LOUIS BANK OF COMMERCE-1888
835 to 837 5th Avenue.
Considered the Jewel of the Gaslamp and punctuated by twin rising towers, this building is San Diego’s first granite building that was pre-built on the east coast and sent around Cape Horn to San Diego.
This is the great example of Baroque Revival Architecture. The four story building housed the Bank of Commerce till 1893 when Isidor Louis opened an oyster bar that became a favorite of Wyatt Earp.
The upper floors later became the Golden Poppy Hotel, a notorious brothel run by fortune teller and early marketing genius, Madame Cora. Her ladies would parade through the streets by day and hand colored marbles that matched the color of their dresses to potential clients. At night, the “gentlemen” would bring their colored marble and be directed to a room of the same color to meet their colorful “lady.”