The Gaslamp Quarter Association (GQA) announced that the American Planning Association (APA) has designated the Gaslamp Quarter’s Fifth Avenue as one of the Top 10 Great Streets for 2010 under the organization’s Great Places in America program. The APA recognized Fifth Avenue between Broadway and Harbor Drive as a key element contributing to the revitalization of downtown San Diego through the National Historic District’s adaptive reuse, building height limitations, and strict design guidelines. This prestigious honor is awarded to only ten streets throughout the U.S., and identifies exceptional character “in creating communities of lasting value.”
Originally the birthplace of San Diego’s colorful past and situated in modern-day downtown, the Gaslamp Quarter encompasses Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Avenues between Broadway and Harbor Drive. Many of San Diego’s iconic structures can be found on Fifth Avenue, including the Louis Bank of Commerce Building at 904 Fifth Ave., the Mercantile Building at 820 Fifth Ave., the Yuma Building at 633 Fifth Ave., and more. With 94 historic buildings throughout the district, the Gaslamp Quarter was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. The Gaslamp Quarter Planned District Ordinance (PDO) and Design Guidelines were adopted in 1976 and were recently updated and approved by the City of San Diego’s City Council in July 2010, which set the standard to maintain the distinctive Victorian architecture and historic character of the district. The district’s revitalization began in the 1980s, leading to growth of what would become San Diego’s premier shopping, dining and nightlife destination today.