MS 225 USD Gaslamp Research Project Records

Summary Information

San Diego History Center Document Collection
USD Gaslamp Research Project.
USD Gaslmap Research Project Records
MS 225
Date [inclusive]
2.75 Linear feet (6 boxes)
The collection contains the USD Gaslamp Research Project records of consolidated historical data for buildings in the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego.

Preferred Citation

USD Gaslamp Research Project Records, MS 225, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

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Biographical / Historical Notes

The University of San Diego (USD) Gaslamp Research Project was completed under several grants from Regional Employment and Training Consortium (RETC) of San Diego. The research was completed from July 1978 through September 1979. The goal of this grant was to inventory and consolidate historical information so as to assist in the planning and reconstruction of the Gaslamp Quarter by city officials and organizations.

The vast majority of historical narratives originate with Alonzo Erastus Horton. From 1867-1869, Horton, the “Father of San Diego,” purchased nearly 1000 acres of land of New Town, which includes blocks in the Gaslamp Quarter. He immediately began selling his land and stimulating development, both retail and residential. An intense interest was generated around Horton’s land, shifting the town center and creating the dichotomy of Old Town and New Town. A parcel of land could pass through 5 or 6 owners within one week. The concentrated development of New Town went through several cycles until a collapse in the early 1900s.

Many types of building and businesses operated in New Town – banks, hotels, physicians, pharmacies, and clothing stores. The southern part of New Town saw many warehouses, lumber yards, and various depots, (e.g. blocks 121, 122, and 139), and many produce stores gathered near block 113. Block 95 highlights a disturbing time in American history when those of Japanese descent lost their homes, business, and possessions when forced into internment camps during World War II. Few managed to regain their property and belongings after the war. Blocks 94 & 115 feature Ah Quin and his family. Other prominent businesses include the Whitney Company, which covered several blocks, and the family-owned San Diego Hardware Company.

With business development, the corresponding shift of the town center, and technological advancements, public transportation became an attractive opportunity to investors. As a result, nearly 20 railway companies operated in a complicated maze that stretched all over San Diego County, even to Coronado and La Jolla. Transportation shifted from horse-drawn streetcars to electric railways. With so many stakeholders, the fight for dominance was fierce. Notable figures in this bout were E.S. Babcock, Milton Santee, Hampton L. Story, and the Spreckels brothers.

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Scope and Content

The collection contains the USD Gaslamp Research Project records of consolidated historical data for buildings in the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego. There are two introductory sections entitled “Archival Research” and “Streetcar Research;” the former contains a guide to the collection as well as consolidated information on photographs, maps, newspapers, and architects, and the latter is comprisesd of the history, biographies, maps, and companies that made up the complex system of public transportation in San Diego’s early history.

Research reports are divided by individual blocks and the lots contained within each block. Each lot section report contains a historical narrative, coalescing information from deeds, newspapers, and history books. Interspersed within the narrative are Sanborn Fire maps from various years and occasionally copies of photographs and newspaper advertisements. This is followed by a tenant listing identifying the street address, year, business listing, and business type. For some tenant listings, they seem to list all the tenants on the block rather than tenants in the particular building. After the list of tenants, there is a chronology of the land title, some including leases, mortgages, or notices of completion. The last document in each section is the historic resources inventory with an architectural supplement, which summarizes the building’s common name, location, accessibility, historical connection, and structure description. Additional copies of some of the block research reports are also included, some with highlighted sections and/or missing components.

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Collection is arranged into two series:

Series I: USD Gaslamp Research Project

Series II: Research Copies

Items within each series are arranged by block number.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

San Diego History Center Document Collection January 2, 2013

1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number 2008.3.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Sandra Kirkwood on January 2, 2013.

Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Coast Citrus Distributers.
  • F. W. Woolworth Company.
  • First National Bank of San Diego.
  • Foreman & Clark.
  • Hamilton Brothers Grocery Store.
  • J.D. and A.B. Spreckels Securities Company.
  • J.D. Spreckels & Bros..
  • Klauber and Levi Company.
  • Lion Clothing Company.
  • Monarch Drug Company.
  • San Diego Hardware Company.
  • San Diego Public Library.
  • USD Gaslamp Research Project.
  • Volunteers of America.
  • Western Union Telegraph Company.
  • Whitney & Co..

Geographic Name(s)

  • Gaslamp Quarter (San Diego, Calif.)
  • San Diego (Calif.)
  • San Diego (Calif.) — Buildings, structures, etc.

Personal Name(s)

  • Babcock, Elisha S.
  • Capron, John G.
  • Choate, Daniel
  • Horton, Alonzo E., 1813-1909
  • Llewelyn, William
  • Marston, George P.
  • Morse, Ephraim W.
  • Quin, Ah
  • Reed, David C.
  • Santee, Milton
  • Spreckels, Adolph B.
  • Spreckels, John Diedrich, b. 1853
  • Story, Hampton L.
  • Whitney, W. W.

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Collection Inventory

 Series I: USD Gaslamp Research Project

“Archival Research,” 1978 July-1979 September 1:1
“Streetcar Research,” 1978 July-1979 September


San Diego Electric Railway Company

San Diego Streetcar Company

National City and Otay Railroad

Block 43, Lots A-G, 1978 July-1979 September


Coronado Beach Company (Lot G)

Cosgrove Building (Lot A and B, North 1/2)

Einstracht Saloon (Lot A and B, North 1/2)

First National Bank (Lot G)

John Gay Building (Lots D, E, and F)

Kuhn Building (Lot A and B, North 1/2)

Lawyer’s Block (Lots D, E, and F)

Pauly and Gassen Block (Lots D, E, and F)

Schaeffer Block (Lot A and B, North 1/2)

Strahlmann-Mayer Drug Company (Lot A and B, North 1/2)

Block 43, Lots H-L, 1978 July-1979 September


American Jewelry Company (Lot H)

Baranov’s Jewelers (Lot I)

Granger Building (Lots J, K, and L)

J. Jessop and Son (Lots J, K, and L)

Merchants’ National Bank (Lots J, K, and L)

Morse-Whaley-Dalton Building (Lot H)

Phillips Building (Lot H)

Western Union Telegraph Company (Lot I)

Block 44, Lots A-D (North 1/2), 1978 July-1979 September


Ballard and Brockett (Lot B)

Dalton Building (Lot C, South 1/2)

Foreman and Clark (Lot A)

F. W. Woolworth Company (Lot B)

Gilbert Building (Lot B)

Hamilton Brothers Grocery Store (Lot D, North 1/2)

Lion Clothiers (Lot C, North 1/2)

Manhattan Hotel (Lot C, South 1/2)

Marine National Bank (Lot C, North 1/2)

Monarch Drug Company (Lot A)

Universal Boot Shop (Lot C, South 1/2)

Block 44, Lots D (South 1/2)-L, 1978 July-1979 September


Ernsting Company (Lots D, South 1/2, and E)

George Vreeland (Lots D, South 1/2, and E)

Hotel Chelsea (Lots D, South 1/2, and E)

Lion Clothing Company (Lots K and L)

San Diego Savings Bank (Lot F)

Watts Building/Robinson Building (Lot F)

Whitney and Company (Lots G, H, I, and J)

Block 61, Lots A-F, 1978 July-1979 September


Crystal Palace, Addendum to Lots A/B/K/L (Lots A and B)

G.A.R. Hall (Lots E and F, North 1/2)

Heller’s Grocery Store (Lots A and B)

Hubbell Building (Lots E and F, North 1/2)

Lion Clothing Company (Lots A and B)

Marston-Hubbell Building (Lot F)

Marston’s Dry Goods (Lot F)

Nesmith-Greeley Building (Lot D)

Packard’s Book Store (Lot D)

Southern Electrical Company (Lots E and F, North 1/2)

The Willard (Lot C)

Block 61, Lots G-L, 1978 July-1979 September


Crystal Palace, Lots A/B/K/L (Lots K and L)

Emma T. Read (Lot G)

Half Price House (Lot H)

Majestic Hotel (Lot G)

Meyer and Davidson Building (Lot I)

Pierce-Morgan Block (Lot G)

St. James Hotel (Lot I)

Sheldon Building (Lot H)

Society of Natural History (Lot K)

Block 62, Lots A-H (South 40′),


Golden Lion Tavern (Lot F)

Ingle Building (Lot F)

Metropolitan Hotel (Lots A and B)

Windsor Hotel (Lot C)

Block 62, Lots H (North 40′)-L, 1978 July-1979 September


Allyn Building (Lot L)

Bank of Commerce and Trust Company (Lot L)

Choate-Peterson Block (Lot I)

Gerichten Building (Lot H, North 40’)

Block 69, Lots A-I (North 1/2), 1978 July-1979 September


Cole Block (Lots G and H, South 1/2)

Coronado View Hotel (Lots G and H, South 1/2)

Llewelyn Building (Lots H, North 1/2, and I, South 1/2)

Muehleisen Tent and Awning Company (Lots A and B)

Walter G. Meadows (watchmaker) (Lot F)

Block 69, Lots J (North 1/2)-L (South 1/2), 1978 July-1979 September


Parker, Landscape and Portrait Photographer (Lot J, South 1/2)

Free Reading Room (Lot K)

Gill and Gill (Lot K)

Denver Bachelor Hotel/Minneapolis Hotel (Lot K)

Spencer-Ogden Building (Lot L, North 1/2)

Carpenter’s Bookstore (Lot L, South 1/2)

Block 70, Lots A-I, 1978 July-1979 September


Bay City Meat Market (Lots E-H)

Central Building (Lot A)

Effron’s Clothing (Lot C)

Frank Berman (Lot B, S ½)

Hamilton and Company (Lots E-H)

Harry Funk (Lot C)

Ingle Company (Lot I, N ½)

Ingle’s Hardware Store (Lots D & I, S ½)

Oxford Hotel (Lot A)

Pierce-Field Hardware Company (Lot B, S ½)

Phipps Furniture Store (Lot I, N ½)

Selwyn and Saunders (Lot B, S ½)

Union Theatre (Lot C)

U.S. Theatre (Lot B, N ½)

Young Block (Lot A)

Block 70, Lots J-L, 1978 July-1979 September


Anton E. Bregante (Lot L)

George H. Hill Building (Lot L)

Isaac Ratner Cap Manufacturing Company (Lot L)

Wilson S. Silsby (Lot L)

Block 87, Lots A-F, 1978 July-1979 September


Aztec Theater (Lot A)

Bancroft Building (Lot A)

Burns Brothers Meat Market (Lot B, N ½)

California Theatre (Lot A)

Ferris and Ferris Drug Store (Lots E and F)

The Grant (Lot D, N ½)

McGurck Building (Lots E and F)

San Diego Commercial College (Lot A)

S.W. Bone (Lot D, N ½)

Block 87, Lots G-L, 1978 July-1979 September


I.O.O.F. Building (Lots G and H, S 20’)

Edwin H. Wright (Lots K and L)

Block 88, Lots A-F and L, 1978 July-1979 September


City Hall (Lot L)

Klauber and Levi Company (Lots E and F)

Klauber and Wangenheim Company (Lots E and F)

Lyons Implement Company (Lots A-D)

San Diego Public Library (Lot L)

Volunteers of America (Lots A-D)

Block 94, Lots G-L, 1978 July-1979 September


Copies of deeds (Lots J and K)

Crossroads Bar (Lot L)

Empire Hotel (Lot L)

Frey Brothers (Lot L)

Louis Cotheret (Lot I)

Royal Pie Bakery (Lots J and K)

San Diego Cracker Factory (Lots J and K)

Star Bakery (Lots J and K)

Tai Sing Company (Lot G and H)

Thomas A. Quin (Lot G and H)

Block 95, Lots A (East 25)-I (South 1/2), 1978 July-1979 September


Acme Saloon (Lot G)

Fijimura/Kawasaki grocery store (Lot I, S 1/2)

Hotel Callan (Lot G)

Hotel Lester (Lots A, W75, and B, W75 of N 1/2)

Nippon Company (Lot G)

Pacific Hotel (Lot G)

St. Peter Building (Lots A, W75, and B, W75 of N 1/2)

Sun Café (Lots A, E25, and B, E25 of N 1/2)

Block 95, Lots I (North 1/2)-L, 1977-1979


ABC Café (Lot J, North ½)

Frank Yamada (Lot J, North ½)

Frisco Café (Lot K, North ½)

Lincoln Hotel (Lot I, North ½, and Lot J, South ½)

Otay Winery and Distillery Depot (Lot I, North ½)

“Preliminary Archaeological Survey, Marin Hotel” (Lot K, South ½)

San Diego Furniture and Carpet Company (Lot K, South ½)

Timken Building (Lot L)

Block 96, Lots A-L, 1978 July-1979 September


Adolph Hoyer (Lots A and B)

Charles E. Schroeder (Lots G and H)

C. Holle and Company (Lot I)

City Rescue Mission (Lots C, D, and E, N ½)

Clark-Rockfellow Granite Company (Lots J)

Fordyce R. Millard (Lot F)

Hotel Togo (Lots C, D, and E, N ½)

Isaiah Salomon (Lots C, D, and E, N ½)

Klauber-Watts Building (Lots G and H)

Moritz Trepte (Lot I)

Nearpass Seed Company (Lots G and H)

Nochbour and Beade Saloon (Lot E, S ½)

Point Loma Saloon (Lots G and H)

The Prescott (Lot J)

R. Montijo and Sons (Lot E, S ½)

San Diego Meat Market (Lots A and B)

Santa Rosa Hotel (Lots A and B)

Standard Theatre (Lot I)

Streicher Shoe Company (Lot F)

William Gonzales (Lot F)

Yoshio Arakawa (Lots C, D, and E, N ½)

Block 113, Lots A-L, 1978 July-1979 September


F. Nash Building (Lots A and B)

F. W. Braun and Company (Lot J)

Greenman and Sons (Lot H and I)

Isadore Frank and Son (Lots D and E)

Leo Greebaum, Wholesale Produce (Lot G)

Lone Star Grocery and Poultry Store (Lots K and L)

Maydole-Smith Fruit and Produce Company (Lot J)

V. Bruschi and Company (Lot F)

Wangenheim and Klauber (Lots K and L)

Block 114, Lots A-L; and Block 115, Lots A, D, H, and L, 1978 July-1979 September


Asia Restaurant (Block 115, Lot H)

Hotel Regal (Block 115, Lot H)

Kansas Livery (Block 115, Lots A and L)

Peter Cassidy (Block 114, Lot K and L)

Rockaway Restaurant (Block 115, Lots A and L)

“Quin Family Building” (Lot D)

Sang High Company (Block 115, Lots A and L)

Simon Levi and Company (Block 114, Lot G and H)

Block 121, Lots A-L, 1978 July-1979 September


Grand Pacific Hotel (Lot L)

Helping Hand and Home (Lot L)

Pioneer Truck Company (Lots E, F, G and H)

San Diego Coal Company (Lots E and F)

Block 122, Lots A-L, 1978 July-1979 September


F.W. Braun Company (Lots A-C)

Brunswig Drug Company (Lots A-C)

George H. Ballou and Company (Lots D-F)

McDonald and Company (Lots G-I)

McKenzie Brothers (Lots G-I)

San Diego Fruit and Produce Company (Lot L)

Star Builders Supply Company (Lots A-C)

Zellerbach Paper Company (Lots D-F)

Block 139, Lots A-L, 1978 July-1979 September


Capron Block (Lots A, B, and C)

Coast Citrus Distributers (Lots D, E, H, I, J, K, and L)

Harville Brothers and Company (Lots B, S 1/2, and C)

Julius Rothschild Building (Lot G)

McKenzie, Flint, and Winsby Company (Lots A, B, and C)

National City and Otay (N.C. & O.) Railroad Depot (Lot G)

San Diego Lumber Company (Lot G and H)

W.E. Howard’s Commission House (Lots D and I)

W.F. Clark Wholesale Hardware Company (Lot F and H)

William Darby Company (Lot G)

W.W. Stewart and Company (Lots A and B, N 1/2)

Block 140, Lots A-C and H-L; and Block 144, Lots A, K, and L, 1978 July-1979 September


Cudahy Packing Company (Lots A, B, K, and L)

Irwin and Company (Lots A, B, C, H, I, J-S ½, K, and L)

McDonald and Company (Block 144)

McDonald and Morse Company (Block 144)

Pacific Coast Steamship Company (Lots C, H, I, J-S ½)

Pacific Mail Steamship Company (Lots C, H, I, J-S ½)

San Diego Lumber Company (Block 144)

T. M. Cobb and Company (Lots A, B, K, and L)

W.W. Stewart and Company (Lots A, B, K, and L)


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 Series II: Research Copies

Block 43, Lots A-G , 1978 July-1979 September 5:1
Block 43, Lots H-L, 1978 July-1979 September 5:2
Block 44, Lots A-E, 1978 July-1979 September 5:3
Block 44, Lots F-L, 1978 July-1979 September 5:4
Block 61, Lots A-F, 1978 July-1979 September 5:5
Block 61, Lots G-L, 1978 July-1979 September 5:6
Block 62, Lots A-F, 1978 July-1979 September 5:7
Block 62, Lots G-L, 1978 July-1979 September 5:8
Block 87, Lots A-F, 1978 July-1979 September 6:1
Block 87, Lots G-L, 1978 July-1979 September 6:2
Block 122, Lots A-L, 1978 July-1979 September 6:3

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