This red trolley belongs to the blue line. Makes sense, right? It’s waiting for passengers at the America Plaza station, across the street from the Santa Fe Depot. The blue line stretches from downtown San Diego all the way down to the Mexican border.
In this photo you can see both domes of the historic train station.
Old black-and-white photos of the Santa Fe Depot pretty much show nothing around it. It just sits there in the middle of nowhere, seemingly. Today the city rises and surges all about it, and it can almost seem lost among the many bright tall buildings.
The Santa Fe Depot is downtown San Diego’s train station. Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner, the Coaster, and the San Diego Trolley’s orange and green lines all stop at the historic building.
The Santa Fe Depot, built in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, was opened in 1915 to serve thousands of visitors to Balboa Park’s Panama-California Exposition.
This photo shows one of the Santa Fe Depot’s two colorful domes and some palm trees against a backdrop of high-rise condos. The architects a hundred years ago probably didn’t imagine that glassy skyscrapers would tower nearby!
Here are some more photos taken at a later time. Black material now covers up part of the two domes. I learned that the terracotta columns are cracking.
This photo shows sailboats on San Diego Bay passing the Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel, those two tall, sandy tan buildings.
Tour guides and pedicab drivers often joke that the downtown skyline resembles a set of tools. The Hyatt buildings resemble straight-edge screwdrivers; America Plaza, which you can see, resembles a phillips screwdriver; and another skyscraper, Emerald Plaza (not visible in this pic) resembles a set of socket wrenches!
Here’s a pic of a non-sailboat taken on a later occasion…
Here are some photographs of the historic Keating Building, which over a century ago was the most prominent high-rise building in downtown San Diego!
The five-story Romanesque Revival style office building, located in the Gaslamp, was built in 1890. Back in those days, its wire cage elevator and steam heating were amazing new modern conveniences. The elevator was the very first in San Diego, and remains the longest running elevator downtown!
This visually pleasing landmark was designed by the Reid Brothers, the architects responsible for the incredible Hotel Del Coronado.
For several decades the Keating Building has been home to Croce’s Restaurant and Jazz Bar, established by singer Jim Croce’s surviving wife, Ingrid. At year’s end, Croce’s will be moving to a new, more intimate location on Banker’s Hill.
A plaque on the historic building provides a little more description…
I revisited the Keating Building during the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s OPEN HOUSE 2017. Here are some photos I took just outside and inside the building’s front entrance.
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Here are a few more cool pics of San Diego’s brand new Central Library! I took these photographs today after the ceremony celebrating the grand opening. Check out the modern, inventive architecture of this truly eye-popping downtown landmark!
The first photo is from 11th Avenue and K Street, in the heart of East Village, facing roughly northeast. This is the way you’d likely go if walking from Petco Park. What you see is just a fraction of the cool sight to come…
Here’s a photograph from almost due south. Wow! Beautiful landscaping and palm trees complement the distinctive building, which features a metal lattice dome and a gigantic, airy reading room. Other features include an auditorium, community meeting rooms, a sculpture garden . . . even a downtown high school occupying two floors!
Now we’re looking toward the northwest. Here comes a red San Diego trolley! Views from the trolley are very cool. You can peer up and into the lower windows of the new library. During the past couple months, riding the trolley, I watched as shelves of books slowly appeared as if by magic throughout the spacious building. Our old downtown library was less than half the size, ugly, and lacked many amenities.
From the trolley and nearby sidewalk you can also see a handful of wise quotes engraved in the library’s concrete exterior. Here’s a pic of the following inscription: WE WILL BE KNOWN FOREVER BY THE TRACKS WE LEAVE.
I walked around the now “relatively new” library in early November 2014 and took more pics…
Visible in this photo, taken from the walking path at the south end of the Marriott Marina, are two prominent hotels on San Diego’s picturesque waterfront. To the left is the elegant Manchester Grand Hyatt, and in the center are the two curved, shining, sail-like buildings of the Marriott Marquis. On the far right you can see the north end of the long San Diego Convention Center.
After gazing awhile at the hundreds of sailboats and small yachts docked in the marina, you might head a short distance west to enjoy views of the grassy Embarcadero Marina Park South and its fishing pier on San Diego Bay.
You’ll find the Hilton on the other side of the San Diego Convention Center.
Just a few quick pics. In the above one you can get a glimpse of the underground entrance to the Lyceum Theater, home of the San Diego Repertory Theatre. In the photograph’s center are the main stairs that sweep upward into the Horton Plaza shopping center. The red building to the left has walkways on each level that provide fantastic views of the mall’s colorful, surprising interior.
During my walks I’ve taken many pics inside Horton Plaza. I’ll blog about that one day!
Here’s a bonus pic I happened to take many months later…