Westfield Horton Plaza, San Diego

2.2
#10 of 28 in Shopping in San Diego
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 known 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. It was the first successful downtown retail center since the rise of suburban shopping centers decades earlier.
1970sA 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.
1980s - 1990sHorton Plaza was the $140 million 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.
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Westfield Horton Plaza Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
360 reviews
Google
3.7
TripAdvisor
  • Something for everyone’s. This is a downtown mall that goes ‘up’ and not out. A wide variety of shops can be found on the different floors and we did some neat shopping. The food court on the top floo...  more »
Google
  • Great place to park if you have a monthly parking pass you dont pay for. Better get there early if you want the pepper because its nearly impossible. If you arrive past 9 expect to get the corn.
  • My favorite "former" mall in San Diego. It is beautiful. The architecture is beautiful. I can get lost in this place enjoying the scenery. Just about every angle of the structure is amazing. Lot's of architect's took their time with this beauty. I went to architectural school so it is a treat visiting Horton Plaza. I visit once a week and enjoy every moment of it.

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