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Old San Diego Architectural Control Board Records

Identifier: MS-0179

Scope and Contents

The Old San Diego Architectural Board Records (1943-1974) document the planning, preservation, and development of Old Town State Historic Park. Highlights include the review drafts for the overall design of Old Town, including landscaping, lighting, street furniture, and signs. The collection consists of by-laws, correspondence, meeting minutes, photographs, maps, resolutions, reports, plans, ordinances, and newspaper clippings, and primarily dates from 1968 to 1971. The collection is divided into alphabetically-filed series: Administrative Files and Photographs.

The Administrative Files (1943-1974) document the Board's operation and administration, and the planning and growth of Old Town.  Of particular interest are the architectural drawings and maps, as well as the Board's meeting minutes, which include such topics as sign placement and historic designations for certain buildings.  The series includes correspondence, maps, meeting minutes, reports, plans, by-laws, architectural drawings, review drafts, and resolutions.

The Photographs (circa 1965-1974) document the architectural style and planning of Old Town. The series consists of photographs of buildings, streets, architectural details, and signs. These photographs date from approximately 1965 to 1974, although few of them are actually dated.


  • 1943-1974
  • Majority of material found in 1968-1971


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Historical Note

The City of San Diego established the Old San Diego Architectural Control Board in 1966 in order to preserve the historical character and appearance of Old Town State Historic Park, particularly from the Mexican pueblo period and the American period, dating from 1821 and 1871. The Board consisted of seven members appointed for two-year terms by the mayor with confirmation by the San Diego City Council.  It remained active until 1974.

Old Town San Diego was the first permanent European settlement in California, established in 1769. By the 1820s, after Mexican independence, San Diego became a thriving pueblo or city. Then, after the Mexican-American War and the incorporation of the State of California in 1850, San Diego became an American settlement. The area's historical significance and diverse architectural styles led the State of California to designate Old Town a State Historic Park in 1968. Today, the park includes the Presidio, the Whaley House, La Casa de Estudillo, Mason Street School, the San Diego Union Printing Office, the main plaza, and more.


1.87 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

I. Administrative Files, 1943-1974

II. Photographs, circa 1965-1974



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Williams (Leon) Papers, 1961-2006

Old San Diego Architectural Control Board Records
Amanda Lanthorne
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections & University Archives Repository

5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego CA 92182-8050 US