Photos of the Euclid Tower in City Heights.

One of the most colorful and fascinating landmarks in all of San Diego is the Euclid Tower in City Heights.

The 80‐foot tall Euclid Tower, located on University Avenue at Reno Drive, a block east of Euclid Avenue, was originally built in 1932. Today the extraordinary building is home to the Tower Bar and Tower Tattoo Parlor.

The Euclid Tower was originally a drive-in soda fountain, and its second floor served as an observation deck. Over the decades the building has been the unique home for a string of businesses, primarily restaurants. An example of the Zigzag Moderne Art Deco style, the Euclid Tower was designed by an unknown architect. You can learn more about its history and see old photographs of the building here.

By the 1980’s the old gray building had a look of neglect and decay. In 1995 a community art project painted it with colorful new designs. Third grade kids created pictures of the City Heights community, which ended up as the tiles you see in my photographs.

But structural degradation that occurred over the course of many years resulted in the tower tipping dangerously. In 1999 the tall spire of the building was removed.

In 2009 a somewhat shorter spire was erected and the building was restored using a design proposed by Cynthia Bechtel, Mark Messenger and Christina Montuouri. Their vision of the present-day Euclid Tower is what you see in my photographs.

You can read about the Euclid Tower’s restoration 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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

The unique, authentic life of street art.

A painting is hung on the wall of a home or museum and endures for generations. Street art–from an alley’s sudden bold graffiti to the most elaborately constructed mural–is born, sees the sunlight, greets countless passing eyes, ages quickly, fades, is ruined, vanishes. And where it once lived, often new art springs up.

In a sense, street art is like our own lives. Authentic. Something we all appreciate. That speaks from the heart, confidently. That is temporary.

During my walk through City Heights yesterday I saw how a uniquely beautiful mural painted outside a coffee shop has vanished. I enjoyed a look at it in August. But its gone in October. Its life was short. It was badly defaced, I’m told. And now this carefully made street art is gone forever, painted over.

Summer soon becomes autumn, then winter.

Cherish every moment in 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!

Community gathers on a fence in City Heights.

Colorful new artwork has appeared on a fence in City Heights! Small painted scenes celebrate the neighborhood and provide a feeling of life in this diverse community.

I’ve learned the paintings are by artist Jim Bliesner, who has contributed his heart and talent to projects around San Diego over the course of many years. With strokes of his brush he has magically gathered many neighbors together!

I see people from all walks of life running, jumping, playing, shopping, going to school, interacting, making their voices heard.

I see a community that’s alive!

This fence beside a vacant lot is becoming a sort of temporary outdoor art gallery. You can find this colorful artwork on University Avenue, just east of Interstate 15.

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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Girl Scout’s inspiring community mural project!

Mural painted in City Heights inspires those who see it to register to vote.
Mural painted in City Heights inspires those who see it to register to vote.

Check out this great new mural in City Heights!

The mural was painted this weekend to inspire members of the community to vote in this year’s election. It’s the Girl Scout “Gold Award” project of Lauren Crane!

She and a team of volunteers have painted a portion of a wall at Mid City Wash on University Avenue with a cool red, white and blue design that asks: Are you registered to vote? A nearby table, presided over by a couple of other friendly Girl Scouts, provided voter registration information for anyone who might pass by on the sidewalk.

I met Lauren today, as well as the folks of the organization Love City Heights, who’ve helped to make this awesome project a reality. Painting such a public mural requires the approval, resources and coordination of many people, and earning a Gold Award is all about leadership . . . and using that leadership to actually make the world a better place.

Not only does this project provide great experience for an up-and-coming leader, but it provides inspiration to all of those who are associated with it, and encourages those who happen to see the mural to become more involved in their community, too!

Is this awesome, or what?

Girl Scout Lauren Crane is responsible for this Gold Award mural project.
Girl Scout Lauren Crane is responsible for this Gold Award mural project.

Community volunteers pitch in to help paint the inspiring mural.
Community volunteers pitch in to help paint the inspiring mural.

Here are some of the people who have volunteered and made a real difference.
Here are some of the people who have volunteered and made a real difference.

A Guide to Voting in California pamphlets on a nearby table.
A Guide to Voting in California pamphlets on a nearby table.

An important community project brought to life by a Girl Scout, working to make the world a better place.
An important community project brought to life by a Girl Scout, working to make the world a better place.

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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Unsung hero is a bright light in City Heights!

Volunteers for a community clean-up gather in City Heights for the Global Day of Caring.
Volunteers for a community clean-up gather in City Heights for the Global Day of Caring.

I’m honored to know an unsung hero in City Heights. Carlos Quezada, co-founder of Love City Heights, has been named by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez an Unsung Hero for the 80th Assembly District!

Carlos has been working diligently for years to celebrate and revitalize the diverse east San Diego neighborhood of City Heights. He’s the driving force behind the “drive-through art gallery” on University Avenue between I-805 and I-15 that I’ve blogged about for a couple of years now.

Carlos has brought many great artists and muralists together with school students and community businesses and organizations to paint a picture in City Heights of a bright now and even brighter future. It’s amazing how one positive, energetic person can have a tremendous impact on their community!

And you know what true unselfishness is? I was going to take Carlos’ photo once and he modestly rebuffed my attempt. The only photograph of Carlos that I’ve posted until now is the one you see above. See the guy in the very back wearing a Love City Heights T-shirt? That’s him!

Congratulations to Carlos Quezada!

Yet another mural is being painted today, and I’m about to head out my door to see it!

UPDATE!

I finally got a photo of Carlos! That’s him on the left. To the right is Melody De Los Cobos, the Artistic Director of Love City Heights. She’s a super cool artist who is well known in the local arts community!

Carlos Quezada and Melody De Los Cobos of Love City Heights.
Carlos Quezada and Melody De Los Cobos of Love City Heights.

We rise by lifting up!

Can your spirits be lifted by an old faded mural in a city alley?

Of course!

I spied a smiling sun and moon near the intersection of University Avenue and 46th Street in City Heights. The enduring message: WE RISE BY LIFTIN.

And I smiled, too!

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!

Three new murals are painted in City Heights!

More murals are being painted in City Heights!

This afternoon Carlos Quezada of Love City Heights showed me three great new murals and introduced me to one tropical fish store owner whose building is in the process of turning very colorful!

First up, we checked out a mural that was finished about a week and a half ago. It’s inspired by Lotería, and was painted by a picnic bench outside Filiberto’s Mexican Food at 3446 University Avenue. The youthful artist is Andrew Greyeyes. You can see his smiling photo and his other City Heights mural at Fruteria Disfrutalas here!

Next up, I took a photo of another new mural on the side of Sunset Kava. It’s titled Afro Garden and is by the artist Aicha Fofana. Find more of her work at @fofanaflowrs.

I love the super creative design. Very cool!

If the next mural (which is painted to the right of Afro Garden) seems familiar, I took a photo of it a while back, but it wasn’t quite finished. It’s by artist Mary Jhun. See what it looked like in early 2019 here.

Lastly, a big, super colorful mural is now being painted on two walls of the Tropical Fish Stop at 4647 University Avenue. Tropical birds and fish and a turtle greet people passing by, and entice everyone to come inside!

The artist is Imperial Beach-based Esmeralda Robles. You’ve seen some of her artwork already on Cool San Diego Sights. Click here and check out her dogs on the surfboard!

Carlos Quezada of Love City Heights told me this is the 27th mural his organization has helped bring to the community. Truly inspirational.

I was introduced to the friendly owner of Tropical Fish Stop and looked at all sorts of exotic fish and birds. The store has been open at this location for less than a year and they have plans for expansion! If you live in City Heights, or elsewhere in San Diego, drop on by and check it out!

UPDATE!

I took several photographs of the finished Tropical Fish Stop mural during a walk through City Heights in late October…

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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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

A better look at one very cool mural!

After my walk through Balboa Park today, I headed to City Heights where several new murals have been painted.

When I arrived at the corner of University Avenue and Swift Avenue, my searching eyes spied a very cool mural that I’d photographed a couple years ago. But this time a car wasn’t obscuring part of it!

I like this colorful mural so much I took advantage of the situation and got some good unobstructed photos.

The mural’s title is Journey Within Through the Sea of Soul, and it was painted by Celeste Byers and Aaron Glasson. It’s on the side of the Teros Gallery. The mural depicts the gallery owner riding a Chihuahua ship on a distant planet upstream into herself!

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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Music, eating, cycling and flying brains!

There’s a crazy batch of colorful street art painted on electrical boxes at the corner of El Cajon Boulevard and 43rd Street.

I see music, eating, cycling and flying brains! And masks, eyeballs, history, culture, art…

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!

Colorful mural celebrates El Cajon Boulevard.

Gaze up toward the east side of a tall building in City Heights and you’ll see a colorful mural that celebrates El Cajon Boulevard. The building is home to the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association.

In the late 19th century, long before San Diego became a thriving metropolis, El Cajon Avenue was a dirt road into East County that eventually developed a small business district. In 1937 the road was improved and renamed El Cajon Boulevard.

Old U.S. Highway 80 ran east from San Diego where much of El Cajon Boulevard is today–all the way to the East Coast! When Interstate 8 was built, the new freeway replaced a segment of U.S. Highway 80 through La Mesa.

Today El Cajon Boulevard is a very busy east-west route through many of San Diego’s oldest and most diverse neighborhoods. Generations of San Diegans have traveled along The Boulevard.

Every block echoes with history.

Eventually I’ll blog about the grand Lafayette Hotel, where Hollywood celebrities once flocked, and where Bob Hope was the first guest. Or the original Jack in the Box where modern drive-thru fast food service was invented. Or the nearly century-old Chicken Pie Shop, where legendary boxer Archie Moore, longest reigning World Light Heavyweight Champion, liked to hang out. Or…

Mural in City Heights depicts vintage cars heading down El Cajon Boulevard.
Mural in City Heights depicts vintage cars heading down El Cajon Boulevard.

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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!