station), very happy to see this example from San Diego.

    Liked by 1 person

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