Sparks Gallery is housed within the historic Sterling Hardware Building in San Diego’s vibrant Gaslamp Quarter, located between Island & Market on Sixth Avenue. Sparks Gallery is an event space and specializes in contemporary artwork by artists living in San Diego and Southern CA.
Sparks Gallery represents contemporary artwork from artists living in San Diego, and encourages patronage of local artists, while supporting San Diego's growth as a strong art community.
The Sparks Gallery is housed within the historic Sterling Hardware Building in San Diego’s vibrant Gaslamp Quarter, located between Island & Market on Sixth Avenue. The Sparks Gallery renovated the building and added a second story mezzanine level.
The Building was awarded the 2015 People in Preservation Award for Adaptive Reuse by Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO).
“Sterling Hardware Building”
Historical preservation is important to the Sparks Gallery and the space has been restored to a 1920s design, while keeping to an industrial, yet elegant design that would have suited the building’s original purposes.
The “Sterling Hardware Building” was built in 1924 and designated as a historic building in the early 1980s when the Gaslamp Quarter was created. Originally the 50x100’ lot was sold by real estate developer, Alonzo Horton, in 1867 for $150. The lot was later split into two separate properties of 25x100’ and sold separately. The north lot held a vaudeville theater, named “The Standard Theater”, specializing in variety shows and trapeze artists from 1888-1890.
The south lot held a three story building with levels for carriage repair and painting and upper level room rentals. Later, the space was mainly occupied by C. Holle Company, maker of specialized glass, from 1911-1914.
In 1904, Moritz Trepte, a German immigrant and carpenter, purchased the north half for $10. Trepte became “one of the Pacific Southwest’s leading contractors” and one can see his stamp on many old sidewalks throughout San Diego.
Kier construction purchased both lots and built the current structure in 1924. The Sterling Company, seller of second-hand goods and tools, resided in the building in the 1970s, when it was developed into a corporate building.
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