Jessop’s Street Clock removed from Horton Plaza.

The historic 1907 Jessop’s Street Clock, San Diego’s biggest tourist attraction over a century ago, has been removed from Horton Plaza. I made the discovery after work today as I walked through downtown’s once popular but now almost vacant shopping mall.

Horton Plaza is to undergo redevelopment. The one-of-a-kind, gold-plated, precious gem-filled, award-winning Jessop’s Clock has been moved to a warehouse for refurbishment. According to a posted notice of application, the amazing street clock will be reinstalled at a new location.

To learn more about the history of the Jessop’s Street Clock, and see many more photographs, you can check out an old blog post of mine 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!

Something new at the zoo will be roaring in soon!

Something at the zoo will be roaring in soon...and what it might be is a complete mystery!
Something new at the zoo will be roaring in soon…and what it might be is a complete mystery!

Something new will be “roaring in soon” at the entrance to the world-famous San Diego Zoo! A tall fence surrounds a construction site, and tantalizing banners invite visitors to ponder the mystery.

I asked three zoo guys standing near the fence what exactly will be roaring in, and they said it was a secret. I did manage to find out that whatever it might be will be debuting in mid-March.

So what do you think it will be? Cool new artwork? Perhaps some sort of sculpture? Animatronic lions?

I’ve read that the Jessop’s Clock, which has stood for many years in Horton Plaza, might find a new home at the zoo, but plans to move it hit a snag years ago because of the clock’s status as an historical object. Moving the clock would entail digging a really deep hole for the winding mechanism–12 feet deep to be exact. Now that I think about it, this location would be ideal for the historic street clock.

That is the only logical guess I can come up with!

These San Diego Zoo guys were mum about what's being built inside the fence in front of the zoo's entrance. They did say whatever it is will debut in mid-March.
These San Diego Zoo guys were mum about what’s being built inside the fence in front of the zoo’s entrance. They did say whatever it is will debut in mid-March.
Something new is coming at the entrance to the San Diego Zoo. Your guess is as good as mine!
Something new is coming at the entrance to the San Diego Zoo. And your guess is as good as mine!

UPDATE!

After learning a bit more, I’m now pretty sure it’s not the Jessop’s Clock, but some sort of new art installation. We shall see during the unveiling!

ANOTHER UPDATE!

Looking at a couple mysterious photos on the San Diego Zoo’s Twitter timeline, I’m now pretty sure a gigantic sculpture of a lion will be placed here!  It began with a roar! I’ll take photos when I see it!

FINAL UPDATE!!!

I caught the artwork’s debut! It’s a gigantic sculpture of Rex the Lion!

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!

History and holidays at Coronado Rotary Plaza.

Rotary Plaza in Coronado includes several interesting features, including a clock, fountain and community Christmas tree.
Rotary Plaza in Coronado includes several interesting features, including a clock, fountain and community Christmas tree.

During my recent walk through Coronado, I paused for a bit at Rotary Plaza to check out the old clock, pleasant fountain and community Christmas tree. I read a few plaques near each of these features and learned a little about the history of the place. I’ve never seen the very tall star pine lit at night during the holidays, but I bet it’s quite a sight!

Coronado Rotary Plaza (sometimes called Rotary Park) is located on Orange Avenue at Isabella Avenue.

A handsome old clock and bench await passersby in Coronado Rotary Park.
A handsome Rotary International clock and peaceful bench await passersby in Coronado Rotary Park.
Plaque on the clock reads Presented to Coronado by the Rotary Club of Coronado for Rotary International's Centennial, February 23, 2005.
Plaque on the Electric Time clock reads Presented to Coronado by the Rotary Club of Coronado for Rotary International’s Centennial, February 23, 2005.
The bubbling Jim Vernetti Fountain in Coronado's Rotary Plaza, dedicated 2009.
The bubbling Jim Vernetti Fountain in Coronado’s Rotary Plaza, dedicated 2009.
A Hanukkah menorah stands in Rotary Plaza during the holiday season. (The trunk of the large Coronado star pine Christmas tree is in the background.)
A Hanukkah menorah stands in Rotary Plaza during the holiday season. (The trunk of the large Coronado star pine Christmas tree is in the background.)
Walking along Orange Avenue toward Rotary Plaza and the high Coronado Rotary Club Christmas Tree, which is lit at night.
Walking along Orange Avenue toward Rotary Plaza and the high Coronado Rotary Club Christmas Tree, which is lit at night.
In May, 1936, the Rotary Club planted this starpine for the citizens of Coronado. This tree given by Emily T. Thompson in memory of her husband Charles.
In May, 1936, the Rotary Club planted this starpine for the citizens of Coronado. This tree given by Emily T. Thompson in memory of her husband Charles.

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The tasty ingredients of La Mesa Oktoberfest.

What makes the annual La Mesa Oktoberfest such an awesome event?
What makes the annual La Mesa Oktoberfest such an awesome event?

It seems the tasty ingredients that make La Mesa Oktoberfest so awesome aren’t very secret. Because I recorded them with very little effort this afternoon.

La Mesa Oktoberfest is said to be the largest Oktoberfest in San Diego County. It’s held each year in historic La Mesa Village. Thousands turn out to enjoy the fun.

So what are those tasty ingredients?

Food, drink, friends, good conversation.
Food, drink, friends, good conversation.
Sausages.
Sausages.
Cool cars.
Cool cars.
Colorful dance.
Colorful dancing.
A massive Spaten Hofbrauhaus Biergarten!
A massive Spaten Hofbrauhaus Biergarten!
More sausages.
More sausages.
Lederhosen.
Lederhosen.
Thrilling rides.
Thrilling rides.
Inspiration.
Inspiration.
Cuckoo clocks.
Cuckoo clocks.
Sidewalks jammed with happiness.
Sidewalks jammed with happiness.
More sausages.
More sausages.
A huge container of mustard.
A huge container of mustard.
Smiles.
Smiles.
Family.
Family.
And more sausages!
And more sausages!

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

The elegant, historic 1907 Jessop’s Street Clock.

The elegant Jessop's Street Clock stands like a vision from the past at the center of San Diego's popular Horton Plaza.
The elegant Jessop’s Street Clock stands like a vision from the past at the center of San Diego’s popular Horton Plaza.

San Diego’s top tourist attraction in 1907 wasn’t a zoo, a park, a popular building or location. It was an amazing clock. Word traveled far and wide about the elegant, beautiful, one-of-a-kind Jessop’s Street Clock, which debuted that year in downtown San Diego.  San Diego at the time was a very small town.  The large clock stood on the sidewalk in front of the J. Jessop and Sons jewelry store at 952 Fifth Avenue.

The idea for this street clock sprang from the imagination of Joseph Jessop, a jeweler who immigrated to America from England. He’d seen many beautiful public clocks in Europe. especially in Switzerland. Joseph hired mechanic Claude D. Ledger to build the complex clock, which took fifteen months of meticulous, precise work to complete. The fine clock has almost never stopped working. One memorable day the clock did mysteriously stop–the same day that Claude died.

The Jessop’s Street Clock was first displayed at the 1907 Sacramento State Fair, where it was awarded a gold medal. (The large medal of real gold was stolen, and so was the first bronze replacement!) Since then the clock has occupied several different spots in San Diego. The clock stands 22 feet tall and features 20 separate dials and 300 moving parts. It has an estimated worth of several million dollars. Much of the shining movement is gold-plated. The elegant clock contains tourmaline, agate, topaz and jade, local gems extracted from the Jessop Mine on Mount Palomar.

Today the historic clock occupies a prominent position near the center of Horton Plaza, where many shoppers breeze by with hardly a glance. I suppose very few people realize the importance of this clock, and how at one time, over a century ago, it was one of San Diego’s most well-known landmarks.

Shoppers walk past the beautiful Jessop Street Clock, a landmark in downtown San Diego for over a hundred years.
Shoppers walk past the beautiful Jessop’s Street Clock, a landmark in downtown San Diego for over a hundred years.
Intricate, exquisite gold-plated movement of the historic Jessop's Street Clock. The massive mechanism extends twelve feet down into the Horton Plaza parking garage!
Intricate, exquisite gold-plated movement of the historic Jessop’s Street Clock. The massive mechanism extends twelve feet down into the Horton Plaza parking garage!
J. Jessop and Sons jewelers created this amazing clock, which over a century ago was San Diego's top attraction!
J. Jessop and Sons jewelers created this amazing clock, which over a century ago was San Diego’s top attraction!
Thousands of hours have been spent over the decades maintaining, rehabilitating, moving and reconstructing the fine clock.
Thousands of hours have been spent over the decades maintaining, rehabilitating, moving and reconstructing the fine clock.
The Jessops Street Clock was exhibited at the 1907 Sacramento State Fair. This is a bronze replica of the gold medal awarded to the master clock. The clock is property of the Jessop family.
The Jessops Street Clock was exhibited at the 1907 Sacramento State Fair. This is a bronze replica of the gold medal awarded to the master clock. The clock is property of the Jessop family.
Base of the 1907 Jessop Clock in downtown's Horton Plaza shopping mall. Plaque indicates Historical Landmark No. 372, The City of San Diego.
Base of the 1907 Jessop Clock in downtown’s Horton Plaza shopping mall. Plaque indicates Historical Landmark No. 372, The City of San Diego.
Twelve dials on one face tell time in New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Milan, St. Petersburg, Calcutta, Capetown, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Mexico City.
Twelve dials on one face tell time in New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Milan, St. Petersburg, Calcutta, Capetown, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Mexico City.

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A few pics of the elegant John D. Spreckels Building.

Looking up through the elegant building entrance at the lobby's ceiling.
Looking up through the elegant building entrance at the lobby’s ceiling.

The John D. Spreckels Building (not to be confused with the Spreckels Theater Building also located on Broadway) is a cool sight that is definitely worth a few photographs. When it was completed in 1924, the stately 14-story building was the tallest in San Diego. Today, according to an article I read, there are plans to convert it into apartments.

Built by sugar heir, entrepreneur and philanthropist John D. Spreckels, the historic building is one of only a few old high-rises that grace San Diego. The building isn’t terribly distinctive or flashy, but it certainly is monumental. Simple lines give it a feeling of grandeur and permanence. The small entrance, to my eye, is uncommonly elegant.

Front of the John D. Spreckels Building as seen from across Broadway.
Front of the John D. Spreckels Building as seen from across Broadway.
Pointing my camera upward for a cool photo.
Pointing my camera upward for a cool photo.
Beautiful ornamental artwork at the door of 625 Broadway in San Diego.
Beautiful ornamental artwork at the door of 625 Broadway in San Diego.
Elegant old clock mounted on corner of the John D. Spreckels Building.
Elegant old clock mounted on corner of the John D. Spreckels Building.
This classy historic high-rise adds unique flavor to a shiny modern city.
This classy historic high-rise adds unique flavor to a shiny modern city.

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Clock tower at 12th and Imperial trolley station.

Clock tower at 12th and Imperial trolley station reflected in windows.
Clock tower at 12th and Imperial reflected in windows.

I got some unusual photos of the clock tower that stands next to the transit center at the 12th and Imperial trolley station downtown.  The clock is one cool San Diego sight that can be seen from many points in the city.

Looking up the interior of the clock tower structure.
Looking up the interior of the clock tower structure.

You can stand inside the base of the tower and look outward!

Clock tower above musician on Harbor Drive bridge.
Clock tower above musician on Harbor Drive bridge.