Art and history at the SDSU Downtown Gallery.

People walk along Broadway near the entrance of the SDSU Downtown Gallery.
People walk along Broadway near the entrance of the SDSU Downtown Gallery.

One of the sites that I visited this weekend during the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s OPEN HOUSE 2017 was the SDSU Downtown Gallery. I’d never stepped into the small art gallery before. Rotating exhibits feature the work of faculty and students at SDSU.

The building in which the gallery is housed, located at the corner of Kettner Boulevard and Broadway, served as the 1911 Station B power plant of the San Diego Electric Railway. The historic railway, which served a large area of early San Diego, was established by John D. Spreckels.

According to a short tour and handout I was given, a circa 1900 building at this location served as an earlier San Diego Electric Railway power house, railcar barn and paint shop. Some enormous doors still exist in the building today where train cars would enter and exit. I also learned the extravagant 1897 Los Banos bathhouse stood at the building’s northwest corner–but there remains no trace of that historic old structure.

In 1921, San Diego Consolidated Gas and Electric Company purchased Station B, and two additions to the building were subsequently made. The additions were designed by famed architect William Templeton Johnson.

Today the original Station B power plant contains powerful works of art, and forms a section of the base of the skyscraping Electra Building, a modern residential development built in 2008.

Please enjoy some photos of the gallery and the historic building.

If you love art and find yourself downtown while the gallery is open, swing on by!

I took this photo at another time. Now part of the high-rise Electra Building, this used to be the 1911 Station B power plant of the San Diego Electric Railway.
Now part of the high-rise Electra Building, this originally was the 1911 Station B power plant of the San Diego Electric Railway.
Historical ornamentation above the front entrance of the SDSU Downtown Gallery.
Historical ornamentation above the front entrance of the SDSU Downtown Gallery.
Walk through these beads to enjoy a small but dynamic art gallery in downtown San Diego.
Walk through these beads to enjoy a small but dynamic art gallery in downtown San Diego.
Works on the gallery walls were produced by faculty and students at San Diego State University. Exhibits change every few months.
Works on the gallery walls were produced by faculty and students at San Diego State University. Exhibits change every few months.
Description of current gallery exhibit by faculty and students of San Diego State University. Every Which Way investigates artistic experience and human movement.
Description of current gallery exhibit by faculty and students of San Diego State University. Every Which Way investigates artistic experience and human movement.
Visitor to the gallery checks out thought-provoking artwork.
Visitor to the gallery checks out thought-provoking artwork.
Fear/Less, 2016, by Troy Guard.
Fear/Less, 2016, by Troy Guard.
Works of human imagination along one wall.
Works of human imagination along one wall.
The serigraphs on this wall were made by students in the SDSU Graphic Design program. Imagery depicts ocean and desert ecosystems as migratory environments.
The serigraphs on this wall were made by students in the SDSU Graphic Design program. Imagery depicts ocean and desert ecosystems as migratory environments.
More eye-catching works of art.
More eye-catching works of art.
Some of the pieces are quite unusual and creative.
Some of the pieces are quite unusual and creative.
A short talk begins in the SDSU Downtown Gallery. Just one fascinating tour during the San Diego Architectural Foundation's OPEN HOUSE 2017.
A short tour begins in the SDSU Downtown Gallery–Just one fascinating tour during the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s OPEN HOUSE 2017.
We are shown various photos, including Station B behind Santa Fe Depot in the 1960s. The smokestacks were removed in the 1980s.
We are shown various photos, including Station B behind Santa Fe Depot in the 1960s. The smokestacks were removed in the 1980s.
Old photo of Los Banos, a bathhouse which was located just south of Santa Fe Depot. The neo-Moorish structure designed by William S. Hebbard and Irving J. Gill opened in 1897.
Old photo of Los Banos, a bathhouse which was located just south of Santa Fe Depot. The neo-Moorish structure designed by William S. Hebbard and Irving J. Gill opened in 1897.
One of the enormous, heavy doors is opened from inside the historic building. I was told these were used for a railcar barn. Was coal for the power plant unloaded here? I don't know.
One of the enormous, heavy doors is opened from inside the historic building. I was told these were used for a railcar barn.
Our tour walks along Broadway side of the SDSU Downtown Gallery building.
Our small tour group walks down the sidewalk along the Broadway side of the SDSU Downtown Gallery building.
Now we are at the southeast corner of the large Electra Building, which rises above the historic San Diego Gas and Electric building.
Now we are at the southeast corner of the large Electra Building, which rises above the historic San Diego Gas and Electric building.
A symbolic painting inside the SDSU Downtown Gallery. Waves Inside, 2016, by Alison Zuniga.
A symbolic painting inside the SDSU Downtown Gallery. Waves Inside, 2016, by Alison Zuniga.

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!

Happy environmental art in a city park!

Lots of colorful tile art with happy environmental themes decorates this trash can in downtown San Diego's Pantoja Park.
Lots of tiles painted with happy environmental themes.  Together they form a mosaic that decorates this trash can in downtown San Diego’s Pantoja Park.

I love mosaics that are composed of ceramic tiles painted by ordinary people–young people in particular. It’s like a patchwork of inner visions, expressed from many hearts.

The Envirocan in downtown San Diego’s Pantoja Park is a special trashcan that is decorated with tiles that were hand-painted by young artists. Most of the colorful images express environmental themes. Clean air, clean water . . . plus lots of smiles. Smiles are good for the environment, right? Of course they are.

ESI Art Corps San Diego. Envirocan, donated by Dick Butler. "One Who Cares"
ESI Art Corps San Diego. Envirocan – Donated by Dick Butler. “One Who Cares”
One side of the Envirocan features a female face. Perhaps it is Mother Earth.
One side of the Envirocan features a female face. Perhaps it is Mother Earth.
Colorful tiles painted by many creative hands form a mosaic on the Envirocan's other three sides. Here's the face of a happy critter in a tree, and some flowers.
Colorful tiles painted by many creative hands form a mosaic on the Envirocan’s other three sides. Here’s a happy face in a tree, and some flowers.
Keep our Earth clean!
Keep our Earth clean!
A house in a beautiful pristine landscape.
A house in a beautiful pristine landscape.
Flower Power
Flower Power
A human eye. A smudge of dirt looks like a tear.
A human eye. A smudge of something looks like a tear.
Fish enjoy a clean blue ocean.
Fish enjoy a clean blue ocean.
I'm not sure what this is, but it looks pretty cool!
I’m not sure what this is, but it looks pretty cool!
Someone is poking their nose over a fence.
Someone is poking their nose over a fence.
One tile on the Envirocan features the Enviro-can!
One tile on the Envirocan features the Enviro-can!
A happy face of many colors.
A happy face of many colors.
Another lively underwater scene.
Another lively underwater scene.
And another face!
And another beautiful face!
A clean river flows down from green hills between trees.
A clean river flows down from green hills between trees.
Wisdom is often found in a balance. Yin and yang. All things are connected.
Wisdom is often found in a balance. Yin and yang. All things are connected.
Looks like a weird underwater image. Not sure about the cube with tentacles.
Looks like a weird underwater scene. Not sure about the cube with tentacles.
Birds in a clear blue sky under a golden sun.
Birds in a clear blue sky under a golden sun.
Lots more smiley faces! They almost look like leaves to me.
Lots more smiley faces! They almost look like leaves to me.
A red heart on patchwork colors. Love.
A red heart on patchwork colors. Love.

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!

Two cool sculptures at a National City marina!

This old rusty steel skeleton of a ship is actually one of two cool sculptures near the Pier 32 Marina in National City.
This old rusty steel skeleton of a ship is actually one of two cool sculptures near the Pier 32 Marina in National City.

Check out these two very cool sculptures! I spotted them as I walked from a National City trolley station to Pepper Park yesterday, on my way to the big International Mariachi Festival.

Both of these sculptures are located at the Pier 32 Marina. And both are a lot of fun!

This huge metal sculpture by the marina flags is called Le Bateau Ivre, by artist Alber De Matteis, 2008.
This huge metal sculpture by the marina flags is called Le Bateau Ivre, by artist Alber De Matteis, 2008.
Close look at a work of very cool nautical art!
More detailed photo of this work of awesome nautical art! Looks like a ghost ship!
The second sculpture, just down a pathway, is School of Blue Bottle Noses, by artist David Boyer, 2008. It was part of an Urban Trees exhibition on San Diego's Embarcadero.
The second sculpture, just down a pathway, is School of Blue Bottle Noses, by artist David Boyer, 2008. It was part of an Urban Trees exhibition on San Diego’s Embarcadero.
Those blue Bottlenoses are actually bottles! Like a pod of turning dolphins, they shift direction in the wind!
Those blue Bottlenoses are actually bottles! Like a pod of turning dolphins, they shift direction in the wind!

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!

More short stories about light and darkness.

My writing blog Short Stories by Richard continues to grow. It now features 17 short works of fiction.

Many of the stories concern magic–or elements in life that seem to be magic. Most of the pieces contain both light and darkness.

I already posted a summary of my first six short stories here.

These are the next eleven:

One Strange, Shimmering Dream follows one man’s fantastic pursuit.

A Small Fountain in Green Park is about love and cherished moments in our brief life.

Irresistible Gravity is about futility and self-questioning.

A Dance in the Lightning takes a dangerous peek at ultimate reality.

Waterfall Tears interprets a moment of grieving.

An Old Man on a Bus demonstrates undying human defiance.

Dew on the Grass is about keen perception.

How to Paint Angels tells a story of despair, then sudden miraculous inspiration.

Final Real Magic is about youth and the uncertain nature of magic.

The Piano Player Sat Down produces a bit of strange, musical magic.

The Child and the Koi is a short fable about opposing primal powers.

Thank you for following my blog! Today I’m going to a Mariachi Festival in San Diego’s South Bay. Photos should be coming later!

Have a fine Sunday and keep on smiling!

Richard

Cool street art in a Mission Beach alley!

Cool street art faces in a Mission Beach alley peer from behind trash bins.
Faces in a Mission Beach alley peer from behind trash bins.

During my walk down Mission Boulevard through Mission Beach, I discovered an alley just south of Pismo Court that’s overflowing with super creative street art! A friendly dude named Vinny told me he created the scrap metal sculptures, and his buddy painted the walls. Check it out!

Some awesome street art can be seen in an alley off Mission Boulevard just south of Pismo Court. Local guys have painted walls and created cool metal sculptures.
Awesome street art can be seen in an alley off Mission Boulevard just south of Pismo Court. Local guys have painted walls and created cool metal sculptures.
A spray painted sea lion near a door in the alley.
A spray painted sea lion near a door in the alley.
A sea turtle and dolphin swim across a wall.
A sea turtle and dolphin swim across a wall.
The sculpture with American flag was created by Vinny after 911, who used scrap metal that he found discarded in the neighborhood.
The sculpture with American flag was created by Vinny after 911, who used scrap metal that he found discarded in the neighborhood.
Loads of creative art and fun beachy stuff in front of Vinny's place, an example of the cool Mission Beach vibe.
Loads of creative art and fun beachy stuff in front of Vinny’s place, an example of the happy, laid-back Mission Beach vibe.
This alley is like a treasure chest full of street art gold!
This alley is like a treasure chest full of street art gold!

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!

Writing on a rainy day.

smiley-face-widened

It’s raining today. And I’m off from work. So I’ve been sitting at my computer wrestling with words.

I believe I’ve now finished another short story.  At least, it seems complete.  This story concerns youth, magic, innocence, dreams, the passage of years and what might happen in life. If you’d like to read it, click the following link: Final Real Magic is the title of the story.

Art, creativity and wisdom downtown.

Painting of female face in window of a small shop in East Village containing odd bits of art and miscellaneous used items.
Painting of female face in window of a small shop in East Village containing odd bits of art and used items.

Enjoy these miscellaneous photos of interesting things I’ve spotted while walking around downtown. Examples of artistry and creativity can be seen almost everywhere. Even a bit of wisdom. One simply has to look.

A fancy bird cage dangles beside Pappalecco, a cool Little Italy cafe.
A decorative bird cage dangles above the sidewalk beside Pappalecco, a popular Little Italy cafe.
Wine bottles converted into interesting human characters in the window of Michael J Wolf Fine Arts in the Gaslamp.
Wine bottles converted into human musicians in the window of Michael J Wolf Fine Arts in the Gaslamp.
Beautiful relief panel at entrance to the Embarcadero's now closed Anthony's Fish Grotto. An underwater scene.
Beautiful relief panel at entrance to the Embarcadero’s now closed Anthony’s Fish Grotto. An underwater scene.
Navy pinup artwork on a tattoo parlor's entrance sign in the Gaslamp.
Navy pinup artwork on a tattoo parlor’s entrance sign in the Gaslamp.
Wisdom on a corner of a downtown building. Give love. Get love.
Wisdom on a corner of a downtown building. Give love. Get love.
This artistic metal gate definitely caught my eye as I walked around San Diego!
This artistic metal gate definitely caught my eye as I walked around San Diego!
The mosaic tilework of an eatery's outdoor table in East Village.
The mosaic tilework of an eatery’s outdoor table in East Village.
Colorful tiles beneath ivy above a garage door.
Colorful tiles beneath foliage above a garage door.
Depiction of a city on the wall of Sixth Avenue Bistro.
Depiction of a city on the wall of Sixth Avenue Bistro.
Fancy artwork on column inside interior courtyard of La Pensione Hotel.
Fancy artwork painted on a column.  Photo taken in the lobby courtyard of La Pensione Hotel.
Interesting twisty iron gate and shadows.
Interesting twisted iron gate and shadows on the wall behind it.
Fascinating lamppost along Broadway near Harbor Drive.
Unusual bent lamppost along Broadway near Harbor Drive.
Cool painting of male face found leaning up against a dumpster enclosure on Cortez Hill.
Cool painting of male face found leaning up against a dumpster enclosure on Cortez Hill.

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!