The center of our city’s civic life, arts and cultural attractions, and a hub of economic activity, Downtown is a place to work and play hard. The Embarcadero connects the area to the waterfront, providing green spaces where the public enjoys the natural beauty of the bay. The revitalization of many historic buildings has created new residential, retail and commercial spaces.
703 16th Street, Suite 200, San Diego
Guided tours / SAT & SUN 1PM – 4PM
Located in the historic Snowflake Bakery building, this visionary local design studio has been re-purposed as creative office space. The building’s brick facade, original painted sign, and corner entry were restored based on historical photos and earned an SDAF Orchid Award for Historic Restoration.
PARK & MARKET
1100 Market Street, San Diego
Self-guided tour & guided tours / SUN 1PM - 4PM
Located on a full city block, this 4-story, mixed-use space serves as an intersection of people, ideas, art, and innovation, a connection between the 33-story Merian tower and the UC San Diego downtown campus. The project was designed by Carrier Johnson + CULTURE and features public art and other elements by MIRIELLO. A testament to its design, Park & Market is a 2021 Orchid Award winner.
Carrier Johnson + CULTURE, 2021
ROESLING NAKAMURA TERADA ARCHITECTS/BRUNSWIG BUILDING
363 Fifth Avenue, Suite 202, San Diego
Self-guided tour & guided tours / SAT 10AM - 4PM
Originally begun as a two-story warehouse, the Brunswig building has housed a number of businesses over the years. The building is named after the Brunswig Drug Company, which boasted branches in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Phoenix and Tucson. After a devastating fire in 1925, the third story was added along with the inscription “1888” to indicate the date of the founding of the company.
Though remodeled, the interior still features original exposed brick and structural elements and now serves as home to contemporary architecture firm Roesling Nakamura Terada.
William Quayle, 1900
530 Sixth Avenue, San Diego
Self–guided tour / SUN 10AM – 4PM
Now a contemporary art gallery, this site was originally the historic Sterling Hardware Building. Over the years, it functioned as a vaudeville theater, carriage repair shop, and glass works. The brick and timber structure was thoughtfully re-purposed and modernized while remaining true to the vintage feel of the space. The original maple floorboards and brick walls were restored and a steel-framed mezzanine, inspired by traditional exterior fire escapes, was added.
Built 1924 / Architects Hanna Gabriel Wells, 2015
GASLAMP WALKING TOUR: THE EVOLUTION OF DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT
Guided tour / SAT 10AM & 12PM / Reservations required
Since its inception, downtown San Diego has been through a range of booms and busts. Come explore the rich history, architecture, and urban planning through this 1.5-hour walking tour that will include seeing sites in the Gaslamp Quarter, Marina District, Core/Columbia neighborhood, East Village, and Ballpark District.
The tour will discover some of downtown’s most recognizable landmarks as well as seeing some secret attractions. Come learn about the first structures built in downtown and those that are currently under construction. Led by John Martinez, Senior Associate and Project Designer, Carrier Johnson + CULTURE.