Alonzo Horton bought up vast land, built a wharf and energized building in what is today, downtown San Diego 150 years ago. In 1975, business and property owners banded together to revitalize the downtown Gaslamp Quarter. Construction of the adjacent Petco Park and a revitalized Gaslamp became a catalyst for new development and new life throughout downtown.
The site of the Gaslamp Courtyard hotel was developed as early as 1887 and various tenants included restaurants, a Chinese Laundry, wholesale produce market and an art gallery. Plans were recently developed to demolish the existing building and construct a new 12-story hotel. Geocon was retained by the developer to perform geotechnical and environmental services on the site. Environmental services include a Phase I assessment, Phase 2 drilling and sampling, a vapor risk assessment, preparation of an Excavation and Soil Management Plan and waste disposal documentation. Site soils were found to contain soluble lead in the upper several feet and volatile hydrocarbons at depth. Excavations for subterranean parking resulted in removal of contaminated soils under the observation of Geocon environmental personnel.
Interesting Fact: The main source of lighting in the district was never gaslamp but was arc lighting.