San Diego, CA–Built in 1850, The Davis-Horton House is the oldest standing structure in downtown San Diego and serves as the home of the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation who operates the Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House.
For the past two years, the foundation has not been able to hold its largest fundraiser, ShamROCK (a downtown block party) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, putting the organization under serious financial strain.
“We rely on ShamROCK for over 70% of our operating budget every year. Losing the event for two years has been a huge hit to our organization,” says Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation Executive Director, Rhiannon Luna. “We’ve been relying on grants, savings, income from virtual programs, and donations, but without a large-scale event or increased community support we can’t survive much longer.”
The foundation has tried every avenue available for funding, applying at private, local, county, state, and federal levels. Unfortunately, the grants and support received over the last year of closure are not enough to sustain the foundation and the Gaslamp Museum beyond June.
This month, the foundation will be holding a fundraiser, Save the Gaslamp Museum, to help keep the Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House open to the public. The cost to keep the museum open is $15,000 a month, and their goal of $150,0000, allows the museum to stay open until they can organize a large-scale fundraising event.
Securing the funds will provide the museum to reopen 5 days a week for house tours and guided Gaslamp Quarter walking tours, overhead for annual fall community events, retention of museum staff, and continued maintenance on the Davis-Horton House.
“This house museum is unique because it’s not a grandiose mansion, it’s a small family home where everyday people like nurses, soldiers, and merchants lived,” explains Rhiannon Luna. “We take pride in telling the stories of those people here at the Museum.”
After closing over a year ago, the museum is planning to reopen for limited hours starting May 7 to continue serving the community. The house will be open for self-guided tours Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and guided Gaslamp Quarter walking tours will be available select Saturdays 11a.m. Private virtual tours of the house and Gaslamp Quarter are also still available.