Great Place Wednesday: Old Town San Diego, CA

This summer I spent a week in the San Diego area, my first visit there in many years. We spent an afternoon exploring San Diego’s Old Town, which is truly a great place:

San Diego’s Old Town is unique in that it was basically abandoned for a more strategic site for the city, a few miles away, and closer to the natural harbor that modern day San Diego is located on.  Because of this, Old Town is a perfectly preserved time capsule of town planning from the Spanish Colonial era of the mid 1800’s.  The center of Old Town is the city green, dominated by a large ficus tree, easily more than 100-years old:

Where Old Town excels is definitely in the details. The whole neighborhood is filled with small building details that happen much more rarely in modern construction.

Stucco architectural details:

Spanish tile on outdoor stair risers:

Long, grand staircase for informal seating:

With Spanish style construction quite popular in the western US, and with it practically dominating all new construction in the St. George, Utah area, any one of these details could go a long way to improving the overall design of a place.