Three buildings in the Gaslamp: then and now.

I came across historical photographs of three buildings in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter that were taken in 1960. These photos, resulting from the Historic American Buildings Survey, were taken by an employee of the U.S. National Park Service, and are consequently in the public domain.

I thought it would fascinating to post a “then and now” blog, comparing the 1960 photographs of these buildings with how they appear at the beginning of 2023. That’s a span of almost 63 years. By looking carefully, you can notice changes that were made.

The first building is located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Market Street. It’s called the Backesto Building. When built in 1873, it stood at the center of New Town’s original business district.

According to a historical plaque, the grocer and general merchandise firm Klauber and Levi occupied the ground floor from 1878 to 1886. San Diego Hardware would occupy the building from 1892 to 1922. Its exterior reflects the turn-of-the-century style.

The Backesto Building, photographed in 1960.

The Backesto Building, photographed in 2023.

The second building is also at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Market Street. It’s called the McGurck Block and was built in 1887.

The Ferris and Ferris Drug Store occupied this building from 1903 to 1984. I once blogged how the father of actor Gregory Peck worked there as the night druggist.

The building was also a post office and ticket booth for the Coronado Ferry. The upper floors of the three-story Italianate building were known as the Hotel Monroe in 1929.

The McGurck Block, photographed in 1960.

The McGurck Block, photographed in 2023.

Finally, there’s the adjacent I.O.O.F. Building at Market Street and Sixth Avenue.

I.O.O.F. stands for Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

The 1882 building was a joint effort of the Masonic and Odd Fellows Lodges.

The Classical Revival building took almost a decade to complete. The cornerstone contains valuable coins, historic documents, and a stone from Soloman’s Temple!

I.O.O.F. Building, photographed in 1960.

I.O.O.F. Building, photographed in 2023.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Fun photos at the Snapdragon Bowl Bash!

The Holiday Bowl block party in the Gaslamp Quarter (called the Snapdragon Bowl Bash) is happening this evening even as I post these photographs!

I walked down to the Gaslamp before the event officially began at 5 o’clock, and took a couple of easy laps up and down Fifth Avenue. As you can see, there were already lots of families and Oregon and North Carolina college football fans out and about, enjoying all sorts of fun activities!

Enjoy a glimpse of the big party!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Preparing for Holiday Bowl’s big Bash and Parade!

People were getting ready this morning in downtown San Diego for two upcoming Holiday Bowl events.

This evening’s “Snapdragon Bowl Bash” block party in the Gaslamp Quarter will feature a friendly Battle of the Bands. And tomorrow morning there’s the big Holiday Bowl Parade!

During my leisurely walk down Fifth Avenue and behind the San Diego Convention Center, I saw a few excited fans and people tasked with event preparation. Several floats were nearly ready at Embarcadero Marina Park South.

Two floats represent the Oregon Ducks and the North Carolina Tar Heels. They’re the teams playing in the 2022 Holiday Bowl. Petco Park will again be the unique venue, after last year’s disappointing cancellation of the game.

As I began to walk back toward the Gaslamp, a truck holding gigantic tubes of helium pulled up, presumably to fill the parade’s many character balloons. (I wonder how much the truck must weigh to not float away!) The Holiday Bowl Parade tomorrow morning will proceed down Harbor Drive past the convention center.

I’ll head back to the Gaslamp this evening for the Snapdragon Bowl Bash and the Battle of the Bands. I’ll try to take some fun photos!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Christmas decorations appear around San Diego!

Putting up the Christmas tree at 600 B Street in downtown San Diego.

Happy Thanksgiving!

As one might expect, Christmas decorations are now going up all around San Diego!

During my walks in the past few days, I’ve taken photographs of the Holiday Season getting underway….

A worker puts up a holiday wreath in Seaport Village.

Poinsettias encircle the Homecoming sculpture at the Greatest Generation Walk near the USS Midway.

A big Christmas tree at The Headquarters.

Santa Claus has arrived in Old Town!

One of several wreaths decorating the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Old Town.

Gorgeous Christmas trees and decorations inside the Timken Museum of Art in Balboa Park.

Wreath on a fantastic car at the San Diego Automotive Museum.

Jingle and Mingle in the Gaslamp.

Santa is asked to stop at this shop.

Festive holiday decorations at the Gaslamp Museum.

A bright Christmas tree at downtown’s Donut Bar.

San Diego’s City Center is getting ready for Christmas and the Holiday Season!

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you’d like, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

It’s easy to explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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 ready to welcome Elton John!

This evening a historic concert will be held at Petco Park in San Diego. Sir Elton John will be appearing for his long sold-out Farewell Yellow Brick Road – The Final Tour!

As I walked around Petco Park and the Gaslamp this afternoon, I saw colorful street banners, displays in shop windows and at the Hard Rock Hotel, people readying a tour merchandise truck, and even some very cool super fans of Elton John just hanging out, and smiling for the above photo! Is that dress awesome, or what?

I’ve loved the music of Elton John ever since I was a young man. It has been an important part of my life’s soundtrack. If by sheer chance you happen to read this, Sir Elton, thank you.

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

Downtown gets ready for 2022 NLCS!

Major League Baseball’s big 2022 National League Championship Series begins in a matter of hours. And the San Diego Padres have home field advantage!

Downtown San Diego has been busy getting ready for the upcoming games at Petco Park. Huge, super excited crowds will be filling the streets this evening!

I wandered around the Gaslamp Quarter and East Village this morning and saw flags and banners going up, sidewalks getting spruced up, news reporters hanging out near the ballpark, and fans in Padres hats and jerseys walking around.

Lots of video production trucks are now parked on two sides of Petco Park.

NLCS graphics were up on one of Petco Park’s big videoboards.

City workers were repainting stripes on the street near Petco Park.

Those barricade “planter boxes” near the Harbor Drive pedestrian bridge have recently been painted with orange, brown and yellow. Together they spell P A D R E S.

Nearby shops, bars and restaurants are welcoming baseball fans.

The Gaslamp Quarter has these Capture the Moment banners.

Transit buses everywhere root for our Padres!

The Donut Bar has these yummy Padres doughnuts!

I hope this place has the game on!

A television news cameraman stands by near Petco Park.

And this cool guy gave me a thumbs up!

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

A crazy, amazing Saturday at Comic-Con!

Walking on a Saturday near the San Diego Convention Center during Comic-Con is something you’ll never forget. It is one of the zaniest, most colorful, most fantastic experiences imaginable.

If you dislike crowds, you might disagree. If you’re delighted by a flood of human activity and creativity, you won’t mind an occasional bump or pause. Your eyes will be so preoccupied you probably won’t notice.

Cosplay is everywhere. Fifth Avenue near the Gaslamp Quarter arch is where you’ll likely see the most costumes.

Everywhere you turn there are a million things to see.

Enjoy a bunch of photos. Come walk with me…

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 fun outside Comic-Con!

Is it possible to have too much fun?

When it comes to Comic-Con, the answer is NO!

Here come photographs from my Friday wanderings outside Comic-Con…

Captain Kirk has beamed down to the Starfleet Outpost.

A street performer flies through the air. No cape required!

They’re not vampires, I learned. They are dark wizards. I got my copy of Forgotten Runes.

Better watch your back.

Hello nice FX person! Over an hour wait? I’ll try again later.

The Rookie has his eyes on the Friday Comic-Con crowd.

Does one play Dodgeball with a mini beach ball? Well, it is San Diego!

Uh, there’s a Tyrannosaurus rex running loose out here.

Cool lucha libre guy. When’s the next match?

Crunchyroll graphics at the Rady Shell box office.

I hear electronic dance music. What’s going on over here?

A rehearsal for the Crunchyroll dance party appeared to be underway.

A Deadpool food truck!

A cool guy demonstrates a droid that he made, in the lobby of the Manchester Grand Hyatt!

Awesome Demon Slayer car wrap!

This karate kid is the winner!

You can’t possibly have too much fun at 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!

Thursday morning cosplay and fun outside Comic-Con!

It’s Thursday morning outside Comic-Con! The fun is ramping up!

I spotted more and more cosplay as fans streamed through the Gaslamp toward the San Diego Convention Center. Lines were already forming at the offsite activations, most of which open at ten o’clock. And a huge mass of humanity was crossing Harbor Drive, heading into their first day of Comic-Con!

I got a free NFT from those two guys above! They’re promoting a brand new game on Gamisodes called Inspector Gadget. (Which explains the very first photo of this blog post.)

Grab a redeemable card if you walk down MLK Promenade and happen to see a bunch of Inspector Gadgets!

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 inspired donuts at the Pendry!

Got a sweet tooth? Going to Comic-Con this year?

You might want to swing by the Pendry San Diego hotel to sink your teeth into some Comic-Con inspired donuts!

When I went this morning, I saw a bunch of freshly made superhero donuts and Star Wars donuts. All were created by the folks at the world-famous Donut Bar, so you know they’re tasty good!

Look for the following sign on Fifth Avenue at J Street, and head into the hotel!

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!