Murals at old Western Steel & Metals building.

In the past year or two a bunch of colorful murals have been painted inside and outside the old Western Steel & Metals building in Barrio Logan.

The abandoned building is located off National Avenue, near the corner of 26th Street and Sicard Street. I believe its parking lot has been the location of La Pulga Flea Market. I haven’t gone, so I can’t say for certain. All I know is that during my most recent walk through Barrio Logan I spotted all this artwork and took photos!

There are many different signatures on these murals, and I see they belong to some of San Diego’s most prominent graffiti artists. Whether most of them were spray painted during a particular event, I don’t know.

If you know more about these murals, please leave a comment!

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!

The extraordinary mosaics of Azalea Park!

Some of the most extraordinary public art in San Diego can be found in Azalea Park, a neighborhood at the south end of City Heights. Walk or drive along the streets of Azalea Park and you’ll discover unexpected mosaics decorating the sides of trashcans and round sidewalk benches.

When you stop to look closely at these mosaics, it becomes evident that a great deal of effort, thought and artistry was involved in their making. The beautiful designs are truly stunning. Look at the coming photographs and see for yourself.

I was surprised to learn that all of these fantastic mosaics were created by a volunteer group of Azalea Park residents! The team of community beautifiers call themselves the Azalea Park Mosaic League!

Led by local artist Vicki Leon, members of the Azalea Park Mosaic League continue to make their neighborhood a more attractive and welcoming place.

A couple days ago I posted photos of their Art’s Popping Up mosaic sculpture on Poplar Street. If you haven’t seen that yet, click here!

Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit Vicki Leon’s art studio in Azalea Park. The following two photographs show beautiful lotus mosaics that will be installed in Little Saigon, and how she is helping friends and neighbors to create their own mosaic street address signs! Check our her website here.

Her work, and the volunteer efforts of the Azalea Park Mosaic League, can inspire us all to make our own neighborhoods more beautiful!

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That kinetic sculpture on the Nimitz median.

Whenever I’ve driven down Nimitz Boulevard south of West Point Loma Boulevard I’ve wondered about a kinetic sculpture that rises from the street’s median.

Yesterday morning I headed to Point Loma for a better look.

The shining sculpture, titled Taiji, was created by Encinitas artist Jeffery Laudenslager. Like a silent living thing, the public art moves and changes its shape in even the slightest breeze.

Taiji was placed on the median by the Point Loma Association in 2017. Learn more about the association and their work to beautify Point Loma here.

According to the artist, Taiji is based on the Yin and Yang principle. You might say all of his kinetic pieces display a certain symmetry, considering how perfectly balanced they are.

You can see two more Jeffery Laudenslager pieces that I’ve photographed around San Diego here and here.

(It was early Saturday morning and traffic was extremely light. I was super careful that no cars were coming when I momentarily crossed the usually busy street to take a few photos!)

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!

Bike and scooter murals in East Village.

Two colorful murals in East Village promote riding bicycles and scooters. They’re painted on the north side of the old Farkas Store Fixtures building, on G Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenue.

The murals encourage motorists to get out of their cars to clear the air of pollution, save energy and enjoy San Diego’s beautiful outdoors!

I took these pics the other day during a downtown walk…

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 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!

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!

New electronic sign encourages bicycling.

Early this morning I made an interesting discovery!

I was walking along Pacific Highway in downtown San Diego when I noticed an electronic sign has been recently installed near the County Administration Center. This colorful City of San Diego sign appears to encourage bicycling.

Evidently the new electronic sign will show the number of cyclists that are on the road “today” and “this year.” If that’s the case, it will probably be an estimate.

Of course, I could be entirely wrong about the sign’s function. Once it’s activated, we’ll see what appears!

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 art in one Encinitas alley!

Yesterday, before meeting at the Encinitas Historical Society’s 1883 Schoolhouse for a guided walking tour, I was heading along the sidewalk up West F Street when I saw all sorts of cool art in one alley, and near it on a building across the street.

This alley runs between JARPR Studios (which appears to be home of the Johnny Rock Band and the MUSIC MUSIC Special Needs Music School) and American Legion Post 416.

Check out the fun, very colorful artwork! I see a whole lot of love, peace, kindness and creativity.

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!

New park recalls East Village’s industrial history.

Back in 2014, I took photos of rusty old industrial machinery displayed on sidewalks around the Wheel Works and Broom Works buildings in East Village. I didn’t really know what I was looking at.

I now realize these were artifacts collected over many years by visionary local businessman Bob Sinclair.

A new park, located on 14th Street between G Street and Market Street, features some of these industrial artifacts, as well as historical photographs of San Diego’s East Village when the now mostly residential neighborhood was a center of industry.

This new linear park, which includes a walking path near downtown’s Albertsons grocery store, is part of a much larger 14th Street Promenade project that when completed will be eleven blocks long!

Four big steel artifacts from the Sinclair Collection are on display. See my photo captions.

Part of one sign I photographed reads: “…Entrepreneur and businessman Bob Sinclair valued the history and architecture of the East Village. During the 1970’s through the 1990’s he acquired historic buildings and collected industrial artifacts from the old workshops…His businesses were often located in historic buildings, and he filled the warehouses he bought with new industries. The Hazard, Gould, and Company Buildings at 7th Avenue and G Street, Wonder Bread Warehouse at 14th and L Streets, Rosario Hall at 13th and J Streets, and the Broom Works Factory and Wheelworks Building on J Street between Park Boulevard and 13th Street are examples of historic properties owned by Bob Sinclair…”

To learn much more about Bob Sinclair and how he worked to preserve East Village’s fascinating history, check out this great article!

Traction wheel.
Disc grinder.
Pulley wheel.
Historical photos include Fred C. Silverthorn and Sons at 15th and Market Streets, circa 1930; and Standard Iron Works.
From the time that Alonzo Horton purchased 800 acres of languishing downtown harbor front property for 30 cents an acre in the late 1800’s and laid out his “New Town,” the neighborhood now known as East Village became the economic engine for San Diego through the 1950s…
Bob Sinclair on the roof of the Wonder Bread building, 2010. (Petco Park can be seen behind him.)
Drill press.

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 fence comes down, a city grows.

Early yesterday morning, workers were pulling down the construction site fence that surrounds a brand new building in downtown San Diego. The adjacent 20-story 450 B Tower is adding additional office and retail space in the heart of the city.

While many of us were hunkered down indoors during the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, construction continued throughout San Diego. It seems nothing will stop the city from growing.

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!