The Historic Gaslamp, one of San Diego's most famous and infamous neighborhoods dating back to the late 1800's, was once called the Stingaree District. This neighborhood was the center for gambling halls, opium dens, and bawdy houses. Gamblers, prostitutes and revelers, such as Wyatt Earp, Ida Bailey, "in port” sailors, and Chinese Railroad workers were some of the original visitors of the 1880’s. San Diego remained a popular navy port until 1912 when city officials cracked down on prostitution, effectively shutting down the lively neighborhood. Today, the Gaslamp's unique architecture is a testament to its heyday between the 1880 and 1910 before it suffered economic and social decline throughout the 1900s.
The Redevelopment Agency in 1976 drew upon the historic character of the Gaslamp, in order to bring new life to the city while preserving the distinctive character of the original architecture. The initial redevelopment activity of the Gaslamp was fueled by the completion of Horton Plaza in 1985. The Gaslamp, which encompasses a 16.5-block neighborhood, is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places with 94 historically or architecturally significant structures. The Gaslamp today houses over 70 restaurants and nightclubs, shops, movie theaters, galleries, lofts, and offices. Over the next two years, 95,500 square feet of retail, 334 hotel rooms, and 364 residential units are planned for development all in the midst of the events of the Gaslamp, including: Street Scene, the Mardi Gras Celebration, ShamRock, Taste of Gaslamp, and Cinco in the Gaslamp.