El Cortez 

Multi-family ; Urban

Janopaul + Block    :  Client
San Diego, California    : Location
150,000 s.f.    :  Program
Full Architectural Services    : Services

The regal El Cortez is a prominent landmark in downtown San Diego. Occupying the city’s tallest hill, the El Cortez offers scenic views of the bay and Balboa Park. Working closely with San Diego’s Center City Development Corporation, local officials and the developer, this sixteen story, 1920’s era hotel was renovated to provide 85 residential apartments, a restaurant, meeting rooms, pool terrace and retail space. Maintaining its original charm was key to the renovation. Originally designed in 1927 by Walker & Eisen, the building has a continuous history as a residential structure near the heart of the city.

Rehabilitation was performed in strict conformance with the Secretary of the Interiors Standards for the treatment of Historic Properties and has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a key hub of the burgeoning Cortez Hill area and brings a twenties jazz-era flavor to the neighborhood. From fine panel details to earthquake retrofitting, the renovation has refreshed the El Cortez and it is once again an engaged and active part of downtown San Diego.