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The Unusual History of Every Thing

Sep 8, 2020

Welcome to Season 5, which will be dedicated to the strange histories of San Diego's people, places and things! In this episode, we look at one of the most iconic buildings in San Diego’s Gaslamp District with the most sordid history: the Louis Bank of Commerce. Located on the 800 block of 5th Avenue, the beautiful building with two towers is touted as the jewel of the Gaslamp by locals and historians of the area. Built in 1888, the bottom floor served as a bank, then later a restaurant that Wyatt Earp frequented; and the upper floors, consisting of 33 rooms, were rented out by Madam Cora, a fortune teller who must have foreseen a higher profit margin in a house of ill repute. Thus, the Golden Poppy Hotel was born, as well as the site of our story, The Madam and the Marbles.