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History of Courtyard San Diego Downtown


History of Courtyard San Diego Downtown

The Courtyard by Marriott - San Diego Downtown is one of the most important historic landmarks in San Diego and one of the finest commercial buildings ever constructed in the city. San Diego Trust and Savings Bank was founded by the Sefton family in 1889 and, under their stewardship, served as the city’s most prominent local financial institution until it was sold to First Interstate Bank in 1994. On September 1996, the doors closed after Wells Fargo Bank acquired First Interstate and sold numerous San Diego properties. This building was, and remains, an important commercial structure associated with the history of the San Diego banking industry. The Courtyard by Marriott - San Diego Downtown is an outstanding example of commercial historic preservation that has transformed one of San Diego’s premiere banking institutions into a vibrant hotel in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter.

The hotel is a spectacular example of successful adaptive reuse, winning a 1999 People In Preservation award. The building was purchased in 1997 and converted to a 245-guest room hotel. On October 19th, 1999 the bronze and glass doors again welcomed visitors - this time as guests of the Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown.

The San Diego Trust and Savings Bank Building was designed in 1927 in an Italian Romanesque Revival architectural style by master architect William Templeton Johnson, credited with shaping the character of San Diego during the first half of the 20th Century. 530 Broadway represented a milestone in San Diego’s architectural development as not only the tallest building in San Diego, but also the most technologically advanced of its time. On June 1996 the San Diego Trust and Savings Bank was listed on the San Diego Historical Site Board of Register as Historical Landmark #335 and in December of 1999 the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of Interior.

The Grand Lobby has towering 32-foot-high ceiling with original stenciling. The Marble seen throughout was quarried from all over the world including the US, Greece, Italy, France, Great Britain, and North Africa. The 35 columns around the Lobby were created from 19 different types of marble brought to San Diego from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The bank’s Safe Deposit room has been preserved as a unique meeting space with vault door weighing 47,000 pounds. A portion of the 14th floor was originally a shooting gallery where tellers (mostly ladies) were encouraged to practice straight shooting in case of a bank robbery.

The hotel also boasts one of the most breathtaking views of the beautiful San Diego skyline from the unique Presidential Suite. The only one of its kind in the hotel, it was once the office and library of the building’s architect, William Templeton Johnson. With 1,000 square feet, including the sleeping room, balcony and living space, the room can be utilized as an intimate reception space for weddings or Corporate and catered events up to 25 people.

Guests are welcome to join the guided tours of the hotel given by hotel ambassadors.