Our Story

— Est. 1923 —
Liberty Station provides a portal to the past, an experience for the present, and a promise for the future. As we become San Diego’s Town Square, we invite our guests to collect memories—and enjoy their community.

The Past

Grounded in military tradition, Liberty Station (formerly the Naval Training Center, San Diego) welcomed its first Navy recruits in 1923.

Under FDR, NTC gained new buildings, then continued to expand through WWII when the Center’s size tripled. The following decades marked further expansion and provided a valuable military resource to defend our nation.

Built in the Spanish Colonial Revival style and with a scaled-down approach, our architecture offers a peek into the past. Thanks to the influence of Bertham G. Goodhue’s work, our buildings’ roots connect us to landmarks across San Diego and Southern California, such as Balboa Park. The Balboa Park Superintendent at the time even designed NTC’s original landscaping. Our heritage makes our space unique—and a centerpiece of historic San Diego.

The Present

With the end of Cold War, the Navy gradually wound down activity at NTC and officially closed in 1997. Then the grounds gradually transitioned into the Liberty Station we know today. The City of San Diego gained ownership of the property in 2000, repurposing the site into a center for commerce, history, and arts.

Today we open up opportunities to make memories, enjoy history, and simply live life. Watch a sunset paint the San Diego sky as a concert begins. Recline on a picnic blanket with fresh-baked bread and your best friend. Find that perfect birthday gift. Explore historic landmarks as you wander the spacious courts and plazas.

The Future

At Liberty Station, we delight in quality, so we seek to curate our array of shops, events, and experiences. From sophisticated boutiques to engaging entertainment, we’re thoughtfully planning enriching ways to spend your morning, afternoon, or evening in our historic district.

We’re dedicated to inspiring community. Just as Liberty Station was a historic Naval hub, we envision becoming San Diego’s Town Square. As a place that’s steeped in history, Liberty Station is a timeless destination.

To build a stronger city community, we invite you to participate in our cultural center. Whether you’d enjoy visiting an ice skating rink or volunteering during a festival, we welcome you to help shape San Diego’s future. Together we can create community connections, experiences, and culture.

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