Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Keating Hotel

The Keating Building: This historic building is located at 432 F Street, in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, at the corner of 5th Avenue and ‘F’ Street, San Diego, California. This building is listed as a historic building number [31] on the Gaslamp Quarter Historic Buildings registry.

George J. Keating and his wife Fannie Keating lived in Kansas where Mr. Keating had one of the world’s largest companies dealing in farm equipment, called Smith and Keating.

Mr. and Mrs. Keating moved to San Diego in 1886. George J. Keating died in 1888. In 1890, Fannie Keating began construction of the Keating building as a tribute to her late husband, at a cost of $135,000. She employed the Reid Brothers as the architects to design this building, who are also best known as the architects of the famous Hotel Del Coronado.

The construction of this five story, Romanesque Revival style, office building was completed in 1891. At that time, this building was known to be as one of the most prestigious office buildings in San Diego. This building had all the modern conveniences of steam heat, a wire cage elevator, and spacious office spaces. The original Wire cage elevator was later removed. Some of the well known tenants of this building include Lawyers, Babcock, Paterbaugh and Luce; Henry Lord Gay, founder of the American Institute of Architects; T.J. Sloan, a well known photographer; and City Library. The San Diego Savings Bank (later became San Diego Trust and Savings Bank) also occupied this building around the turn of the century, from 1893 - 1912. In fact, the old steel bank vault is still in the basement of the building.

Today, The Keating Building is used as a mixed-occupancy; restaurant / bar on the first floor and in the lower basement and, a hotel on second thru fifth floors. The Keating Hotel was a small, 35 room luxury hotel situated in the center of the Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego, California. Designed by Pininfarina and opened in 2007, the Keating Hotel is one of the growing Gaslamp District's newest contributing hotels and club (Minus-1), with a restaurant named the Merk scheduled to open later in 2008.
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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tourist attractions in London

Central London

London is home to many tourist attractions that are known worldwide. Some of the most popular include the many museums located in the city, many of which offer free entry. The British Museum holds seven million exhibits that not only have to do with London, but Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, etc. Popular exhibits include the Elgin Marbles, the Rosetta Stone, 'Ginger', the world's oldest mummy, Lindow Man, etc. The British Museum is open seven days a week and is free.

The British Library holds many literary exhibits and displays the original manuscripts of such classics as Alice in Wonderland, the notebook of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte's manuscript of Jane Eyre, Oscar Wilde's The Ballad of Reading Gaol, Magna Carta, a Gutenberg Bible, Codex Sinaiticus, the autograph of William Shakespeare, original music scores by Arthur Sullivan, Handel and Beethoven in a permanent exhibition of over 200 exhibits in The Sir John Ritblat Gallery. This gallery is open to the public seven days a week and is free.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in Kensington is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. Named after Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, the museum was founded in 1852, and has since grown to now cover some 12.5 acres (0.05 km²) and 145 galleries. Its collection spans 5000 years of art, from ancient times to the present day, in virtually every medium, from the cultures of Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa. Admission is also free.

There are also historic or cultural attractions, the most popular of which include Buckingham Palace. This royal palace is still in use today. Here, visitors (approximately 15 million tourists every year) can witness the "Changing of the Guard" when a member of the royal family is in residence. During the summer months, some rooms are open to the public for tours. Other sights include The Tower of London, an historic royal fortress that holds the Crown Jewels of England. Nearby is the famous Tower Bridge, which is often mistaken by tourists for London Bridge.

Other attractions include Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, London Eye, London Zoo, the Natural History Museum, the Globe Theatre, the Charles Dickens Museum and Madame Tussauds. There are many more attractions in the city itself, and in the surrounding areas. It is recommended that the visitor buy a good guide book to London and plan what he or she wants to see in advance. The larger museums, such as the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum will take several days to get around. It is best to select a few objects that one particularly wants to see and concentrate on them.

London's West End is the city's theatre district. Here the latest stage shows and musicals can be seen. However, these are usually very popular and it is advised to book your tickets as far in advance as possible. All London's theatres have their own websites for booking tickets. These can be picked up at the Box Office on the day or sent by post.
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About London Tourism

Places to stay

Since London is a big city and tourist destination there are many places for someone to stay during their trip. There are many hotels (luxury and tourist), Bed and Breakfast hotels and flats (hotels apartments). Many of these accommodations are located within walking distance of many tourist attractions. Prices vary depending on the type of hotel you choose. Luxury and tourist hotels tend to be more expensive. Bed and Breakfast homes are usually on the more affordable side and include breakfast in the morning. Flats are apartments rented out to tourists. These are ideal for stays longer than one week in length.

Getting around
Tourists consulting a map near St Paul's Cathedral. These maps are placed at a number of locations in the city of London, in order to assist in navigating the often confusing streets, lanes and alleys.

There are many ways to move around the city of London, such as walking or taking the Tube (the subway) or bus. Many of London's attractions are within walking distance of each other. Obtain a good tourist map or guide book to see which can be managed on foot. These will also have an Underground map.


The London Underground is a popular way to travel around London. It is considered the easiest and quickest way to move around. The Underground has 12 lines that run from Monday to Saturday between the hours of 5 am to midnight. Although it also runs on Sunday, the hours of operation are reduced.


Another very popular way to move about the city is to take the bus. This mode of transportation provides 24-hour service all week. Some buses even offer tours to point out historical landmarks and tourist attractions. Taking the bus requires that you have already purchased a ticket. These are easy to obtain at any ticket machine near major stops. Prices of a bus pass vary depending on the number of days with a one-day pass at £3.80 and a weekly pass at £13.80.

There are also open-top tourist buses where you can buy an all-day ticket and get on and off the bus at various tourist attractions of your choice. Alternatively, you can stay on the bus and enjoy the guided tour. These buses can be found in Tavistock Square, half-way between the British Museum and the British Library.


There are two types of prepaid tickets used for various modes of transportation around the city. The first type of ticket is the contactless smartcard- the Oyster Card. The holder loads the card with credit which can then be used to ride on the Underground, bus, tramlink and some National Rail Service lines. These tickets are can be used at anytime, but are charged differently depending on peak and off-peak times. Daytime off-peak and reduced fares on the Tube are from 9.30am to 4.00pm and after 7pm Monday to Friday.
Zone Peak Price Off-peak Price
1-2 £2.50 £1.90
1-6 £4.50 £2.70

The second type of ticket is the Travel Card. This allows for the same travel privileges as the Oyster Card but includes all National Rail Service lines. The prices of the tickets are shown below.
Days Zone Price
1 1-6 £7.50
3 1-6 £22.50
7 1-6 £47.60
Source : wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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