Westfield Horton Plaza
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2012)|
|Location||San Diego, California, USA|
|Address||324 Horton Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101-5481|
|Opening date||August 9, 1985|
|Developer||The Hahn Company|
|No. of stores and services||130|
|No. of anchor tenants||3|
|Total retail floor area||758,003 sq ft (70,420.8 m2)|
|No. of floors||5|
Westfield Horton Plaza, not to be confused with its adjacent namesake Horton Plaza, is a five-level outdoor shopping mall located in downtown San Diego and remarkable for its bright colors, architectural tricks and odd spatial rhythms. It stands on 6.5 city blocks adjacent to the city's historic Gaslamp Quarter and is currently anchored by Macy's and Nordstrom. It was the first successful downtown retail center since the rise of suburban shopping centers decades earlier.
The 1972 proposal for the shopping center and a redevelopment district arose out of plans to "refurbish San Diego's historic town plaza", Horton Plaza. Due to numerous setbacks and resistance from preservation groups, construction did not begin until 1982. The plaza is named for Alonzo Horton, who was largely responsible for the location of downtown San Diego.
Horton Plaza was the $140,000,000 centerpiece of a downtown redevelopment project run by The Hahn Company, and is the first example of architect Jon Jerde's so-called "experience architecture". When it opened in August 1985, it was a risky and radical departure from the standard paradigm of mall design. Its mismatched levels, long one-way ramps, sudden dropoffs, dramatic parapets, shadowy colonnades, cul-de-sacs, and brightly painted facades create an architectural experience in dramatic contrast to the conventional wisdom of mall management. Conventional malls are designed to reduce ambient sources of psychological arousal, so the customers' attention is directed towards merchandise. By making the mall an attraction in itself, Jerde stood this model on its head.
Jerde's project was based on Ray Bradbury's essay "The Aesthetics of Lostness". In it he extolled the virtues of getting "safely lost" as adults inspired by side streets of Paris, London or New York.
Horton Plaza was an instant financial success, with 25 million visitors in the first year. Twenty years after opening, it continues to generate the city's highest sales per unit area, in the range of $600 to $700 per square foot ($6500–$7500/m²). From an urban planning standpoint, Horton Plaza is a civic asset that generates pedestrian traffic and shares it with a number of contiguous destinations, paving the way for the revitalization of the Gaslamp District. According to its web site, the mall has been "hailed locally and nationally as an overwhelming success since its opening in August 1985, winning dozens of awards in design, architecture and urban development."
The Robinson's was renamed Robinsons-May in early 1993 and closed in June 1994, being subdivided for shopping and entertainment space.
In 1998, Hahn sold the center to Westfield America, Inc., a precursor of The Westfield Group. It was renamed "Westfield Shoppingtown Horton Plaza" shortly afterwards. The unwieldy "Shoppingtown" name was dropped in June 2005.
The Mervyn's was closed in 2006.
On January 11, 2011, the San Diego City Council unanimously approved a plan to raze the former Robinson's May building on the north side of the mall to make way for a 37,000 sq/ft urban park, effectively enlarging the adjacent Horton Plaza. The building's destruction will displace a Sam Goody (owned by F.y.e.) and an Abercrombie & Fitch
- "Westfield Horton Plaza". Westfield Group. Retrieved 2011-02-09.
- Crawford, Richard (1995). "Horton Plaza Redevelopment Project". The Journal of San Diego History (San Diego Historical Society) 41 (3).
- Eddy, Lucinda (Summer 1995). "Visions of Paradise: The Selling of San Diego". The Journal of San Diego History 40 (3). Retrieved 4 October 2012.
- Sam Weller, Ray Bradbury Chronicles, p. 292
- "Horton Plaza Park Approved By City Council" January 11 2011
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Westfield Horton Plaza.|
- Official website
- an evolution of the shopping mall urban form, with pictures of Horton Plaza
- Information on Horton Neighborhood
- Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy, Horton Plaza, San Diego, CA