San Diego Historical Sites: The History of Liberty Station

Liberty station bridge
Bridge over San Diego Bay, Liberty Station, San Diego, California


San Diego Historical Sites: The History of Liberty Station

If you’re thinking of moving to San Diego, or you’ve lived here for a while and are looking to explore a new neighborhood, you can step into a rich historical tapestry in Liberty Station.


Liberty Station is one of the foremost San Diego historical sites, as well as an exciting neighborhood for young and old alike. It played a key role in shaping San Diego’s cultural identity, and it’s just as much a part of San Diego now as ever.


Keep reading to find out more about the fascinating history of Liberty Station, as well as the exciting opportunities available in the current community.


The Start of Liberty Station

Once upon a time, Liberty Station wasn’t a hip neighborhood; it was a naval training station, the core of the Navy’s presence in San Diego.


In 1915, then Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, surveyed San Diego as a potential site for a naval training station. After land donations from several wealthy families, San Diego was selected for the West Coast’s first permanent naval training center.


Construction began in 1921, and by 1923, the first recruits arrived to kick off a rich military history in the area. The site was built in the Spanish Colonial Revival style and included a mess hall, barracks, a dispensary, a fire station, and four schools.


The site grew with time, reaching a population of 33,000 at the height of WWII and expanding to include 41 schools, churches, and medical units. At one point, it housed more than one-sixth of the nation’s entire Navy.


A Modern Success Story


Of course, the boom of Liberty Station didn’t last forever.


A nasty recession hit San Diego in the early 1990s, devastating many of the local industries. Shortly after it came the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, a congressional effort to close military bases that the Department of Defense deemed unnecessary.


Despite intense efforts by local politicians, the base was closed in July of 1993. One month later, the city formed the NTC Reuse Committee.


The committee knew that they wanted to recognize the rich Navy history of the site and preserve the historic buildings while also opening up the base to the public. So they drafted a plan to turn the base into the finest mixed-use project every attempted in San Diego.


Liberty Station Today

Visitors to Liberty Station today can see the fruits of the committee’s efforts.


You can watch a sunset to the soundtrack of a live concert, break fresh bread with your friends on a picnic blanket, find the perfect gift for your favorite person, or just take in the historic sites around you.


Liberty Station takes pride in cultivating a wide array of shops, experiences, and events for the whole family, no matter the time of day. Just like the former base was a hub of San Diego life, the Liberty Station of today is a cultural touchstone of the city.


Explore and Live San Diego Historical Sites

Of all the San Diego historical sites, Liberty Station is one of the most fun to live in.


Thinking of joining the community? You made a wise choice!


We can’t wait to help you find your forever home in one of our communities. Get in touch today to see how our team can help!