Presidio Park

Coordinates: 32°45′32″N 117°11′35″W / 32.759°N 117.193°W / 32.759; -117.193
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Presidio Park
Presidio Park
Map showing the location of Presidio Park
Map showing the location of Presidio Park
LocationSan Diego, California
Coordinates32°45′32″N 117°11′35″W / 32.759°N 117.193°W / 32.759; -117.193
Governing bodyCity of San Diego
Official nameSerra Palm[1]
Reference no.67
Serra Museum

Presidio Park is a city historic park in San Diego, California. It is the site where the San Diego Presidio and the San Diego Mission, the first European settlements in what is now the Western United States, were founded in 1769.

In 1773 the mission moved a few miles upriver while the fort remained on Presidio Hill. The presidio had been established to protect against Indian attacks or foreign invasions. As the need for such protection disappeared, people preferred to live in Old Town at the foot of the hill, and the fort was gradually abandoned. It was in ruins by 1835.[2] The United States Army set up Fort Stockton in the old fort in the Mexican–American War. Fort Stockton at Presidio Park is California Historical Landmark No. 54.[3]

In 1907 George Marston, a wealthy department store owner and civic leader, bought Presidio Hill with the aim of preserving the historic site. Unable to attract city funding, Marston built a private park (planned by architect John Nolan) including the Serra Museum (designed by architect William Templeton Johnson) in 1925. Marston donated the park to the city in 1929.[2][4]

The park encompasses about 40 acres (16 ha) and has views of the city, the San Diego River valley, and the Pacific Ocean. The grounds are open for picnics and play. The facilities can be used for weddings and other special events.

The spot in the park where Junípero Serra planted a palm tree when he first arrived in 1769 was declared a California Historical Landmark.[1] Otherwise, no historical structures remain in Presidio Park today. The site is occasionally used for archaeological excavations. A fenced-off area encloses the foundations of the chapel, walls, and other historical sites.

Junípero Serra Museum[edit]

The Junípero Serra Museum is operated by the San Diego Historical Society and features displays about the city's founding.[5] Built in 1925, the Serra Museum, with its Mission architecture, is sometimes erroneously called the Presidio.

The Junípero Serra Museum exhibits archeological finds, historic objects, and reference materials related to Spanish colonization and the early history of California and provides educational programs about the Spanish, Mexican and indigenous heritage of the San Diego region.[6]

The Serra Museum was the original home of the San Diego Historical Society, founded in 1929 by philanthropist George Marston. The organization, renamed the San Diego History Center, relocated to Balboa Park in 1982.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Serra Palm". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  2. ^ a b Snell, Charles (1963). "San Diego Presidio" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places - Inventory Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  3. ^ "Fort Stockton #54". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
  4. ^ Journal of San Diego History, Summer 1969
  5. ^ Serra Museum website
  6. ^ "San Diego Presidio---American Latino Heritage: A Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary". Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  7. ^ "The Junípero Serra Museum - An Interpretive Master Plan created for the San Diego History Center and the San Diego River Conservancy" (PDF). State of California Coastal Conservancy. San Diego History Center. 2013. p. 13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-11-26. Retrieved 26 November 2017.

External links[edit]