Liberty Station celebrates its centennial

The former Naval Training Center was dedicated to the City of San Diego on Oct. 27, 1923

Navy recruits train on the USS Recruit.

Recruits on the USS Recruit.

Photo via Liberty Station

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It’s a salute 100 years in the making: This month, Liberty Station celebrates its centennial. The former US Navy facility is anchored in history, but now, it serves SD in a different way.

Voyage back in time

Construction on the Naval Training Center (NTC) began in 1921 at the recommendation of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who saw the potential for San Diego to serve as a training site. On Oct. 27, 1923, the $4 million development was dedicated to the City of San Diego. Some of its first buildings included barracks, a fire station, and four schools.

NTC expanded in the 1930s, eventually tripling in size, and its peak population reached 33,000 during World War II. More than 2.75 million US Navy recruits and sailors have trained here, but its closure was announced in 1993 as part of the Realignment Act of 1990, and active military use ceased on April 30, 1997.

Liberty Station recruits line up

Recruits line up at the Naval Training Station.

Photo via Liberty Station

The new journey

In 2000, the City of San Diego gained ownership of the ~550-acre site with the intent of making it a center for retail, art, and history. It was renamed “Liberty Station,” and began voyaging toward its identity as we know it today. This includes the Art’s District that began opening in 2006, NTC Park in 2010, and Liberty Public Market in 2016.

Liberty Station’s award-winning redevelopment has worked to preserve the site’s US Navy history, and in 2001, the landmark was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

An aerial shot of the Arts District at Liberty Station

The Arts District helps build community and preserve Liberty Station’s history.

Photo via Liberty Station

Join the celebration

To commemorate 100 years in San Diego, Liberty Station is hosting special events, including:

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