The Junípero Serra Museum, in Presidio Park, is one of the most familiar landmarks in San Diego. As a major symbol of the city, it stands atop the hill recognized as the site where California began. It was here in 1769 that a Spanish Franciscan missionary, Father Junípero Serra, with a group of soldiers led by Gaspar de Portolá, established Alta California's first mission and presidio (fort).
Often confused for the Mission San Diego de Alcalá, the Serra Museum was built between 1928-1929 for the purpose of housing and showcasing the collection of The San Diego History Center (then the San Diego Historical Society), which was founded in 1928. The structure was designed by architect, William Templeton Johnson, using Spanish Revival architecture, to resemble the early missions that once dominated the landscape of Southern California. The museum is owned by The San Diego History Center.