The corner lit by San Diego’s first gaslamp!

The very first gaslamp that lit downtown San Diego was located in today’s Gaslamp Quarter. But where?

Stand at the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and F Street, and you’ve found the location!

You’ll be standing next to the historic Marston Building. A plaque on this interesting old building reads:

Marston Block, 1881

In 1881, George Marston located his third department store in this two-story Victorian Italian-style building. It remained here until 1896 when it was relocated to a larger building. Until the 1970s, Marston’s was the largest and most successful San Diego-based department store and was purchased by Broadway Stores. The building suffered severe fire damage in 1903, and had to undergo extensive remodeling. The first gaslamp was placed on this corner in 1885, and on March 16, 1886, the first electric arc lamp was illuminated outside this building.

If any of you remember visiting the Marston Department Store as a young child, it was most likely Marston’s final location, in a large four-story, neo-Renaissance building on C Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue. That building was demolished years ago. To learn more about George Marston’s various stores in San Diego, click here.

To view a historical black-and-white photo of Marston’s 1881 store–the location of San Diego’s very first gaslamp–click here.

As you can see, things have changed quite a bit in nearly a century and a half!

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 new Aztec Stadium rises!

San Diego State University’s new Aztec Stadium in Mission Valley is rapidly rising!

I took some photos in late April and you could see back then how the construction had just begun. Now huge supporting steel beams for the stands and stadium lights can be easily seen from Friars Road!

I took these photographs from the southwest side of the stadium late this afternoon.

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 magical new mural slowly comes to life!

The long new mural in City Heights’ Teralta Neighborhood Park is slowly coming to life! I got another look at it this morning!

Some of the faces along the 263-foot mural are gaining color, detail and character as San Diego graffiti artist Sake continues to apply his artistry!

I last visited the mural about a month ago, and took these photos. At the time most of the faces were mere sketches.

As you can see, this monumental new mural that celebrates City Heights’s diverse community is going to be amazing!

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!

Renovation of Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries begins!

The exterior renovation of the Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries building in Balboa Park’s Palisades area has begun!

I noticed during my walk through Balboa Park this morning that the painting of the building is underway. The new color matches that of the recently painted San Diego Automotive Museum directly across Pan American Plaza.

If you’d like to learn more about the 1935 Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries building, which has long served as the Municipal Gymnasium, and to see how the historic building will appear after its renovation is complete, check out this post from early last month.

(Visit that old blog post and you’ll see an image of the fantastic bronze panel that will be installed directly above the entrance!)

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!

Photos of San Diego Archers King Arthur Tournament!

I was lucky to get some photographs of the San Diego Archers annual King Arthur Tournament in Balboa Park today!

I was walking near the Rube Powell Archery Range behind Balboa Park’s Alcazar Garden when I noticed some archers dressed in medieval costumes. So I had to check it out!

One friendly archer posed for the above cool photo. I then watched a bit of the tournament from the top of the canyon and took a few distant shots.

I was told the San Diego Archers is one of the oldest organized archery clubs in California, having been established in 1938. Since 1962 their King Arthur Tournament is a popular annual event full of Arthurian costumes, pageantry and family fun!

(I didn’t notice any knights wearing shining armor. Perhaps I missed them.)

Interested in participating or learning more? Check out the San Diego Archers website here!

UPDATE!

I received a great Facebook comment concerning the San Diego Archers:

For your readers information. Archery has been practiced in Balboa Park since 1917. The archery range is open to the public and membership with the San Diego Archers is not required to participate in tournaments. The San Diego Archers host four novelty tournaments each year. In addition, there are more than twenty regular competition tournaments throughout the year. Participants are only required to show up with their own gear, sign a waiver, and pay a small fee.
For more info: https://sandiegoarchers.com/

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 a maypole in Balboa Park!

The House of Sweden in Balboa Park is having their Midsummer Celebration this afternoon at 2 pm!

As I walked among the International Cottages this morning, I saw members of the House of Sweden preparing their beautiful maypole. And a nearby garland!

The celebration this year will be on a smaller scale than usual, as we try to finally shake free of the waning coronavirus pandemic.

It’s June 20, and a flowering spring has led to summer. Once again regenerative nature will be celebrated by many hands.

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 photo memories from June 2016.

Please enjoy a bunch of cool photographs from five years ago!

Back in June 2016, I enjoyed a special tour at the San Diego Museum of Art, checked out incredible wood art and other fun stuff at the Alice in Wonderland-themed San Diego County Fair, saw that Comic-Con was on the way, observed the installation and debut of important downtown public art, and got a rare look at one of William Shakespeare’s First Folios!

And even more amazing stuff!

Coming up are the links where you can see it all!

Click the following links for loads of photos…

Amazing animal bronzes at San Diego Museum of Art!

Amazing photos: Fantastic, incredible wood art!

Alice pops out of rabbit hole at San Diego County Fair!

Son of Zorn and The Exorcist on a Comic-Con trolley!

Public art “Tide” rises in plaza by Marriott Marquis!

Carved stone Chinese lions unveiled in San Diego!

Photos of Shakespeare’s First Folio exhibit in San Diego.

Costumes from Shakespeare’s plays at Old Globe Theatre!

New mural in San Diego extols humility, nobility.

The Art Club of San Diego showcases fine pieces!

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

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Stars on colorful mosaic walls in National City.

A few weeks ago, as I waited for a Memorial Day ceremony at National City’s War Memorial and Veteran’s Wall of Honor, I walked around the nearby intersection of 12th Street and D Avenue, where there’s a traffic roundabout.

In the center of the roundabout I discovered five medallion-like plaques that honor five branches of the United States Armed Forces. But what really caught my eyes were the colorful red, white and blue star mosaics that decorate several walls surrounding the intersection!

I believe this public artwork was part of the 2015 improvement project that you can read about here.

I love the how the stars in the patriotic mosaics look like they’re flying, bouncing and dancing, or unspooling like musical notes. They also sort of appear like bursting fireworks!

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!

Beautiful flowers throughout Little Italy!

I took these flower photographs last Friday morning in Little Italy.

I found blooms in sidewalk planters, leaning against painted restaurant walls, and adding color near outdoor dining tables. I saw them in front of homes and shops, and inside windows. And I came upon some fun floral artwork, too!

I’m tardy posting these photos because I’ve been a bit under the weather. But these flowers have been patiently waiting.

A life lesson, maybe.

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!

Ghostly branches of a cottonwood in spring.

In late spring and early summer the branches of a cottonwood tree can become very ghostly!

I walked under a Fremont cottonwood by the San Diego River this morning. My eyes were intrigued by the windblown white “cotton” that had collected on its own gray limbs and branches.

Check out the upcoming photos. Those drooping white puffs that resemble cotton candy are actually a fruit called achene. Seeds are dispersed by the wind.

I’m no botanist, so I don’t pretend to understand much about it.

I do know, however, that these seeds can plant themselves in a fertile imagination. The cottonwood’s fuzzed branches appear ethereal, like phantom forms from some unearthly world…

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!