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Liberty Station celebrates its 100th anniversary

Liberty Station was one of the first Naval Training Centers in Southern California, founded in 1923.

SAN DIEGO — Liberty Station is turning 100. On June 7, 2023, veterans, Liberty Station's Director and Mayor Gloria celebrated the former Naval Training Station turned destination for shopping, dining, art and entertainment.

The 600-acre Naval Training Center (NTC) operated from 1923 to 1997 before transitioning to the 361-acre historic destination it is today. 

The property has been a model and standard for the Navy and San Diego, first as a premiere Naval Training Center from 1923-1997 and then as a successful adaptive reuse project.

Dedicated as the Naval Training Station on October 27, 1923, Liberty Station reached its wartime peak of 33,000 personnel in 1942.

The Secretary of the Navy changed the facility's name to Naval Training Center (NTC) in 1944 after the schools were added to the Center, including an air conditioning school, foundry, and the Navy's only culinary school.

More than 1.75 million recruits and over 1 million A and C school sailors graduated from the NTC in its 60-year history.  

After its closure, a historic portion of the NTC San Diego was registered by the National Park Service and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

This designation preserved the NTC's 49 historic buildings which were constructed between 1921 and 1949.

The property's immersive Naval history can be experienced today, as many buildings on Liberty Station's grounds are original and have been repurposed for modern-day use. 

Of note, the present-day Liberty Public Market, located within the property's oldest Barrack, was originally the NTC's main dining hall for recruits.

Additionally, Liberty Station's 9-hole golf course was developed from the NTC's 4-hole link course named "The Sail Ho Golf Course," built during the earliest days of the NTC for recreational use.

As part of the property-wide Centennial celebration, artwork by Liberty Station resident artist Joe Pisano will also be on display in Liberty Station's Command Center featuring a seven-panel piece, "The Art of Immortalizing Heroes" paying tribute to the Armed Forces of the USA from WWI to the Global War on Terror.


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