Gaslamp Quarter Historic District
San Diego Historic Landmark No. 127
|Location||Bounded by RR tracks, Broadway, 4th, and 6th Aves., San Diego, California|
|Area||38 acres (15 ha)|
|Architectural style||Late Victorian, Art Deco|
|NRHP reference No.||80000841|
|Added to NRHP||May 23, 1980|
|Designated SDHL||June 2, 1978|
The Gaslamp Quarter is a district of San Diego, California. It is a 16½ block historical neighborhood in Downtown San Diego, and is the site of several entertainment and night life venues, as well as scheduled events and festivals, including Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp, Street Scene Music Festival, Taste of Gaslamp and ShamROCK, a St. Patrick's Day event. Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres is located one block away in downtown San Diego's East Village.
The area is listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places as Gaslamp Quarter Historic District. Its main period of development began in 1867, when Alonzo Horton bought the land in hopes of creating a new city center closer to the bay, and chose 5th Avenue as its main street. After a period of urban decay, the neighborhood underwent urban renewal in the 1980s and 1990s.
The Gaslamp Quarter extends from Broadway to Harbor Drive, and from 4th to 6th Avenue, covering 16½ blocks. It includes 94 historic buildings, most of which were constructed in the Victorian Era, and are still in use with active tenants including restaurants, shops and nightclubs.
"Gaslamp District" is the more commonly used name of the neighborhood by local San Diegans, while "Gaslamp Quarter", despite being on the entryway arch and all official city signage and banners, is rarely used by locals. The use of "Gaslamp District" is so pervasive by locals that it has become a shibboleth to determine who is a local San Diegan and who is a tourist.
When development of the area began in the 1860s, the area currently known as the Gaslamp Quarter was known as New Town, in contrast to Old Town, which was the original Spanish colonial settlement of San Diego. Though Gaslamps were not the main source of lighting in the district, it was chosen as the symbol for the "Gaslamp Quarter" during the redevelopment and preservation efforts that occurred during the 1980s. In actuality, the main source of lighting was arc lighting. Four new gaslamps have been installed at the intersection of Market Street and 5th Avenue.[when?]