A quiet Sunday morning walk before the parade.

Morning light and shadow on the historic Army-Navy YMCA building, now home to The Guild Hotel.
Morning light and shadow on the historic Army-Navy YMCA building, now home to The Guild Hotel.

Before the excitement of this afternoon’s MLK Day Parade, I took a quiet morning walk through downtown San Diego.

My photos begin a few blocks shy of the west end of Broadway. I headed south until I reached the water, where I found a perfect bench to sit on.

Come along and read the captions to experience a few Sunday morning sights.

A splash of light from windows across Kettner Boulevard.
A splash of light from windows of the Electra condo building across Kettner Boulevard.
Reflections in the glassy Pacific Gate building.
Downtown reflections in the glassy Pacific Gate building.
Walking south between the trolley tracks and the Pacific Gate building.
Walking south on the pathway between the trolley tracks and the Pacific Gate building.
The visually interesting entrance to the Pacific Gate building.
The visually interesting entrance to the Pacific Gate building.
Old train tracks, severed from those used today.
Old train tracks, severed from those used today.
The distinctive Park Place condo building appears through an archway.
The distinctive Park Place condo building appears through an archway of the Harborview Apartments.
Across Harbor Drive is The Headquarters and palm trees.
Across Harbor Drive is The Headquarters and palm trees.
An elegant entrance to the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego.
The elegant north entrance to the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego.
Looking back.
Looking back.
A cool photo as I walk past The Headquarters.
A cool photo as I walk past The Headquarters.
Ducks enjoy a swim in the Seaport Village pond.
Ducks enjoy a swim in the Seaport Village pond.
Someone performs a morning stretch on the grass at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
Someone performs a morning stretch on the grass at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
Beautiful luminous clouds above treetops.
Beautiful luminous clouds above treetops.
Someone else likes to quietly read.
Someone else likes to quietly read.
A tranquil Sunday morning beside San Diego Bay.
A tranquil Sunday morning beside San Diego Bay. The San Diego–Coronado Bridge stretches in the distance.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Making adobe blocks in Old Town.

Today I spent a couple of hours exploring Old Town San Diego State Historic Park and a small section of nearby Presidio Park. As I walked through Old Town’s historic plaza near the Cosmopolitan Hotel, I noticed some people in period attire were demonstrating how to create adobe blocks.

At the very beginning of San Diego, in the early days of Spanish and Mexican settlers, adobe was the small town’s primary building material. Primitive bricks–or blocks–were made by simply mixing mud and straw together. The mixture was then shaped using wooden forms, then left to dry in the sun for a month or so. The resulting adobe blocks were used to build walls that in our arid climate were remarkably sturdy and insulating.

During past visits to Old Town, I’ve seen people working in this same spot demonstrating the making of adobe. Over time, that wall in a couple of my photos has slowly grown.

I was told by one friendly gentleman that eventually this grassy spot will be used for a Native American Kumeyaay exhibit, and a more permanent demonstration adobe structure will be built inside the fenced area near Old Town’s Blacksmith Shop.

Here’s a pic I took a couple months ago which shows how the adobe wall is slowly being built, layer by layer…

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Views of bright buildings from Pantoja Park.

On a clear morning, viewed from Pantoja Park, many of the highest buildings in downtown San Diego shine brightly. Particularly those that rise north and northwest of the park.

These photos that I took today provide a glimpse.

If you’d like to learn a little more about Pantoja Park and its statue of Benito Juarez, a gift from the Mexican government, you can visit one of my earlier blog posts here.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Sunrise, palm trees, buildings, boats.

This chilly January morning I enjoyed a brisk walk. I brought out my camera when it was light enough for good photographs.

Come follow me from the County Administration Building north along San Diego Bay for a short distance. After returning back south, we’ll turn away from the water and head east on Ash Street, turn south on Pacific Highway, and end up near Broadway.

This morning the sky quickly turned blue after sunrise.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Hotel, shops coming to Santa Fe Depot!

Today I learned a very big change is coming to downtown San Diego’s historic Santa Fe Depot!

This morning, after noticing the building’s exterior is getting a new paint job, I spoke to a gentleman outside the Amtrak office and asked if he knew whether the new owner still plans to renovate the building. I was surprised to hear that this year there will indeed be a major renovation of the building, including the opening up of an interior stairwell that will lead to a small new hotel and shops on the depot’s second floor!

I asked if there were plans to develop the depot’s old forecourt by Broadway, where there are tile benches and a broken fountain, and where streetcars picked up passengers arriving by train a century ago, but he knew nothing concerning that.

He and I agreed that it would be a amazing if the large Santa Fe sign atop the historic depot were finally lit up at night, adding more character to San Diego’s skyline. I’d heard a couple years ago during an architectural tour of the Santa Fe Depot that lighting the sign was a project that might lie in the future.

This all was news to me!

Very cool news!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Past, present, future, together in one walk.

Every moment, in the blink of an eye, is lost forever to the past.

My walk this morning through downtown San Diego made me wonder. Without leaving the present, I saw evidence of time’s passage.

In my small field of vision I saw people turning corners.

I saw buildings old and new.

The demolition and the construction.

Things that will be forgotten.

Things that are still remembered.

Many of the things I photographed this morning we’ve observed together in the past. Perhaps a little differently.

So now I offer a few passing images, which are like moments in a dream–or in a life.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Shulman’s architectural photography in San Diego.

Ford Building, 1934, Digital reproduction of a photograph by Julius Shulman. The first known photo by Shulman in San Diego County.
Ford Building, 1934, Digital reproduction of a photograph by Julius Shulman. The first known photo by Shulman in San Diego County.

Today I headed to the San Diego Central Library Art Gallery to view some amazing photographs. Many images captured by famous architectural photographer Julius Shulman are on display free to the public for a couple more weeks. The exhibition, which concludes on January 19, 2020, is titled Julius Shulman: Modern San Diego.

Julius Shulman’s renowned work spans seven decades, from 1934 to 2007. He is best known for his photography in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, but he did photograph a variety of projects in San Diego. He worked mostly for architects and publishers, and his images have appeared in many leading magazines.

I was interested to see photos of historic buildings that no longer exist, and other iconic buildings that I often pass during my walks.

Those who are fascinated by San Diego’s history and architecture should head to the 9th floor of the Central Library to experience this exhibition. Shulman had a discerning eye, capturing the lines, depth and essence of the structures he photographed. The dozens of images you’ll encounter are not only brilliant, but they will help you to travel back in time and see San Diego in a whole new light.

An exhibition of important architectural photographs, titled Julius Shulman: Modern San Diego, at the San Diego Central Library Gallery.
An exhibition of important architectural photographs, titled Julius Shulman: Modern San Diego, at the San Diego Central Library Art Gallery.
Shulman began as an amateur photographer using a Vest Pocket Kodak. His eventual career in architectural photography would span seven decades.
Shulman began as an amateur photographer using a Vest Pocket Kodak. His eventual career in architectural photography would span seven decades.
Cover of The Photography of Architecture and Design, by Julius Shulman.
Cover of The Photography of Architecture and Design, by Julius Shulman.
Capri Theater, 1954, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. Architecture by Frank Guys. The building, at Park Boulevard and Essex Street, was demolished in 2003.
Capri Theater, 1954, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. Architecture by Frank Guys. The building, at Park Boulevard and Essex Street, was demolished in 2003.
El Cortez Hotel, 1957, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. The 1956 building remodel added the world's first outdoor glass elevator--the Starlite Roof Express.
El Cortez Hotel, 1957, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. The 1956 building remodel added the world’s first outdoor glass elevator–the Starlite Roof Express.
San Diego State College, 1968, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. Architecture by Mosher and Drew. Interior of Aztec Center, which was demolished in 2011.
San Diego State College, 1968, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. Architecture by Mosher and Drew. Interior of Aztec Center, which was demolished in 2011.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!