Being able to walk, ride a bike, or take a trolley to nearby amenities and attractions is one of the many reasons condo buyers are attracted to downtown San Diego, and this includes historic structures. While Old Town San Diego and Fort Stockton are the historic spots that attract more tourists, there are quite a few buildings and sites you can visit without venturing beyond the downtown districts. According to the San Diego Historical Society, nearly 100 structures within the downtown districts meet the archival criteria to make them historic sites. The professionals from 92101 Urban Living, the agents with the most in-depth knowledge about downtown San Diego real estate and urban living in America’s Finest City, offer these recommendations for you to explore.
The William Heath Davis House
Located on Island Avenue right in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, this elegant home serves as an important museum displaying the history of downtown San Diego. William Heath Davis was a developer who believed that Old Town San Diego, located between the Midway and Mission Hills districts, had become run down, blighted, and stagnant in the middle of the 19th century. Davis’s vision of a new waterfront urban center was briefly interrupted when he ran out of cash, but it was revived when Alonzo Horton and his powerful connections came to town. Despite its small size, this museum packs a lot of information about New Town San Diego, including the arrival of famous gunslinger Wyatt Earp, who stayed at the Horton Grand Hotel just across the street until about 1887.
The Piazza Basilone Memorial
Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone of the United States Marine Corps was awarded the Medal of Honor, the Navy Cross, and a Purple Heart for his heroic actions in the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II. Although Gunny Basilone didn’t live in San Diego, his heroism and Italian American heritage are celebrated by the local Marine Corps community as well as by military veterans. War veterans of Italian, Mexican, and Portuguese heritage are recognized at this elegant piazza, which is located at 621 West Fir Street in Little Italy.
Casa de Balboa
This gorgeous building, which combines elements of Spanish and Venetian Renaissance architecture, has served many purposes and gone through various names since it was originally built in 1912. Casa de Balboa was always intended to celebrate the feat of American engineering known as the Panama Canal, which has been instrumental in terms of developing trade and commerce between Southern California and the world. There are a few other historic buildings in Balboa Park, and you can learn more about them by visiting Casa de Balboa.
The Balboa Theatre
Vaudeville and the performing arts arrived in San Diego thanks to the construction of the Balboa Theatre in 1924. Throughout the decades, this building has been meticulously restored to reflect its glorious beginnings, and it includes a Wonder Morton Organ, a landmark of the silent film era. If you’ve ever wanted to experience what it was like to attend film screenings during the Golden Age of Hollywood, this theater is highly recommended.
Whether you live in a penthouse, loft, or condo in downtown San Diego, there’s sure to be a place nearby that awakens your inner history buff. For more information on the most interesting historical sites as well as the greatest properties on the market in downtown San Diego, reach out to the experienced professionals at 92101 Urban Living. Give us a call today at 619-649-0368.