The California Tower, the soaring, intricately detailed, portion of the California Building, is an icon of San Diego, and can be seen from miles around. The building houses the San Diego Museum of Us.
Constructed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, this beautiful structure is an architectural hybrid of architectural different styles, including Baroque, Plateresque, Churrigueresque, and Rococo, with some Gothic details. Designed by Bertram Goodhue, who included intricate ornamentation, arched arcades, carvings and busts, and colorful tile adorning the tower and domes, the building is reminiscent of the Spanish-Colonial churches in Mexico that inspired him.
The California Tower at the San Diego Museum of Us was temporarily closed to the public at beginning Monday, February 18, 2019, when the City of San Diego began a seismic retrofit of the historic structure. The seismic retrofit is now completed, and the Tower is open to the public.
The nearly 200-foot-tall Tower and Dome of the California Building are covered with intricate carvings, colorful tile, and glass beads.