This project transformed a vacant retail site and dilapidated historic park into a highly programmed, iconic heart for downtown San Diego. Hosting more than 200 civic and cultural events each year,
Horton Plaza has become a successful, energetic community space, revitalizing downtown San Diego and restoring the adjacent historic park to its original design intent and character. The Landscape Architect led a process to create a strongly place-based, contextually-sensitive design response. With no dedicated public gathering space in downtown, and the existing historic park in a damaged condition, the stakes were high to establish a positive and equitable open space that brings the community together, is contemporary in form, yet conceptually responsive to the historic texture of the district and the region. Its elegantly-executed details make it a memorable, authentic icon for San Diego and it has become a successful high-capacity, high-tech events venue that serves a diverse audience. This project demonstrates a thoughtful approach to unifying contemporary and historic public open spaces and devising a platform for year-round events programmed by a public-private partnership.