New beauty inside historic Santa Fe Depot.

I believe that efforts to revive the life and beauty of historically important buildings should be celebrated. So today let me celebrate a project underway inside San Diego’s historic 1915 Santa Fe Depot.

Earlier this week, as I was waiting for Jimmy at the Santa Fe Depot concession stand to microwave a burrito, I noticed some yellow tape. The enormous Waiting Room’s wooden benches were being sanded down and newly varnished!

When I walked through the depot this morning, the work had progressed. More of the benches were richly shining! Jimmy had informed me it took about one day to complete each bench.

The interior of an amazing space in downtown San Diego is becoming even more beautiful.

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!

Bones, stones, and ancient history in San Diego.

Did you know humans might have been living in your neighborhood 130,000 years ago?

I was visiting the San Diego Natural History Museum when my eyes fell upon an interesting display concerning the Cerutti Mastodon site.

Thirty years ago, during the expansion of State Route 54 in the South Bay, a team of researchers from the San Diego Natural History Museum discovered mastodon bones among cobbles. The bones appeared to have been intentionally broken. It was believed the stones, which had impact marks, had been used by humans to fracture the mastodon bones to extract marrow.

Using radiometric dating, the bones were found to be about 130,000 years old. If, indeed, early humans had worked these bones, that would mean humans were in North America about 100,000 years earlier than previously thought!

Many experts asserted the bones were broken due to the heavy machinery used for freeway construction. Two years ago, however, more evidence was obtained. Bone micro-residues were observed on the cobbles, which seems to confirm that ancient inhabitants of San Diego did indeed hammer at fresh, tasty mastodon bones!

If all of this excites your curiosity, the Wikipedia article concerning San Diego’s scientifically important Cerutti Mastodon site can be found here.

And here’s a detailed article about the discovery written in 2017.

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!

Last minute frenzy as Comic-Con is almost here!

Less than a day to go until Comic-Con officially opens for 2022! As you might imagine, lots of people are bustling around trying to get their stuff ready!

Workers at many activations are in a hurry to complete the downtown “offsite” attractions that will welcome huge crowds beginning tomorrow.

I took one final long walk through the Gaslamp Quarter and around the San Diego Convention Center this afternoon to see what I might see..

Barriers are being set up on Fifth Avenue just north of the convention center. This section of street will be cosplay central beginning tomorrow!

Someone attached a memory from last year to the Tin Fish restaurant sign. This is where the SDCC Shrine was located during the two years Comic-Con was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

An offsite by the Omni hotel is setting up. Looks pretty crazy at the moment.

And just down the walkway, Bob’s Burgers was setting up their Comic-Con activation.

Getting the Sanctum Sanctorum ready! A small offsite promotes the recent movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

The hotel shuttle buses this year all have Amazon Prime Video wraps on them. This one promotes Invincible.

A helpful smile and an answer awaits!

A little detail work to ready the big FX offsite.

All sorts of graphics are now up at ABC’s Abbott Elementary offsite.

Oh, look! That is this year’s Adult Swim on the Green.

I’ll keep it a mystery.

Workers were putting up big graphics on the IMDboat.

Yikes!

Getting the Voodoo Ranger IPA “pirate ship” ready!

The Gray Man offsite is ready, just waiting for the big crowds tomorrow. I was told the race/obstacle course itself is relatively short. But once inside it’s definitely cool looking!

The Audible sand artists are running out of time!

A big smiling Franklin Armstrong has appeared on the windows of the Peanuts offsite.

A long banner has been added to the MLK Promenade side of the House of the Dragon.

And the front of the castle is beyond awesome. Look at those doors!

Getting the Dungeons & Dragons tavern ready. They better hurry up!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, click 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!

More offsites, wraps, action before Comic-Con!

The pre-Comic-Con action is really picking up in downtown San Diego. Today is Monday, several days now before SDCC 2022 opens.

Look at all the new offsite activity, and the new building wraps, and all the rapid construction that’s going in the Gaslamp and near the convention center!

The Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves offsite activation for 2022 Comic-Con is being prepared at Sixth and Island.

The Star Trek: Picard offsite will fill the outdoor patio of Happy Does on Fifth Avenue. I noticed lots of cool graphics ready to be installed.

A huge Severance building wrap is now being applied on the Fifth Avenue side of the Hard Rock Hotel. Your orientation begins here.

At the NBCUniversal offsite, by the Tin Fish, those mastodon tusks look rather familiar. Didn’t I see them here during Comic-Con Special Edition?

Now that the Padres have finished their home series with the Diamondbacks, workers have begun putting up big wraps on Petco Park. I learned this one will promote The Rookie.

The Star Trek wrap over on the Marriott Marquis is beyond awesome.

Another corner of Petco Park getting started.

This will be the entrance to the FX offsite near the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, behind the convention center. Looks amazing.

I see a columned building and a stringy tunnel in the FX labyrinth. Various shows will be promoted.

It looks like a small nursery along a stretch of the bayside boardwalk. Lots of trees and shrubs are being used for this year’s epic FX activation.

Vendors are now unloading their stuff in a parking lot behind the San Diego Convention Center. The massive Comic-Con move in has begun!

At the Bandai offsite near the Marriott Marina, something has emerged from a crate. Are those two huge limbs that belong to Great Ape Vegeta?

Here’s a better look at the Batman Cartoonito banners on the parking structure of the Manchester Grand Hyatt. They went up yesterday.

Looks like a combination of Batman and the movie Cars.

Here comes another gigantic wrap on one side of a silvery Marriott Marquis tower. It promotes The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power!

The CW has banners all over the place advertising The Flash and Superman & Lois.

The Gray Man offsite is taking shape. You can see parts of the race/obstacle course. You better put on some fast shoes!

I learned this is the beginning of the Peanuts offsite. Their pop-up will be called All Things Armstrong. That Charlie Brown orange looks familiar.

Beavis has arrived in San Diego. Butt-Head can’t be far behind.

HBO’s offsite promoting upcoming series House of the Dragon looks cooler and cooler as time goes on. Was San Diego suddenly transported to medieval times?

Even downtown’s Ace Hardware is getting ready for Comic-Con!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, click 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!

More photos of 2022 Comic-Con popping up!

As we get ever closer to the opening of 2022 Comic-Con, more and more cool stuff is popping up in San Diego, particularly near the convention center!

For the past several days I’ve been documenting Comic-Con preparations downtown. Well, today, Saturday, I walked around again and found more stuff to share!

The distinctive Comic-Con logo now appears all over the San Diego Convention Center!

Workers are setting up the outdoor canopies near the convention center. There will be huge crowds for Comic-Con as usual. Fortunately, the weather is forecast to be quite comfortable.

That huge Star Trek wrap on the Marriott Marquis is looking really awesome. (I had to add contrast to my hazy zoom photo.)

FX continues to set up their large offsite activation by the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. I believe those artificial hedge sections will form the walls of a simple labyrinth.

Local artist Shirish Villaseñor works on the Starbucks windows graphics. They show scenes from Shrek. Her painted windows on Sweet Things Frozen Yogurts next door are the Faces of Comic-Con.

The rear of the FX offsite for Comic-Con under construction.

The big American Horror Stories wrap on the Hilton is getting bigger…

Almost done with the cool Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero wrap decorating the Marriott.

The other day I was informed correctly! FOX will have a small offsite with a Super Slide and photo opportunity on the grass opposite The New Childrens Museum.

Cool trolleys all over!

Sand artists have begun carving the three Audible sand sculptures.

The big TREK building wrap seen from MLK Promenade across Harbor Drive.

Looks like a Beavis and Butt-Head wrap on one side of the Hilton Gaslamp!

House of the Dragon offsite looks ominous. I’m now told there won’t be a maze inside, but something. Looks exciting, whatever it might be!

More graphics have appeared at the Hilton Gaslamp for The Walking Dead special event.

The Krapopolis wrap grows on the Omni hotel. NBC hasn’t begun their offsite construction by the Tin Fish yet, nor is there anything on the grass by the Omni…

The cool Severance wrap on the Hard Rock Hotel is nearing completion.

That banner on the Gaslamp trolley station fence is left over from the recent ESRI conference at the convention center.

Here comes another wrap on the Hilton Gaslamp! This one promotes Interview With The Vampire.

Nerdy stuff is popping up all over downtown San Diego with less than a week to go before Comic-Con!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, click 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!

Comic-Con preparations continue in San Diego!

It’s Friday before 2022 Comic-Con. Preparations for the big event are now well underway around the San Diego Convention Center and the Gaslamp Quarter! This weekend workers are going to be very busy!

Many building wraps are up, and others are rapidly appearing, section by section. More offsite activations have begun construction. The pre-Comic-Con atmosphere around town is becoming increasingly electric! (I’ve noticed quite a few people wearing superhero t-shirts!)

I walked around downtown after work to see what progress has been made.

First, I saw that FX is setting up their outdoor labyrinth in the park by the Hilton San Diego Bayfront–their usual spot. FX always creates an awesome offsite experience. As usual, they’ll be promoting a variety of new and favorite shows.

The beginning of a huge wrap on the Hilton promotes the FX weekly anthology series American Horror Stories.

Check out the huge Star Trek wrap on the Marriot Marquis hotel! Every series. Every episode. Sign me up!

I walked around the Marriott and what did I find…

Workers are applying a huge Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero wrap!

After crossing Harbor Drive, I checked out the parking lot by 1st Avenue where NETFLIX will have their The Gray Man offsite. Looks like the activation includes a derailed train? I guess we’ll find out soon enough!

Then I headed down Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade to see how the Audible sand sculptures are doing. The sand is still compacting and drying, waiting to be carved…

Then farther down MLK Promenade I saw that the platform that will support the indoor maze of House of the Dragon has plastic walls. And I see two wraps up ahead, too!

What’s this on the Hilton Gaslamp? You tell me.

Wow–I see The Walking Dead is preparing to welcome people to their special Comic-Con event inside the Hilton Gaslamp hotel…

And look up ahead! That huge building wrap on the Omni hotel is enlarging.

I see it promotes FOX’s new animated comedy Krapopolis! (I wonder what those ancient Greeks would think about this?)

Lastly, I spied a big The Gray Man wrap on the San Diego Lions Manor building…

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, click 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!

Cool mural at Stoody in Logan Heights!

Early this morning I walked in Logan Heights to see a super cool Batman mural I’d heard about by San Diego street artists Fizix.

But first I found more of his art in the neighborhood!

Let me share this mural painted by Fizix on one side of Stoody Industrial & Welding Supply, located at 33rd Street and National Avenue.

The image of hardworking welders and workers is awesome!

If the mural has something of a comic book look, that’s because San Diego illustrator, digital artist and muralist Alex Julian aka Fizix (@alexfizix) has a distinctive pop style that can also be found in his graphic novel art.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Repairing the historic Old Adobe Chapel.

I recently learned that the historic Old Adobe Chapel in Old Town is being repaired and restored by the City of San Diego. I was told the roof leaks and a long, very serious crack was discovered along one wall. (I believe you can see it in one upcoming photo.)

I happened to be walking through Old Town yesterday when I remembered being told this. So I walked to 3963 Conde Street to see for myself.

The Adobe Chapel (also known as the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception) is designated California Historical Landmark No. 49. It was originally built in 1850. Initially the structure served as a home, then in 1858 it was turned into a church that would become a center for activity in early San Diego.

The old chapel has a rich history. It was said to be the wedding place of the character Ramona in Helen Hunt Jackson’s wildly popular 1884 novel of the same name. The Adobe Chapel would later be bulldozed and rebuilt in the 1930’s. To learn more about its history, visit the Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) website here and here. To enjoy a fascinating gallery of images, click here.

The Adobe Chapel is presently operated by SOHO. It is both a museum and special event venue. According to their website, it should be reopening, after repairs, sometime in 2022.

I see a long crack!
Photo of historical plaques and sign taken from a nearby parking lot.

ADOBE CHAPEL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

ORIGINALLY BUILT AS THE HOME OF SAN DIEGO’S JOHN BROWN IN 1850, THE HOUSE WAS CONVERTED TO A CHURCH BY DON JOSE AGUIRRE IN 1858. FATHER ANTONIO D. UBACH, FORMERLY A MISSIONARY AMONG THE INDIANS, WAS PARISH PRIEST HERE FROM 1866 TO 1907. IT IS SAID THAT HE WAS THE MODEL FOR “FATHER GASPARA” IN HELEN HUNT JACKSON’S RAMONA. IN 1937 THE WPA REBUILT THE ADOBE CHAPEL CLOSE TO ITS ORIGINAL SITE.

Old Adobe Chapel

BUILT IN 1850 AS A PRIVATE RESIDENCE. DEDICATED A PARISH CHURCH NOVEMBER 21, 1858 by FATHER JOHN MOLINER.

IN 1866, FATHER ANTONIO UBACH, THE PARISH PRIEST, WAS “FATHER GASPARA” OF HELEN HUNT JACKSON’S FAMOUS NOVEL “Ramona”

REBUILT BY UNITED STATES WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION 1937

A view of the Old Adobe Chapel from Conde Street in Old Town San Diego.

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!

San Diego’s downtown skyline changes again!

San Diego continues to grow. Over the years, our city’s downtown skyline keeps changing, becoming wider, denser, more varied. Some of the new construction has been along the waterfront.

I was out on a slow Embarcadero walk today when my eyes did a double take. I couldn’t believe how quickly IQHQ’s five building RaDD (Research and Development District) project is rising!

The future technology campus, a combination of lab, office and retail space, is being built on part of the property where the demolished Navy Broadway Complex stood.

I know developments like these are hotly debated. Among other considerations, certain bay views will become obstructed, while new views will open. Whatever your position is, the growth of downtown San Diego continues apace, and the changed skyline will probably feel more “ordinary” as memories fade.

UPDATE!

I took another photo from a different direction some time later. Here I’m standing near the corner of Broadway and Pacific Highway. The recently completed 17-story high-rise is Navy Building One.

And a few days later…

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!

Huge fun coming to downtown’s Children’s Park!

Whoa! Check it out!

Look at the huge multi-level playground structure that’s being built for Children’s Park in downtown San Diego! The park is undergoing a major redesign, which will make it more . . . children friendly!

Children’s Park is located north of Harbor Drive, adjacent to Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade. That circular pool with its unique fountain between Front Street and 1st Avenue is part of it. The two-acre city park, with its many shady trees, is a very short walk from both The New Children’s Museum and the San Diego Convention Center.

The park has often been used as a convenient offsite location during Comic-Con. Evidently not this year!

You might remember how, years ago, Children’s Park was filled with numerous large rounded mounds that unfortunately concealed drug and other illegal activity. Those mounds were removed in phases.

Now this important downtown open space is being completely revitalized, with the addition of a playground, an interactive water feature, and a new vendor building.

If you’d like to learn more about the project, you can visit this web page.

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!