Downtown Condo Guys

Jessop’s Clock when it stood inside Horton Plaza (San Diego History Center)
History, Horton Plaza

Did You Know…

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

…that the 22-foot-tall clock that hovered over shoppers at downtown’s former Horton Plaza was dismantled and put into temporary storage after the shopping center went bust several years ago?

Known as Jessop’s Clock, the historic timepiece was commissioned in 1905 by San Diego jeweler Joseph Jessop. It initially stood in front of his Fifth Avenue jewelry store and was later moved to another downtown location on the same street. In 1984, it graced the architecturally unique Horton Plaza as both an aesthetic feature and a handy beacon for shoppers without wristwatches.

A new home is in store for the clock, which keeps time in hours, minutes, and seconds, and also contains dials to track days of the week and months of the year.

Recently, the Jessop family donated the clock to The San Diego History Center, where it will become a permanent exhibit by the time the center reaches its centennial celebration in 2028. Until then, the clock and all of its pieces are being stored in a secret location in Kearny Mesa.