Guide to the California Building Construction Records MS 255

Finding aid prepared by Lauren Rasmussen
Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.
San Diego History Center Document Collection
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101
June 4, 2012

Title: The California Building Construction Records
Identifier/Call Number: MS 255
Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.25 Linear feet (1 box)
Date (inclusive): 1913-1927
Abstract: The collection pertains to the construction and maintenance of the California Building built for the Panama-California Exposition in 1915.
creator: San Diego Museum of Man.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Lauren Rasmussen on June 4, 2012.
Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

Preferred Citation

The California Building Construction Records, MS 255, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number 950125.

Biographical / Historical Notes

The California Building, the current home of the San Diego Museum of Man, was designed by architect Bertram Goodhue for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. Now one of the most famous buildings in San Diego, the California Building is an icon of the Spanish Colonial Revival architectural style pioneered by Goodhue in his building designs for the Exposition. It was one of only four buildings built for the fair that were meant to be permanent.
The Exposition’s largest exhibit, “The Story of Man Through the Ages,” was housed in the California Building. After the Exposition drew to a close in 1916, a group of San Diegans led by George Marston formed the San Diego Museum Association to maintain the building and permanently retain the anthropological collections. In 1942 the building’s name was changed to the” Museum of Man”, and officially changed again in 1978 to the “San Diego Museum of Man.”

Scope and Content

The materials in the collection are administrative documents related to the original construction, ongoing maintenance, and further renovation of the California Building from 1913, two years before the Exposition opened, through 1927. The majority of the collection consists of financial records, including bills, invoices, and bank statements. Business contracts, correspondence, and construction reports are also included. There are also several documents related to the funding of the California Building, including a newspaper clipping and a senate bill passed by the California legislator.


Collection materials are arranged by subject.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Allen, Frank Phillips, Jr.
California Building Association.
California State Building Commission.
California State Park Commission.
California. State Board of Control.
Goodhue, Bertram Grosvenor, 1869-1924
Hewett, Edgar L. (Edgar Lee), 1865-1946
Ingle Manufacturing Co..
Marston Company Store.
Marston, George White, 1850-1946
Mead and Requa.
O'Halloran, Thomas
Panama-California Exposition (1915 : San Diego, Calif.).
Panama-California International Exposition (1916 : San Diego, Calif.).
San Diego Chamber of Commerce.
San Diego Electric Railway.
San Diego Museum of Man.
San Diego Museum.
Southern Trust and Commerce Bank.
Spreckels Companies.
Standard Oil Company.
Wurster Construction Co..
Balboa Park (San Diego, Calif.)
Business records
California Building (San Diego, Calif.)
Construction projects
Design and construction
Exhibition buildings
Financial statement notes
Financial statements
San Diego (Calif.)

Box-folder 1:1

Contracts, 1919 and undated

Box-folder 1:2

Correspondence, 1913 July 3–1924 March 10 and undated

Box-folder 1:3

Construction reports and estimates, 1914 April 13–1916 October 27 and undated


“Report of Expenditures from Budget Allowance to October 27, 1916” (in Oversize Collections D6)
Department estimate (in Oversize Collections D6)
Box-folder 1:4

Financial records, 1913 October 1–1919 December 10

Box-folder 1:5

Financial records, 1920 January 21-December 16

Box-folder 1:6

Financial records, 1921 January 1–1927 February 7

Box-folder 1:7

Bank statements and checks, 1917 July 23–1921 February 21

Box-folder 1:8

Miscellanea, 1921 May 26 and undated


Copy of Senate Bill No. 70 that established ongoing state funding for museum
Newspaper clipping regarding museum funding
List of new construction work to be completed for Balboa Park
Letter to the trustees of the California Building from the chairman of the Marston Celebration Committee