California Building and Tower Repairs, Access and Seismic Upgrade

Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

The California Tower is part of the building that houses the Museum of Man in Balboa Park. The Spanish Colonial-Revival landmark is on the National Register of Historic Places. Public access to the tower had been closed since 1935. The museum wanted to host public tours of the tower by 2015, requiring a feasibility study to consider safety, egress requirements and disabled accessibility.

Heritage’s solution included the creation of an “Equivalent Facilitation Experience” to provide live video for anyone not physically able to climb the stairs. Other work on the building included architectural and engineering services to evaluate and restore the highly ornamental, cast-stone facades and complete re-roofing and repair of the tile domes. Heritage was also the architect for the seismic retrofit that was completed in 2020. The design incorporated new steel brace frames, concrete shear walls, and tension rods, all concealed internally, preserving the tower’s spectacular exterior.

  • City of San Diego, Park Planning Division
    • Feasibility Study
    • Construction Documents
    • Historical Monitoring
  • 2009 and 2020
    • ♢California Preservation Foundation Design Award
    • ♢Save Our Heritage Organisations (SOHO)
    • ♢San Diego Historical Resources Board (HRB)
    • ♢American Public Works Association (SD Chapter)
    • ♢Hossein Ruthi Award
    • ♢Construction Management
    • ♢National American Public Works Association
    • ♢Project of the Year for Restoration