Walking from Civic Center Plaza to Santa Fe Depot.

As I approached Civic Center Plaza, I watched someone changing the sign at the San Diego Civic Theatre.
As I approached Civic Center Plaza along B Street, I watched someone changing the sign at the San Diego Civic Theatre.

Just a quick blog post. These photos are from my morning walk downtown.

I didn’t pull my camera out until I spied that guy above changing the San Diego Civic Theatre sign. After steering my feet through Civic Center Plaza, I proceeded west along C Street.

Over the past few months, I’ve been observing the construction of a new Courthouse trolley station on C Street. Beginning April 29, 2018, it will be the final stop of westbound Orange Line trolleys.

Until further notice the Blue Line will still terminate at America Plaza. Once the San Diego Trolley’s extension up to La Jolla is complete, I believe the Blue Line (and possibly the Green Line) will be reconfigured.

Workers prepare the new Courthouse trolley station on C Street. Starting April 29, 2018, the Orange Line will terminate here.
Workers prepare the new Courthouse trolley station on C Street. Starting April 29, 2018, the Orange Line will terminate here.
As I walked east on C Street, I turned my camera skyward for a shot of the fascinating new San Diego Central Courthouse.
As I proceeded west on C Street, I turned my camera skyward for a shot of the fascinating new San Diego Central Courthouse.
Here comes a trolley, approaching the new Courthouse station that is presently under construction.
Here comes an eastbound trolley, approaching the new Courthouse station that is presently under construction.
Buildings to the north catch early morning light.
Buildings to the north catch early morning light.
I'm passed by a Blue Line trolley as it enters America Plaza.
I’m passed by a westbound Blue Line trolley as it enters America Plaza.
More sunlight and a morning delivery. One sees a lot of construction throughout downtown.
A morning delivery and more sunlight on buildings. These days one can see a whole lot of construction throughout downtown.
I'm nearing the Santa Fe Depot. Increasing clouds produced rain a few hours later.
I’m nearing the Santa Fe Depot, which stands across Kettner Boulevard from America Plaza. Increasing clouds would produce rain a few hours later.
Almost to Santa Fe Depot, where I'll catch a Green Line trolley for work!
Almost to Santa Fe Depot, where I’ll catch a Green Line trolley for work on the other side!

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 short architectural tour of the Santa Fe Depot.

Photo of Santa Fe Depot as it appears today. Big changes to the historic building are likely in its future.
Photo of Santa Fe Depot as it appears today. Some changes to the historic building are possibly in its future.

I went on a short tour of the Santa Fe Depot last week during the San Diego Architectural Foundation 2018 OPEN HOUSE event.

I’ve posted about the depot several times in the past. One fact-filled post concerned an historical exhibit inside the waiting room; another shared hundred year old photos of the building. During our tour I learned even more and enjoyed looking at additional old images.

This downtown San Diego landmark was designed by Bakewell and Brown to welcome the many anticipated visitors to the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park. The depot’s construction began on May 28, 1914. The building officially opened on March 7, 1915. Materials that were used include a steel frame with wood trusses, concrete slabs, brick arcades and hollow clay tile infill walls. The architects Bakewell and Brown also designed San Francisco City Hall, the Coit Tower and Pasadena City Hall.

During the course of its history, there have been various changes to the building and its forecourt. The original arched forecourt, pictured in some of the following photos, was demolished in 1954 to make way for a parking lot. The current outdoor plaza featuring a fountain and colorful tiled benches replaced the parking lot in the 1980s.

The gentleman providing the tour indicated that recent new ownership of the Santa Fe Depot has opened up the possibility of future development. I learned an unused second story of the depot, once containing a manager’s apartment, telegraph room and railroad worker bedrooms, might be converted into office spaces, but an elevator, heating and electricity are now lacking.

I learned that the fountain in the forecourt’s plaza is leaking and permanently turned off. This valuable property between the main depot building and Broadway might be developed into a space for downtown eateries.

I also learned the large iconic Santa Fe sign atop the depot dates from the mid 50’s, and that there are plans to light it up at night using LED lighting.

Read the captions for some additional fascinating facts about this architectural marvel!

Looking up at one tiled tower. The black material is holding together cracked terracotta columns on chicken wire. The 1915 depot was built for the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park.
Looking up at one tile-domed tower. The black material is holding together cracked terracotta columns on chicken wire. The 1915 depot was built for the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park.
Amtrak passengers move through the Santa Fe Depot's large waiting room. The building's architecture is in the Mission Revival style with Spanish Colonial Revival influences.
Our tour group and a few Amtrak passengers move through the Santa Fe Depot’s large waiting room. The building’s architecture is in the Mission Revival style with Spanish Colonial Revival influences.
We learn about the beautiful tilework throughout the depot.
We learn about the beautiful tilework throughout the depot.
The depot's glazed Kaospar tiling was created by California China Products Co. of National City, the same company that produced tile for Balboa Park's 1915 exposition.
The depot’s glazed Kaospar tiling was created by California China Products Co. of National City, the same company that produced all of the tile for Balboa Park’s 1915 exposition.
Raised levels of the gorgeous tiles feature different colors!
Raised levels of these gorgeous tiles each feature a different color!
We're shown an old postcard image of the original Main Waiting Room. Ticket and vending kiosks lined the west side of the depot's interior.
We’re shown an old postcard image of the original Main Waiting Room. Ticket and vending kiosks lined the west side of the depot’s interior. There used to be a Fred Harvey lunch room near the current ticket area at the building’s north end.
Looking up at the amazing ceiling. Most of the woodwork has never been painted. The original bronze light fixtures have an appearance that is masculine and sturdy.
Looking up at the amazing ceiling. Most of the woodwork has never been painted. The original bronze light fixtures have an appearance that is masculine and sturdy.
More woodwork around a door that leads to an old Stair Hall on the waiting room's east side.
More handsome woodwork around a door that leads to an old Stair Hall on the waiting room’s east side.
Our group heads outside to the forecourt's sunny plaza.
Our group heads outside to the forecourt’s sunny plaza.
Looking at the south side of the depot. Sadly, the fountain leaks and is turned off.
Looking at the south side of the depot. Sadly, the fountain leaks and is turned off.
We are shown more old images. This is an illustration of the original arched forecourt structure on Broadway. I also see the tower of the original 1887 Victorian station to the west (the other side of the tracks) before it was demolished.
We are shown more old images. This is an illustration of the original arched forecourt structure on Broadway. I also see the tower of the original 1887 Victorian station to the west (the other side of the tracks) before it was demolished.
Here's the old parking lot.
Here’s the old parking lot. (I see the distinctive County Administration Building to the left.)
Streetcars used to run along Broadway right up to the old forecourt!
Streetcars used to run along Broadway right up to the old forecourt!
A photo of the now unused second floor of the Santa Fe Depot.
A photo of the now unused second floor of the Santa Fe Depot.
Another historical photo. This one decorates one side of the information kiosk presently inside the depot.
Another historical photo. This can be found on one side of the information kiosk presently inside the depot.
Our tour guide collects old postcards. Here's another that shows the arched west side of the depot, beside the railroad tracks.
Our tour guide collects old postcards. Here’s another that shows the arched west side of the depot, beside the railroad tracks.
Handout shows map of the Santa Fe System and the San Diego Depot. Today the depot is the 3rd-busiest train station in California and 13th-busiest in the Amtrak system.
Information sheet shows map of the Santa Fe System and the San Diego Depot. Today the depot is the 3rd-busiest train station in California and 13th-busiest in the Amtrak system. (Click image to enlarge it.)
Gazing from the forecourt's plaza over a tiled bench toward America Plaza and buildings along Broadway.
Gazing from the forecourt’s plaza over a tiled bench toward America Plaza and buildings along Broadway. This area might soon undergo changes!

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!

Working, daydreaming, smiling on a Friday!

Someone walks briskly to work in downtown San Diego.
Someone walks briskly to work in downtown San Diego.

Morning in downtown San Diego. Another day has begun. More hustle and bustle. More things to do.

But something feels different . . .

It’s Friday!

Working on the sidewalk early Friday morning. Always more to do.
Working on the sidewalk early Friday morning. Always more to do.
Tearing out the interior of the old Gaslamp 15 movie theater.
Tearing out the interior of the old Gaslamp 15 movie theater.
The clock on the John D. Spreckels Building is optimistic. Almost four o'clock on Friday would be good right now.
The antique clock on the John D. Spreckels Building seems optimistic. Almost four o’clock on Friday would be good right now.
Someone is wide awake and bright-eyed behind this shop window.
Someone is wide awake and bright-eyed behind this shop window.
Don't interrupt my breakfast! One of the many cats at the William Heath Davis House in the Gaslamp.
Don’t interrupt my breakfast! One of the many cats at the William Heath Davis House in the Gaslamp.
Smile! It's Friday!
Smile! It’s Friday!
A hearty laugh over breakfast.
A hearty laugh over breakfast.
Friday morning mowing at Petco's Park at the Park.
Friday morning mowing at Petco’s Park at the Park.
To a best friend on a morning walk, which day it is doesn't matter.
To a best friend on a morning walk, which day it is doesn’t matter.
Carrying the bicycle up many steps, heading toward the bayfront. It should be a fine day for a ride along the water.
Carrying the bicycle up many steps, heading toward the bayfront. It should be a fine day for a ride along the water.
Waiting for a Friday morning Coaster at Santa Fe Depot. One last weekday commute.
Waiting for a Friday morning Coaster at Santa Fe Depot. One last weekday commute.
Daydreaming while heading to work on the trolley. Almost the weekend.
Daydreaming while heading to work on the trolley. Almost the weekend.

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 art pops up in breezeway by MCASD.

A big cat roars a bouquet.
A big cat roars a bouquet.

A new batch of public art has popped up in the breezeway between the Santa Fe Depot and Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. I believe these pieces were all created by youth.

On Saturday I took a few photos after stepping off the trolley. Enjoy!

Half face of husky.
Half face of husky.
Ali times eight.
Ali times eight.
Pink face with closed eyes.
Pink face with closed eyes.
Defying gravity. Something appears odd.
Defying gravity. Something appears odd. Can you spot it?
King, with a Dream.
King, with a Dream.
Patchwork elephant.
Patchwork elephant.

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!

To read some short fiction I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Art in breezeway by Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

Art on a wall in the breezeway between the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the Santa Fe Depot.
Art on a wall in the breezeway between the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the Santa Fe Depot.

This morning I walked past the downtown location of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. In a hurry to catch the trolley for work, I passed through the breezeway between the museum and the Santa Fe Depot. And look what I discovered! I was pleased to encounter some new art on a wall that I hadn’t seen before!

I didn’t see any plaques, signs or explanations. I assume this artwork originated at MCASD.

Take a look and interpret as you wish!

Someone was walking the opposite direction through the breezeway, toward Kettner Boulevard.
Someone was walking the opposite direction through the breezeway, toward Kettner Boulevard.
Creatively drawn map includes parts of San Diego County and the Mexican border. A variety of messages can be read.
Creatively drawn map includes parts of San Diego County and the Mexican border. A variety of messages can be seen and read.
This panel of artwork contains bold swaths of color.
This panel of artwork contains bold strokes of color.
Inside all of that color is a complex, detailed collage including abstract faces.
Inside all of that color is a complex, detailed collage including abstract faces.

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Bright orange sunset casts magic on buildings.

A blazing orange and yellow sunset behind palm trees on San Diego's Embarcadero.
A blazing orange and yellow sunset behind palm trees on San Diego’s Embarcadero.

I saw magic this evening. The spell was cast as the sun neared the horizon. I lingered a few moments near Pacific Highway downtown, spellbound.

Golden light on the rippling sculptural facade of the Marriott building at Lane Field. The cool public art conceals hotel parking levels. It's titled California Rain and was created by artist David Franklin.
Golden light on the rippling sculptural facade of the Marriott building at Lane Field. The cool public art conceals hotel parking levels. It’s titled California Rain and was created by artist David Franklin.
Sunset flames becomes glowing embers in the dark windows of several downtown skyscrapers.
The sunset’s orange flames have become glowing embers in the dark windows of several downtown skyscrapers.
Reflected sunset in many different glass windows behind the Santa Fe Depot.
Reflected sunset in many different glass windows behind the Santa Fe Depot.
One stately dome of the Santa Fe Depot seems enveloped by magical panels of glowing color.
Dome of the Santa Fe Depot seems enveloped by magical panels of molten color.

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!

Historical exhibit inside San Diego’s Santa Fe Depot.

Display inside San Diego's 1915 Santa Fe Depot. Photos and words provide a glimpse of the train station's history.
Display inside San Diego’s 1915 Santa Fe Depot. Photos and words provide a glimpse of the train station’s history.

Should you ever step inside downtown San Diego’s handsome Santa Fe Depot, there’s a small exhibit at the information booth worth checking out. Two glass display cases provide a glimpse of the train station’s fascinating history.

To read the signs, click the images and they will enlarge.

Last year the Santa Fe Depot celebrated its centennial. I blogged about that here!

If you ever visit the Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego, swing by this information booth to check out the historical exhibit.
If you ever visit the Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego, swing by this information booth to check out the historical exhibit.
Several paragraphs recount the history of the Santa Fe Land Improvement Company and the unique origin of North County community Rancho Santa Fe. Eucalyptus trees make poor railroad ties!
Several paragraphs recount the history of the Santa Fe Land Improvement Company and the unique origin of North County community Rancho Santa Fe. Eucalyptus trees make poor railroad ties!
In a nook right next to the depot's wall, beside colorful Santa Fe tilework, one can discover more fascinating information.
In a nook right next to the depot’s wall, beside colorful Santa Fe tilework, one can discover more fascinating information.
Graphic shows important dates concerning the Santa Fe Depot. The 1887 Victorian-style depot was razed in 1915 after the new depot opened in time for the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park.
Graphic shows important dates concerning the Santa Fe Depot. The 1887 Victorian-style depot was razed in 1915 after the new depot opened in time for the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park.
Old photos of Santa Fe Depot, accompanied by historical background. San Diego strove to become the western terminus of the Continental Railway.
The train station’s architecture reflects colonial Spanish and Mission history in California; it was designed to harmonize with the Spanish Colonial Revival-style buildings of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park.  A century ago San Diego strove to become the western terminus of the Continental Railway.
More fascinating old photos of the Santa Fe Depot, today a San Diego transportation hub serving Amtrak, the Coaster, and the Orange and Green Lines of the San Diego Trolley.
More fascinating old photos of the Santa Fe Depot, today a San Diego transportation hub serving Amtrak, the Coaster, and the Orange and Green Lines of the San Diego Trolley.
Original plaster detail removed during the April 2014 restoration of the southeast tower.
Original plaster detail removed during the April 2014 restoration of the southeast tower.

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 unique photos for you to enjoy!