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San Diego History Center

San Diego History Center

San Diego History Center
1649 El Prado
Suite 3
San Diego, CA 92101
Tues - Sun 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

San Diego History Center Information

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Top 5 Things To Know About San Diego History Center

  1. Mission: San Diego History Center is here so that visitors and locals can learn all that they want to know about the history of San Diego. Balboa Park San Diego History Center brings together the past, present and future and helps people see how they are interrelated. There's a ton to learn about and enjoy at Balboa Park History Center - and people of all ages can find something that's interesting to them while they're at this popular San Diego attraction.
  2. History: Balboa Park History Center began its work in 1928 under the helm of George W. Marston. Balboa Park San Diego History Center was originally located on Presidio Hill, overlooking Old Town San Diego. Later, it moved from Presidio Park to Balboa Park. In 1955, the center started The Journal of San Diego History - a publication that reached more than 3,500 people in the 1970's and which is now "the longest running chronicle in San Diego's history". Currently, more than 81,000 visitors stop by each year to learn about San Diego's past.
  3. Educational Programs: School children, families and adults can learn tons of interesting things at San Diego History Center. The educational programs at Balboa Park San Diego History Center designed for kids are tied into the K-12 school curriculum. What they learn here will complement what they're learning in their classrooms! Balboa Park History Center also invites families to enjoy hands-on activities together here. Adults can learn during tours, lectures and panel discussions.
  4. Historical Photos: Whether you're decorating your office or making a scrapbook of cool things that inspire you, Balboa Park History Center offers photographic prints for sale. Balboa Park San Diego History Center has a huge collection that you can browse online, organized alphabetically by subject (ie: automobiles, beach scenes, buildings, people, residences, schools). These amazing snapshots of old San Diego can bring beauty and interest to your office or home.
  5. Event Rentals: Hold your big event in a gorgeous setting. Balboa Park History Center can be the setting for your wedding reception, birthday party, corporate event or retirement party. The Large Education Center, the Hans & Margaret Doe Small Education Center and the Thornton Theatre at  History Center Balboa Park are all great places to have meetings, lectures or small conferences.

San Diego History Center tells the stories of our city, letting kids and grown-ups see into the past! The exhibitions at Balboa Park San Diego History Center have spotlighted Depression-era landscape paintings by San Diego artists, the booming tuna industry from the 1920's to the 1960's, and the people that lived near Presidio Hill and Old Town throughout history. Balboa Park San Diego History Center has both permanent and temporary exhibitions. Visitors can take guided tours or self-guided tours of San Diego History Center depending on their preference.

Balboa Park San Diego History Center has collections of items that are categorized by medium. The document archives at Balboa Park History Center include maps, scrapbooks, unpublished manuscripts, books and public records. These documents detail the history of San Diego and many are written by locals. Even things like restaurant menus, theater programs, information leaflets and tickets are stored at San Diego History Center. The object collection at San Diego History Center has vintage wedding dresses and even gowns that were worn during the opening of Hotel Del Coronado. In the decorative arts collection, you can check out furniture, paintings, sculptures and drawings that were done by local artists or are focused on San Diego related subjects.

  • Do See "Objects Of Daily Life": This quirky collection at San Diego History Center really lets you see what everyday life was like back in the day. You can look at children's toys, medical and dental objects, Kumeyaay archaeological artifacts, and Spanish Colonial artifacts and tools and equipment.
  • Don't Have A Drab Office: You can make your place of employment suddenly look fantastic with vintage photos. You can purchase photographic prints of automobiles, Balboa Park, bridges, missions and other old San Diego scenes from San Diego History Center.

San Diego History Center Map