San Diego Skyline

San Diego Skyline
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San Diego Skyline

by Michael O'Brien

Like a jewel along the Southern California coastline, the San Diego skyline shines bright. From the architectural splendor of the Coronado Bay Bridge to the downtown skyline, San Diego is truly a beautiful city. A distinctive mixture of old and new construction, the San Diego skyline is a popular subject for amateur and professional photographers alike. With the backdrop of the sparkling Pacific Ocean, San Diego skyline pictures and panoramas can add the perfect accent to any home or office.

San Diego is one of the fastest growing cities on the American Pacific Coast. With the areas around Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area having reached a point of population saturation, many West Coast residents are choosing to make the move south. From the scenic cliffs of Oceanside to the splendor of Point Loma and the San Diego Bay, the skyline of this grand city and its environs continues to grow.

Like many major cities, San Diego has seen enormous growth over the last several decades. The population of the city has more than doubled since 1970 and has continued to grow every year. The combination of pleasant climate, available jobs, natural beauty and culture continues to draw both permanent residents and tourists alike. Since before the Second World War, San Diego has been home to a variety of military installations dominated by the United States Navy. The San Diego Bay offers a natural anchorage and serves as the home port for dozens Navy warships and support vessels including the hospital ship USNS Mercy.

The Downtown San Diego Skyline

As for the growth of the San Diego skyline, construction has continued at a steady pace for decades. While many cities have had the advantage of growing up instead of out, San Diego does have some limitations. The major airport, San Diego International, has put a limit on the height of buildings in the downtown area. As a result, most of the buildings that make up the San Diego skyline stand less than 500 feet tall. In fact, airliners making the approach to the airport literally fly over and between some of the tallest buildings in the downtown area of the city.

The tallest building along the San Diego skyline is the One America Plaza. Limited in height because of its proximity to San Diego International Airport, One America Plaza stands as an obelisk, 500 feet above downtown. Opened in 1991, the plaza contains 34 floors of office space. Completed a year earlier than the One America Plaza and standing a single foot shorter, the Symphony Tower opened in 1989.

The Manchester Grand Hyatt and the Electra are the third and fourth tallest buildings along the San Diego skyline. The Hyatt serves the downtown area as an upscale hotel while the Electra is provides luxury residential housing with spectacular views of the city. The Electra and the Pinnacle Museum tower are two of the newest high rise buildings in San Diego having been completed in 2007 and 2005 respectively.

Reflectively the tremendous growth of the San Diego skyline, there are quite a few high rise structures currently under construction or in the planning stages. Nearly all of the buildings will average approximately 450 feet. Examples of new buildings soon to grace the downtown area include the 470 foot 880 West Broadway Building, the 450 foot tall Vantage Pointe Condominiums and a new United States Federal building.

San Diego Chargers Qualcomm Stadium

Like most major American cities, San Diego is a big sports town. Home to the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League, Qualcomm Stadium first opened in 1967 as San Diego Stadium. The stadium was renamed Jack Murphy Stadium in honor of the local sports journalist. Over the years, the capacity of the stadium has been expanded from 50 thousand to over 70 thousand. Following a national trend of granting sponsorships to corporations in exchange for naming rights, the stadium was renamed Qualcomm Stadium. The stadium plays hosts to a number of events and was once home to the San Diego Padres of major baseball's National League.

San Diego Padres-PETCO Park

Beginning in 2004, the San Diego Padres of the National League moved to PETCO Park. The park's state of the art design is a welcome addition to the San Diego skyline.

The Cove at La Jolla Bay

Most often referred to as La Jolla Cove, this popular stretch of beach lies just north of San Diego in La Jolla. Under the control of the California Coastal Commission, the cove is protected from fishing and other activities that might endanger the local environment. Certain activities such as swimming and scuba diving are allowed.

Balboa Park

A jewel among the many tourist and cultural attractions in San Diego, Balboa Park is named for the Spanish explorer Vasco de Balboa. The 1200 acre park is one the oldest urban parks in the country. The park serves as home to the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Art Institute and a replica of Shakespeare's Globe Theater.

The California Mormon Temple

Though not in within the city limits, the California Temple of the Church of Latter Day Saints is a strikingly beautiful edifice. The twin white spires pierce the San Diego skyline and serves as one of over 40 Mormon Temples around the world.

Other Popular San Diego Skyline Picture Subjects

Pictures and panoramas of the San Diego area include Shelter Island, Point Loma, Tory Pines State Reserve and the historic Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside. Along with the Promenade at San Diego's Seaport Village and the natural beauty of the San Diego Bay, San Diego skyline pictures and panoramas will enhance the decor of any home or office.