Open House San Diego

Gain a new perspective on our city.
One weekend. Free access. Iconic architecture. The doors are open for you to explore.

After a successful one-day preview program on October 17th, 2015, Open House San Diego is expanding! The two-day Open House San Diego weekend will take place in Spring 2017. We are currently in the planning stages. To find out more about last year’s program, read below. If interested in getting more involved as a volunteer, drop us a line to info@sdarchitecture.org

Every building has a story.

  • Want to learn more about what goes on in an architect’s office? Now is your chance. 12+ offices will be participating.
  • Want to see San Diego from above? 3+ high-rises will be open to allow you to get a different glimpse of the city.
  • A fan of historic architecture? 5+ icons of San Diego’s historic architecture will be opening their doors.
  • Interested in the newest buildings on the San Diego skyline? We have tours of recently completed projects and a hard-hat tour.

The details.

The 41 participating sites are located in Downtown San Diego and Barrio Logan. Most sites are open from 10am – 4pm, but some have limited hours. Most sites offer open access or self-guided tours. Some offer regularly scheduled guided tours on a first come, first served basis. Others require advance reservations. All are FREE!
Opening times are listed per site below. The 9 sites requiring reservations are noted below. Reservations will be accepted here starting September 21st.

A pull-out map of the sites will be available in the Archtoberfest event guide. Look out for it popping up around town. You can also download the map here.
An all-day parking deal for $5  is available at the Ace Parking lot at Third & A. No code required.

The launch party.

The evening before Open House San Diego, Friday October 16th, we invite you to join a free special launch event, as RNT Architects gives an exclusive tour of City College Quad. Meet at Monkey Paw brewery at 805 16th St, San Diego, CA 92101 (21 & up) at 6pm. Drinks and food are available for purchase. At 7pm architect Ralph Roesling and Lance Lareau with San Diego Community College District will lead a walking tour of the recently completed City College Quad. Reservations are suggested, but not required to attend.

Presenting the sites participating in Open House San Diego | Downtown
Scroll to the bottom to see an image of each site

BARRIO LOGAN

01 | Bread & Salt
1955 Julian Avenue, San Diego, CA 92113
Open 1pm – 4pm

The former Weber Bakery is in the process of being transformed into a Community Arts Building and future artist housing. The raw, industrial space (complete with some of the original equipment) currently houses a gallery and the offices of Public Architecture.

BONUS | Alter Terra and Repurposed Planet at Bread & Salt
Open 1pm – 4pm | NOTE CHANGE TO OPENING HOURS

Repurposed Planet is passionate about taking reclaimed trash and recyclable materials and giving them new life as useful products. Visit and find out more about their work that supports wetland conservation in the San Diego-Tijuana Border Region.

02 | La Bodega Gallery & Studios
2196 Logan Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 1pm

La Bodega Gallery & Studios is a 9,000 sq.ft warehouse, built in 1917. It was originally opened as Bank of Italy which is now known as Bank of America. The warehouse has been converted into a gallery with creative art studios.

03 | La Esquina
2222 Logan Avenue, San Diego, CA 92113
Open 10am – 4pm, Orchid Winner

La Esquina (The Corner) is an apt name for this mixed-use, two-story infill building on a corner in the heart of Barrio Logan.  8 live-work units with splashes of color and interesting textures combine in a contemporary development in one of San Diego’s most culturally vibrant neighborhoods.

04 | M.W. Steele Group Architecture and Planning
1805 Newton Avenue, San Diego, CA 92113
Open 10am – 4pm

This mixed-use building is a masonry block warehouse with exposed structure and ducts and an industrial aesthetic. At the front of the building is Strozzi, an Italian deli that serves family recipes. The middle of the building is the architecture office and the rear is a commercial catering kitchen.

05 | The Bakery Design Collective
1701 National Avenue, San Diego, CA 92113
Open 10am – 1pm

A very tiny collaborative work space for art and design professionals. The space is currently home to architecture/design studio mi-workshop, design studio Mother Sponge and art/design curators Set & Drift.

06 | Woodbury University
2212 Main Street, San Diego, CA 92113
Open 1pm – 4pm, Orchid Winner
Guided tours | 1pm, 1.45pm, 2.30pm and 3.15pm

A re-purposed industrial building for use as a school of architecture. Wood and metal shop and digital fabrication lab on site.

COLUMBIA

07 | Embarcadero Improvements
Broadway & North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
Guided tours by Designer | 11am and 12pm | Reservations required
Meeting Point: Hornblower booth at the foot of Broadway

A long time in the making, the first phase of the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan is complete, between B Street Pier and Navy Pier. A 105’ wide waterfront promenade is richly detailed with garden rooms shaded by groves of Jacaranda trees, artist-designed shade pavilions and integrated storm water capture and filtration elements. Landscape Architects Spurlock Poirier will lead a tour.

08| Lane Field North Hotel
Broadway and Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92101
Guided Hard-Hat Tours | 10am and 11am | TOUR FULL
Close-toed, hard-soled shoes and long pants required
Meeting Point: At the construction site gate off Pacific Highway

Currently under construction, this 400 room, 12 story modern waterfront hotel is being built on the former site of Lane Field ballpark, one-time home to the Padres. Plans include publicly-accessible shops, restaurants and terraces at various levels along the west side of the building allowing for great views of the San Diego Bay. This exclusive hard-hat tour will give you insight into the construction process and an insider’s glimpse of what is to come.

09 | Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
1100 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 11am – 5pm – NOTE LATE OPENING TIME
Guided Tours available | 12pm and 2pm

The Joan and Irwin Jacobs Building (formerly the Santa Fe Depot baggage building built in 1915) features light-filled galleries and large spaces suitable for the presentation of large-scale installations and site-specific works. The 3-story modern David C. Copley Building includes a lecture hall, terrace and the education room for hands-on, interactive art activities.

10 | One America Plaza
600 West Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 1pm

One America Plaza is a 34-story high-rise, 622,580 square foot office building. At 500’ tall, it is the tallest building in the city and was built as tall as the city allows. It is a recognizable icon of the San Diego skyline due to its unique sculpted roof – sometimes referred to as the Philips Head Screwdriver building. The project is located on 2 blocks, of which only the south lot was developed. The north lot has remained vacant for many years – originally supposed to be a hotel. The base of the building features a 4-story high marble-clad lobby with water feature and an integrated trolley station.

11 | 1 Columbia Place
401 West A Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Guided Tours Only | 10am and 10.30am | Reservations Required

A 27 story, high-rise office building, 1 Columbia Place is an iconic landmark noted for its distinctive glass facade, stair-step design and high flying American flag, the largest in downtown San Diego. The building features a dramatic seven-story atrium lobby, common and private exterior terraces, and spectacular 360 degree views from the upper levels of downtown and San Diego Bay.

12 | SDSU Downtown Gallery
725 West Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 4pm
Guided Tours Available | 11am, 1pm and 3pm

In 1911, Eugene Hoffman designed Station B, the power plant for the San Diego Electric Railway Company. Hoffman incorporated classical motifs, like rounded arches and recessed coffered details for the exterior walls. In 2008 the building was incorporated into the Electra residential development and space on the ground floor was dedicated to use as a gallery.

CORE

13 | 701 B
701 B Street, San Diego, CA 92101
CANCELLED

Due to construction delays, we have to cancel this location. Sorry for the inconvenience.

14 | 707 Broadway
707 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101
Guided Tours Only | 10am and 10.30am | Reservations Required

An 18-story high-rise office building, 707 is becoming the workplace of the future for technology and innovative companies. Current upgrades include amenity enhancements such as a game room and gym and lobby updates. The garage showcases one of the largest art murals in San Diego by artist Chris Konecki.

15 | American Institute of Architects at Center City Building
233 A Street, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 4pm

This 14 story building is an early, elegant high-rise of the classical revival era.  It was once San Diego’s tallest building. Designed by Frank Stevenson, AIA and opened in 1927, its marble-clad lobby has a coffered ceiling and a fine staircase leading to the second floor housing the AIA|San Diego Chapter offices. The handsome exterior, clad in granite & brick, exemplifies the tripartite composition of many early skyscrapers with a clearly defined base, middle and top.

16 | Baker Nowicki Design Studio
731 Ninth Avenue, Suite A, San Diego, CA 92101 [NOTE THE ADDRESS CHANGE – PRINTED MAP LOCATION INCORRECT]
Open 10am – 4pm

The single story building was built in the 1940’s as a vehicle maintenance building for the US Postal Service. In 1997, the facility was changed to live and work spaces. The Baker Nowicki design studio moved in August of 2015. The interiors were designed to highlight the historical nature of the building in contrast to the heavy use of technology throughout.

17 | Carrier Johnson + CULTURE
1301 Third Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 4pm

Design-centric architectural, interior design and strategic branding practice in a mid-century modern office building.

18 | Co-Merge Workplace | Official OHSD Welcome Center
330 A Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 4pm | Orchid Winner

Co‐Merge’s sculptural steel fence and bright green planters make this adaptive re-use of a defunct building stand out. This next-generation shared work environment combines open interior spaces with interesting materials and a roof garden.

19 | Connections Housing
1250 Sixth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
Guided Tours Only | 10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm | Reservations Required

Downtown San Diego’s one-stop-shop for individuals experiencing homelessness. The building provides housing, supportive services and healthcare. It is housed in the historic 12-story San Diego Athletic Club dating from 1928. It was designed to meld the Late Gothic Revival and Art Deco styles with the Ziggurat form of the central tower.

20 | Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown
530 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 4pm

Originally the San Diego Trust & Savings Bank built in 1928 which was founded in 1888 by Joseph W. Sefton, Sr. and remained a bank until its closure in 1996. This is an award-winning example of historic adaptive re-use in the conversion from a bank to a hotel. Many of the original features of the structure remain remarkably intact and sensitively integrated into the new design. The great banking hall with its decorative coffered ceiling is now the lobby. The bank vault is now a meeting room.

21 | First Presbyterian Church of San Diego
320 Date Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 4pm
Guided Tours Available | 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm. 2.30pm and 3.30pm

The Sanctuary features intricate 1912 craftsmanship woodwork, a 101-Rank Cassavant Pipe Organ, and 50-foot stained glass windows. Do not miss this opportunity to visit the only place of worship included in this year’s line up!

22 | The US Grant Hotel
326 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 4pm

On October 15, 1910, The US Grant opened its doors. From the visions of grandeur of President Ulysses S. Grant’s son to hotel’s darker days operating San Diego’s known Speakeasy, the many layers of The US Grant’s storied legacy are today, 105 years later, weaved into an enriching guest experience.

23 | University Club atop Symphony Towers
750 B Street, Suite 3400, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 4pm

The University Club atop Symphony Towers is San Diego’s premier private social and business club. Located at the pinnacle of one of downtown’s tallest buildings, The University Club boasts a stunning panoramic view of the downtown skyline. Note that although the street is closed for another event, access will be available to the building. Please follow the signage.

EAST VILLAGE

24 | Basile Studio
840 11th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
Guided Tours Only | 1pm, 1.15pm, 1.30pm and 1.45pm | Reservations Required

A quintessential warehouse building with steel joists that clear span over 100′. Originally designed and built in 1960 for Pacific Messenger Service, which still operate across the street. Now houses the design studio and metal fabrication shop of award-winning designer Paul Basile.

25 | Bumble Bee Seafoods
Showley Brothers Candy Factory, 280 10th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 2pm
Guided Tours Available | Every 30mins starting at 10am. Last tour at 1.30pm

Visit the largest un-reinforced masonry building ever to have been moved. The building remains intact, highlighting the original brick, open barrel vaulted ceilings, exposed piping and mechanical equipment. Historical images of Bumble Bee Seafoods and San Diego’s rich fishing industry can be found throughout the space.

26 | Central Library
330 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 4pm
Guided Tours Available | 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm. 2.30pm and 3.30pm

San Diego’s new Public Library is a grand gesture that has created an iconic addition to the skyline. The building is didactic in that it teaches how the building came together and reveals a lot about the structure and systems. There are many notable spaces from the auditorium to the reading room to the  rooftop terrace under the dome with spectacular views. This is one not to be missed!

27 | FabLab
847 14th St, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 4pm

A non-profit community design and fabrication center that empowers individuals to give form to their ideas. Explore their workshop and 3D printing , prototyping and manufacturing capabilities. What will you make?

28 | Fashion Institute of Design & Marketing
350 10th Avenue #300, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 1pm
Guided Tours Available | 10.30am and 12pm

FIDM’s college campus has a modern aesthetic with an urban vibe. Its vibrant atmosphere is filled with natural light and bright colors defining different zones each with its own unique spatial experience. Architect, Clive Wilkinson, clearly understood how to inspire creative minds! Stunning views of Petco Park are available from the abundant floor to ceiling windows.

29 | Faultline Park
14th & Island, San Diego, CA 92101
Guided tours by Designer | 2pm and 3pm | Reservations required
Meeting Point: Grass Lawn in the middle of the park

This is a park that owes its existence to an earthquake fault line that runs through it.  This unbuildable land is now a 1.5 acre public park offering a variety of recreation opportunities for all ages.  The park design and public art come together to express the underlying site geology. Hear more about the park’s inspiration and the 10 year process from the design team, Spurlock Poirier.

30 | NewSchool of Architecture & Design
1249 F Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 1pm

The main building in the East Village campus is an adaptive reuse of the former factory building of Ratner Clothing Corp. The 100,000-square-foot building houses open design studios, a print center, library and materials and fabrication lab.

31 | Quartyard | Official OHSD Social Hub
1102 Market Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 4pm
JUST ADDED!! | Designer-led presentation at 1.30pm

A formerly blighted empty lot has been re-imagined as public space and transformed using shipping containers into a vibrant community focal point. Food trucks pull up daily in addition to an on-site eatery, beer garden, coffee shop and dog park. A great place to end your OHSD day and share your #OHSanDiego stories.

32 | SILO in Makers Quarter
753 15th Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 4pm

SILO in Makers Quarter is a large outdoor multi-use space that hosts collaborative community events that celebrate the creative spirit of the East Village. SILO represents the work of community partners to transform this neighborhood into a vibrant and thriving cultural enclave of artists, artisans and entrepreneurs.

33 | SMARTS Farm
1504 F Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 3pm

In 2013, the San Diego nonprofit Humane Smarts transformed a vacant East Village lot into a thriving community garden and center for learning. SMARTS Farm uses “green” gardening to teach students how to farm in an urban setting, and encourage conservation of natural resources.

34 | AVRP Studios and Skyport Studios at Snowflake Bakery Building
703 16th Street, Suite 100 & 200, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 4pm | Orchid Winner

This brick bakery building went through several transitions during the past 100 years, unfortunately falling into a state of despair and neglect.  The current owners took the building back to its original brick façade and restored the corner entry based on historical photos.  Even the original Snowflake Bakery sign was repainted across the top of the building.  A complete seismic upgrade was completed and the building is now home to AVRP Studios, Skyport Studios and other design and creative firms.

GASLAMP

35 | Andaz Hotel
600 F St, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 4pm

Constructed in 1913, the only remaining hotel of Hebbard’s design in San Diego, the Maryland Hotel was a six-story structure called “one of the most modernly equipped in San Diego.” It was the only hotel in its day in San Diego to have connecting baths with all 295 rooms, telephones and clothes closets. Its exterior construction of steel and brick was finished with Tracy Tapestry brick set in wide recessed joints with trimming of ornamental stone. In 2006 the building was completely renovated including the addition of a rooftop pool.

36 | Parq Restaurant and Nightclub
615 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 2pm
Guided Tours Available | 10.45am, 11.45am and 12.45am | Reservations Accepted | Walk ins OK

The Union building stands 14-stories tall and is one of San Diego’s only historic high-rises. Developed in 1926 by John D. Spreckels, designated as historic in 1983 and previously occupied by the Bank of Italy, Bank of America and Home Federal Savings. Parq Restaurant and Nightclub occupies the ground level and basement since 2014, with a unique park-like magical environment you will want to see to believe!

37 | RNT Architects
363 5th Avenue #202, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 1pm – 4pm

Learn about RNT’s design process to discover and understand the meaning of their clients’ “stories” and how they implement a project, crafted with artistic grace, to support these important needs. The firm’s offices are located in the historic Brunswig Building, a brick warehouse building originally dating from 1888 but which subsequently burned (at least twice) and though not destroyed was extensively renovated and expanded.  The interior features original brick and structural elements.  Visitors will be able to see this historic building as well as models, photos and drawings of RNT’s projects.

38 | San Diego Chinese Historical Museum
404 Third Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 4pm
Guided Tours Available | 11am and 1pm

The museum is housed in what was once the Chinese community church located on First Avenue. Built in 1927 by the nephew of famed local architect Irving Gill, the building was saved from demolition, relocated and renovated through the efforts of the Chinese Historical Society.

39 | Sparks Gallery
530 Sixth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 11am – 4pm | NOTE CHANGE TO OPENING HOURS

The Sterling Hardware building was built in 1924 and designated as a historic building in the early 1980s. The recent renovation and transformation to a gallery space, keeps an industrial, yet elegant design that would have suited the building’s original purposes.

40 | The Davis Horton House
410 Island Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 12pm – 4pm | NOTE CHANGE TO OPENING HOURS

Built in 1850, an historic salt box type, two story wooden structure. The oldest surviving structure in downtown.

41 |  Heritage Architecture at The Yuma Building
633 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 10am – 2pm
No accessible entry

The Yuma Building is one of the Gaslamp Quarter’s most recognizable buildings. This Victorian-style structure was built in 1882 by steamboat captain Alfred H. Wilcox. Once boarding rooms and even a brothel, Heritage Architecture & Planning moved into building in 2015.

BONUS | Rethink Downtown | An exhibition sponsored by Bosa Development
700 First Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
Open 11am – 5pm

Located at the corner of 1st Avenue and G St, across Horton Plaza, Rethink Downtown is a free public exhibition that tells the story of San Diego’s urban development, from its humble European settler beginnings to its coming of age as a key American city and reveals clues to the city’s next exciting chapter.

 

  • Open House San Diego offers San Diegans an opportunity to better understand architectural design and history, while also exploring best practices for the future.

    kris michell

    Kris Michell
    President & CEO
    Downtown San Diego Partnership

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San Diego Architectural Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to education and promotion of outstanding architecture, planning and urban design throughout the San Diego region.

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