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Horton Plaza’s Role In San Diego History

Horton Plaza in this undated photo

Photo by Neiko Will

Above: Horton Plaza in this undated photo

Horton Plaza's Role In San Diego History


Jennifer Van Grove, reporter The San Diego Union-Tribune


There’s no argument that Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego has outlived its usefulness as a shopping mall. It only has a few retail tenants left and is largely a ghost town set smack dab in the middle of downtown. So news this year about its sale and proposed renovation into a high-tech office hub was largely welcomed.

RELATED: Retail Oasis Or Ghost Town? The Future Of San Diego Malls

But now, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports, some local historians and architects say San Diego will lose an important part of its history if Horton Plaza is demolished.

They have asked the city to consider preserving certain portions of its innovative architecture. Architect John Jerde designed the property in the postmodern style. It opened to great fanfare in 1985.

"The main elements of Horton Plaza that of architectural significance are associated with the internal courtyard it has which is kind of a connecting spine, various shapes and bridges and stairs and overlooks and balconies where this kind of street that was created diagonally through the center of the mall. That's really where the rubber hits the road as far as the architecture and the experience people have in the building," David Marshall, who is asking for city to study the building's historical significance, said.

Marshall, who is the owner of Heritage Architecture and Planning said he believes that internal courtyard could be preserved as part of any new use.

Jennifer Van Grove, growth and development reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune, discusses the story Wednesday on Midday Edition.


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