The Journal of San Diego History
Fall 1971, Volume 17, Number 4
James E Moss, Editor

Main Articles

Irving John Gill: San Diego Architect
By Helen McElfresh Ferris
William Templeton Johnson, San Diego Architect, 1877-1957
By Martin E. Petersen
The Davis House: New San Diego’s Oldest and Most Historic Building
By Elizabeth C. MacPhail
Historic American Buildings Survey: San Diego 1971
By Robert C. Giebner

Book Reviews

The Taos Trappers. The Fur Trade in the Far Southwest, 1540-1846
By David J. Weber
Noticias de Nutka: An Account of Nootka Sound in 1792
By José Mariano Moziño
A Letter of Junípero Serra to the Reverend Father Preacher Fray Fermín Francisco de Lasuen: a Bicentennial Discovery
Translated and edited by the Reverend Francis J. Weber
Early Days in Escondido
By Frances Beven Ryan
So What About History?
By Edmund S. Morgan

Book Notes

The California Coast: A Bilingual Edition of Documents From the Sutro Collection
Edited by Donald C. Cutter, originally edited and translated in 1891 by George Butler Griffin.
First and Last Consul: Thomas Oliver Larkin and the Americanization of California.
Edited by John A. Hawgood
Mexico and the Old Southwest: People, Palaver, and Places
By Haldeen Braddy

On the Cover

Cover image


The imposing Serra Museum, Library and Tower Gallery, located on Presidio Hill and commanding an extraordinary pan- orama of San Diego Bay, Old Town, Point Loma, Mission Valley, Mission Bay and the Pacific Ocean, is the home of the San Diego Historical Society. Here on California’s most historic site, a distinguished National Historic Landmark where Father Junipero Serra and Captain-Governor Gaspar de Portola established Alta California’s first mission and presidio and founded San Diego in 1769, the Historical Society interprets San Diego’s colorful and romantic heritage.

Designed by San Diego architect William Templeton Johnson, the structure is an outstanding modern example of the best of San Diego’s heritage of Spanish mission architecture, admirably fitted to a commanding site and expressing with remarkable vigor the fine simple dignity of Father Serra.

On July 16, 1929, the handsome structure and the surrounding 40-acre Presidio Park, built and developed by San Diego businessman, civic leader and philanthropist, George W. Marston, were dedicated and presented to the City of San Diego.

John Nolen, landscape architect of Presidio Park, originally conceived of a building as a focal point and monument for the Park. His associate, Hale J. Walker, roughed a sketch and his basic idea was incorporated by Johnson into his final design for the building.

Cover illustration courtesy Phillip Binks, City of San Diego.

This issue of the The Journal of San Diego History was scanned and proofread by volunteer George Bailey.