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Historic San Diego Landmark: The Cosmopolitan Hotel In Old Town

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Video published May 21, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: A sneak preview of the re-opening of the Casa de Bandini Cosmopolitan Hotel. To learn more about the early days in Old Town and about the Restoration Project - tune in to San Diego's Historic Places with Elsa Sevilla -- Monday, May 24 at 9:30 p.m.

GLORIA PENNER: Old Town Historic State Park is one of the most popular local tourist attractions. But for the past six years, the historic Casa de Bandini and the Cosmopolitan Hotel have been closed to the public for a multi-million dollar restoration. Producer Elsa Sevilla brings us up to date as the project comes to an end.

BRUCE COONS: This is the main entrance, the original main entrace, and it has what they call faux finishing.

ELSA SEVILLA: There's much excitement surrounding the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Old Town. The near seven million dollar, six-year restoration is just about complete. Our cameras are the first to go inside. Bruce Coons of SOHO was the historic restoration consultant on the project.

COONS: We didn't know what we were going to find when we started pulling off all the concrete, cause sometimes they take all that stuff off, and there was new trim on the outside. But all the old trim was underneath there.

SEVILLA: The building is unique. The Bandini house is adobe, built in 1827. The Cosmopolitan Hotel was added 40 years later. While much of the building is original, it was critical to retrofit the 180-year-old adobe. David Marshall was the chief architect.

DAVIS MARSHALL: This steel strap you see here, actually, it stitches the building together in the corners, this is part of the seismic retrofit.

SEVILLA: The historic Casa de Bandini was for many years, and will continue to be, a restaurant and bar. And for the first time, the Cosmopolitan has been returned into the original hotel, with 10 rooms for guests, and all antique furnishings.

COONS: It's fantastic. You know, all of us that worked on the project, we've all worked on major projects including some of the missions, and many fabulous sites. But this is one of the most important buildings in the state.

SEVILLA: It's a restoration project that will certainly allow San Diegans and visitors to enjoy the Casa and Hotel for a very long time. It will open to the public in mid-June.

Editor's Note: The name Casa de Bandini used in tonight’s news story refers to a historic adobe located in San Diego’s Old Town. Casa de Bandini Restaurant is a registered trademark of Diane Powers.

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Avatar for user 'Cosmostinks'

Cosmostinks | October 7, 2010 at 11 a.m. ― 6 years, 5 months ago

I Just Hate what these morons did to Old Towns most beloved and popular restaraunt! I ate at Casa Bandini Hundreds and Hundreds of times and took all my out of town guests there. I will never set foot in that HIDEOUS Eyesore,nor will any of my friends. Hey here is a great idea; take the most popular restaurant in town and Destroy it! (Oh you already did) I can't wait for it to Fail and go bankrupt, and it will, so that we can get our beloved Casa Bandini back. Old Town Has been Ruined by Philidelphia North and Myself and all my friend will avoid it Forever.

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Avatar for user 'starfish'

starfish | October 31, 2010 at 7:37 p.m. ― 6 years, 4 months ago

The faithful and meticulous historic restoration of the Cosmopolitan Hotel is one of the most exciting architectural achievements in decades for San Diego. Kudos to the extraordinary team, particularly chief architect David Marshall, for this important historic moment not only for Old Town San Diego but for the great State of California itself.

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