Since 1938, the County Administration Center has stood on the San Diego bay, welcoming residents and visitors alike, symbolizing the highest aspirations and ideals of public service that “the noblest motive is the public good.”
A brief history of the County Administration Center...
In 1902, residents of San Diego County recognized the need for a building to house the city and county offices. In 1926, noted city planner, John Nolen, wrote that building a Civic Center would “transform the civic spirit of the community, raise the civic pride of the citizens and attract favorably the attention of visitors.”
In December 1926, the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution declaring “the necessity for the erection of a public building” for both the City and the County. As a result, three countywide votes were taken to approve the tidelands site for construction of the Civic Center, but three countywide bond votes to secure the necessary funding were defeated. In 1935, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt authorized $1 million to be granted from the Works Progress Administration to construct the Civic Center after a personal tour of the site. Watch a video about the dedication.
Four San Diego architects, William Templeton Johnson, Richard S. Requa, Louis J. Gill, and Samuel Hamill, oversaw and prepared the plans for the Civic Center. After the official groundbreaking for the Civic Center on December 5, 1935, actual construction began on January 4, 1936. The Civic Center was officially dedicated on July 16, 1938 by President Roosevelt, five months prior to actual completion of the building, which was celebrated by opening ceremonies on December 23, 1938.
In 1964, the City sold its share of the Civic Center to the County and moved its offices to the Community Concourse on C Street. Following the move, officials renamed the building the “San Diego County Administration Center” (commonly referred to as the CAC).