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San Diego Presidio

  • Travel Genus: Sight
  • Sight Category: Site

The Spanish presidio of San Diego was established on Presidio Hill July 1, 1769, the day Governor Don Gaspar de Portola claimed Alta California as a territory of Spain. The presidio was the first permanent European settlement on the Pacific Coast. It was also the base of operations for the Spanish colonization of California, achieved through the development of missions and presidios. The presidio served as the base for exploration throughout California's interior and it remained the seat of military power in California through the Mexican period. Originally constructed of wood, the presidio was reconstructed of adobe in 1778. When news of Mexico's independence from Spain reached California in 1822, the Mexican army took possession of the San Diego Presidio. From 1825-1829 it served as the Mexican Governor's residence. After the Pueblo de San Diego was founded in 1835, the presidio buildings fell into ruin. In 1929 a park was established at the site. The Serra Museum, adjacent the park, houses a collection of archeological artifacts related to the history of Spanish California. - NPS



Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
1769/07/01 Spanish establish a presidio in Alta California, present day San Diego
1769/07/16 Padre Junipero Serra Vocation On Sunday, 16 July 1769, Fathers Junipero Serra, Juan Vizcaino and Fernando Parron raise and bless a cross, establishing Alta California's first mission.
1929/00/00 William Templeton Johnson Architect Serra Museum in Presidio Park is completed, built between 1928-1929
1929/00/00 William Ernest Kier Contractor Serra Museum in Presidio Park is completed, built between 1928-1929

Data »

Particulars for San Diego Presidio:
Area of Significance Exploration-settlement
Structure Type Fortification
Criteria Historic Event
Owner Local
Level of Significance National
Cultural Affiliation New Spain
Sight Category Site
Cultural Affiliation Spanish California
Historic Use Village site

US National Registry of Historic Places Data »

Accurate at time of registration: 15th October 1966

Registry Name: San Diego Presidio
Registry Address: Presidio Park
Registry Number: 66000226
Resource Type: Site
Owner: Local
Area in Acres: 18
Contributing Sites: 1
Other Certification: Designated National Landmark, National Landmark boundary approved
Certification: Listed in the National Register
Nominator Name: National Historic Landmark
Level of Significance: National
Area of Significance: Exploration-settlement
Applicable Criteria: Event
Period of Significance: 1750-1799
Significant Year: 1769
Historic Function: Domestic, Defense
Historic Sub-Function: Village site, Fortification
Current Function: Landscape
Current Sub-Function: Park

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