Preserving History and Enhancing the Welcome to Downtown San Diego Signage

| June 8, 2023 | 0 Comments

The iconic Gaslamp Quarter Archway, a symbol of the vibrant Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego, is currently undergoing an extensive retrofit to preserve its historical significance and enhance its visual appeal. Originally conceived in 1986 and dedicated to the public in 1991, the archway has warmly welcomed visitors to the Gaslamp Quarter for over three decades.

Designed in 1988 by the esteemed architects Harmon Nelson and David Ford of David Robinson Design, Inc., the Gaslamp Quarter Archway stands as an architectural masterpiece. It was meticulously built and installed in 1990 by Roy Flahive, President, and Cheryl Flahive, vice president of Pacific Sign Construction Inc. Weighing an impressive 6 tons, this archway has become an internationally recognized symbol of the Gaslamp Quarter, representing its rich history and unique character.

After 11 years without significant repair or re-painting, it became necessary to address the Gaslamp Quarter Archway’s wear and tear.

Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the Gaslamp Quarter Association, the Gaslamp Quarter Archway underwent a complete rehabilitation in October 2012, restoring it to its original pristine appearance and full functionality. At that time the restoration work was carried out by Patrick Flahive at West Coast Signs. Since then, occasional minor lighting element maintenance has been carried out, but after 11 years without significant repair or re-painting, it became necessary to address the archway’s wear and tear again.

The current refurbishment work is being expertly carried out again by Patrick Flahive at Reprohaus Signs, industry leader in sign fabrication and restoration. Notably, Patrick Flahive is the son of the original builder, Roy Flahive. With the valuable consultation from Roy Flahive himself, the archway’s historical integrity is being carefully preserved during this refurbishment project.

Patrick Flahive, vice president at Reprohaus, expressed the need for this retrofit, stating, “It has been 12 years since the last time we focused on the archway, and it started to show significant wear. Neon tends to fail after a period of time, so moving to LED lighting will make outages a thing of the past.” The archway will receive a fresh paint job, and all lighting elements will be fully functional, ensuring a captivating and vibrant display.

Beyond its visual enhancements, the Gaslamp Quarter Archway retrofit embraces a green initiative by transitioning from neon to LED lighting. This transition offers greater energy efficiency and stability. By converting from 15,000 volts transformers to 12 volts power supplies, power consumption is significantly reduced, and the risk of short circuits due to environmental factors is eliminated. As a result, the archway will shine brighter, providing an even more welcoming entrance to the Gaslamp Quarter.

“We are thrilled to witness the transformative retrofit of the Gaslamp Quarter Archway,” said Michael Trimble, executive director of the Gaslamp Quarter Association. “The archway serves as the gateway to downtown San Diego, extending a warm welcome to visitors from around the world, inviting them to immerse themselves in the rich history and vibrant culture of the Gaslamp Quarter.”

The Gaslamp Quarter Archway retrofit remains on track for completion by June 1, 2023. This restoration ensures that future generations can appreciate the archway’s historical significance while enjoying an enhanced and captivating experience. To learn more about the Gaslamp Quarter Archway, visit

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Category: Architecture, Business, Local News

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