Located in beautiful Balboa Park, the San Diego History Center presents the colorful and diverse history of the region, interpreting San Diego's growth from the period prior to European settlement to the present. Its core exhibition, Place of Promise: Stories of San Diego, contains many interactive components and fascinating artifacts, including an 1866 Stagecoach, a 1921 Model T Ford and a 30' by 30' floor map of San Diego County.
The San Diego History Center also offers changing exhibitions and public programs to further enhance the visitor's experience. The galleries will be expanding in the near future, so please call ahead for an up-to-date list of exhibitions.
The San Diego History Center was founded by George W. Marston in 1928. Motivated by the understanding that San Diego was a growing city, Marston began acquiring land on Presidio Hill, right above Old Town San Diego, to commemorate the site where Franciscan Padre Junípero Serra and Captain Gaspar de Portolá had built the first Spanish settlement in Alta California in 1769.
Today, the San Diego History Center serves over 81,000 visitors each year. Hands-on activities are offered for family audiences, and public programming for adults includes tours, lectures, and panel discussions. The library houses over 2.5 million photographs making it one of the largest in the country.