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List of National Historic Landmarks in California

This is a complete List of National Historic Landmarks in California. The United States National Historic Landmark (NHL) program is operated under the auspices of the National Park Service, and recognizes structures, districts, objects, and similar resources nationwide according to a list of criteria of national significance.[1] The listings in the state of California express the diversity of California's heritage, including pre-Columbian peoples, the Spanish and Mexican periods, maritime activity, space exploration, and many other themes.

Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, a National Historic Landmark since 1986.

The table below lists all 142 sites, along with added detail and description. The sites are distributed across 36 of California's 58 counties.[2]


  • Current NHLs 1
  • Historic areas of the NPS in California 2
  • Former NHLs and Possible future NHLs 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6
  • External links 7

Current NHLs

One site, Yuma Crossing and Associated Sites, is shared with Arizona and is listed by the National Park Service in that state. Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge is shared with Oregon but credited to California.

[3] Landmark name Image Date designated[4] Location County Description
1 The Abbey, Joaquin Miller House
Photograph of the Joaquin Miller House. A small house on a gradual incline, elevated by brick foundation, surrounded by trees.
December 29, 1962
Alameda Joaquin Miller, known as the "Poet of the Sierras", lived here from 1886 until his death in 1913.
2 The Ahwahnee
Photograph of The Ahwahnee in winter snow, amidst bare trees with the dramatic walls of Yosemite Valley rising behind.
May 28, 1987
Yosemite National Park
Mariposa National Park Service-built and operated hotel in Yosemite National Park; designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood; exemplifies National Park Service Rustic architecture.
3 Alcatraz Island
Interior photograph of a prison cell on Alcatraz Island. The spare, cold, cement-block cell contains a cot, two shelves, and a sink.
January 17, 1986
San Francisco
San Francisco Former maximum security Federal prison; Frank Morris escaped, but few others did; part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area; visited by tourist ferries.
4 Alma (scow schooner)
Starboard view of scow schooner
June 7, 1988
San Francisco
San Francisco Flat-bottomed scow schooner that was built in 1891 and used in San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Now part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Official plaque located in the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Visitor Center, located at the corner of Hyde and Jefferson Streets.
5 Angelus Temple
Historic post card photograph of the domed Angelus Temple.
April 27, 1992
Los Angeles
Los Angeles Church built by and for Aimee Semple McPherson, evangelical sensation of the 1920s and 1930s.
6 Juan de Anza House
1934 HABS photo
April 15, 1970
San Juan Bautista
San Benito One-story adobe house typical of Mexican era, later "Americanized", also in typical way.
7 Aquatic Park Historic District
Photograph of the National Maritime Museum in the Aquatic Park Historic District. The waterfront museum is designed with the feel of an ocean liner.
May 28, 1987
San Francisco
San Francisco Streamline Moderne beach, pier, and public bathhouse built by the WPA in 1936. Official plaque located in the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Visitor Center, located at the corner of Hyde and Jefferson Streets.
8 Asilomar Conference Grounds
Photograph of Merrill Hall at the Asilomar Conference Grounds, a tall and broad peaked building of wood and stone.
February 27, 1987
Pacific Grove
Monterey Julia Morgan in 1913.
9 Balboa Park
Photograph of the Botanic Building, one of several buildings in Balboa Park. A red conservatory building, it is fronted by a reflecting pool and surrounded by multiple species of trees.
December 22, 1977
San Diego
San Diego 1,200 acre (4.9 km²) urban cultural complex in San Diego. Reserved in 1855, it is one of the oldest public recreation sites in the US. It includes open areas and vegetation as well as museums, theaters, gardens, shops, restaurants and the San Diego Zoo.
10 Balclutha (square-rigger)
Port bow view of the square-rigged sailing ship
February 4, 1985
San Francisco
San Francisco The only remaining square rigged ship in the San Francisco Bay area, it was built in 1886 and served on several different trade routes. It is now part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Official plaque located in the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Visitor Center, located at the corner of Hyde and Jefferson Streets.
11 Baldwin Hills Village
Village Green
January 3, 2001
Baldwin Hills
Los Angeles Now known as Village Green, this 627 unit condo complex was one of the first new planned communities when it was built between 1935 and 1942.
12 Hubert H. Bancroft Ranch House
1964 HABS photo
December 29, 1962
Spring Valley
San Diego Adobe home of historian and ethnologist Hubert Howe Bancroft, publisher of many Pacific Coast histories and books on Native American culture.
13 Bank of Italy Building
Bank of Italy Building, 552 Montgomery St., San Francisco. From northwest corner of Montgomery and Clay Sts.
June 2, 1978
San Francisco
San Francisco Became the headquarters of Bank of Italy in 1908 (precursor of the Bank of America); also known as the Clay-Montgomery Building.
14 Aline Barnsdall Complex (Hollyhock House)
Hollyhock House.
March 29, 2007
Los Angeles
Los Angeles Hollyhock House, a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1919–1921 for Aline Barnsdall. Now the centerpiece of the Barnsdall Art Park.
15 Berkeley (ferry)
Photograph of the funnel of the ferry Berkeley from the vessel's roof, showing the Southern Pacific logo on the side of the stack.
December 14, 1990
San Diego
San Diego First propeller-driven ferry on the west coast; currently the main "building" of the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
16 Big Four House
Photograph of the Big Four House in Old Sacramento, with signs
July 4, 1961
Sacramento Built in 1852; house where Central Pacific railway and founded the Southern Pacific Railroad.
17 Bodie Historic District
Photograph of abandoned and deteriorated buildings in the Bodie Historic District.
July 4, 1961
Mono Establish in 1859, it became a Gold Rush boomtown in 1876. It is currently a State park preserved in arrested decay, neither restored nor destroyed. It is one of very few towns of this type to survive untouched.
18 Borax Lake Site
Borax Lake Site
September 20, 2006
Clear Lake
Coordinates missing
Lake The archaeological type site of the unique Paleo-Indian Clovis people known as the Post Pattern. This site extended their known range and introduced an unusual lake shore dwelling population.
19 Bradbury Building
HABS interior photograph of the central court of the Bradbury Building, emphasizing the ornamental ironwork on the stairways and open walkways and the large skylight.
May 5, 1977
Los Angeles
Los Angeles 1893 Italian Renaissance architectural landmark. Known for its striking interiors and cage elevators. It has been used extensively as a location in films such as Blade Runner.
20 Luther Burbank House and Garden
Photograph of a formal garden at the Luther Burbank House and Gardens, featuring brick walkways and planterboxes, a small lawn, a fountain and pool, low stone walls, and wooden trellises.
June 19, 1964
Santa Rosa
Sonoma City park containing the former home, greenhouse, gardens, and grave of noted American horticulturist Luther Burbank.
21 C.A. Thayer (schooner)
Photograph of the schooner C.A. Thayer at dock, sails furled, with tall masts reaching to a clear sky.
November 13, 1966
San Francisco
San Francisco Schooner built in 1895; now preserved at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park; worked in lumber trade to San Francisco from Washington, Oregon, and Northern California. Official plaque located in the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Visitor Center, located at the corner of Hyde and Jefferson Streets.
22 Carmel Mission
Photograph of the bell tower of Carmel Mission, with a peaked dome atop with gardens in the foreground.
October 9, 1960
Monterey The second Roman Catholic California Mission Church, this was the headquarters of the padre presidente, Father Fermin Francisco de Lasuen. It was destroyed in the mid-19th century and restored in 1884 and 1920. It remains a parish church today.
23 Carrizo Plain Archeological District
Aerial view of the San Andreas Fault as it passes through Carrizo Plain.
March 2, 2012
San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo Historically important and environmentally sensitive grassland area.
24 Jose Castro House
HABS photo
May 15, 1970
San Juan Bautista
San Benito Historic adobe home built by José Castro, Commandant General of Northern California. It is part of the San Juan Bautista Historic District.
25 Coloma
Historic photograph of Sutter's Mill in Coloma in 1850. It is a largely open-walled wooden building set on stits among sparsely vegetated mountains.
July 4, 1961
El Dorado Town where the California Gold Rush when James W. Marshall discovered gold at Sutter's mill on January 24, 1848. Now a ghost town, it is a significant part of the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park
26 Columbia Historic District
Photograph of a historic store, the Pioneer Emporium, in the Columbia Historic District. The building sports a tall false front, and several visitors stand in the shade of an awning.
July 4, 1961
Tuolumne Within two years of discovering gold in this town, it was the 3rd largest city in California. The historic district is now an open museum and the best preserved California Gold Rush town.
27 Commander's House, Fort Ross
Photograph of the Fort Ross Commander's House on a sunny day. Visitors stand at a table in front of the rectangular log building with a high, peaked roof and white painted windowframes.
May 15, 1970
Fort Ross
Sonoma Only original structure at Fort Ross; also known as Rotchev House; Russian-built in 1812
28 Coso Rock Art District(formerly Big and Little Petroglyph Canyons)
Coso Rock Art
July 8, 2001
Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake
Coordinates missing
Inyo Over 20,000 Indian petroglyphs are located in this NHLD, which also incorporates two earlier NHLs Big and Little Petroglyph Canyons. The site is located within Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.
29 Donner Camp Sites
Photograph of a memorial at the Donner Camp, a set of bronze figures, woman, man, and child, atop a tall stone plinth.
January 20, 1961
Nevada Museum and monument to Donner party; trapped by weather during the winter of 1846–1847; resorted to cannibalism to survive
30 Drakes Bay Historic and Archeological District
Drakes Bay Historic and Archeological District
October 16, 2012
Drakes Bay, California
Marin The recognized landing site of Francis Drake in 1579 and Sebastian Rodriguez Cermeño in 1595, and the early interactions between Native Americans and these European visitors.
31 Eames House (Case Study House #8)
Photograph of the Eames House, a boxy building with a face of rectangles of various colors and clear glass, shaded by tall eucalyptus trees.
September 20, 2006
Pacific Palisades
Los Angeles Built in 1949 by husband-and-wife design pioneers Charles and Ray Eames; also known as Case Study House No. 8.
32 Elmshaven (Ellen White House)
November 4, 1993
St. Helena
Napa Ellen Gould White lived and worked here from 1900 until her death in 1915. She was notable for her prophetic ministry which led to the rise of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
33 Estudillo House
1937 HABS photo
April 15, 1970
San Diego
San Diego Adobe house; constructed in 1827; was considered one of the finest houses in Mexican California.
34 Eureka (double-ended ferry)
Port-stern view of steam ferryboat
February 4, 1985
San Francisco
San Francisco Side-wheel paddle steamboat; built in 1890 by the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad Company; preserved at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Official plaque located in the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Visitor Center, located at the corner of Hyde and Jefferson Streets.
35 USCGC Fir
Historic photograph of the USCGC Fir, a heavy-duty vessel with a large crane boom rising from its fore section.
April 27, 1992
Rio Vista
Sacramento 174 foot U.S. Coast Guard cutter; lighthouse tender; decommissioned.
36 First Church of Christ, Scientist
Front view of the church
December 22, 1977
Alameda Church designed by Bernard Ralph Maybeck
37 James C. Flood Mansion
James Cair Flood Mansion (Pacific-Union Club), 1000 California St., San Francisco. Photographed from south side of California St. between Taylor St. and Mason St.
November 13, 1966
San Francisco
San Francisco Mansion of James C. Flood, 19th century silver-baron; first brownstone building built west of the Mississippi River; one of the only buildings on Nob Hill to survive the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire; purchased by the Pacific-Union Club after the earthquake
38 Folsom Powerhouse
Photograph of the Folsom Powerhouse, a tall, narrow masonry building with power lines overhead and the dam in the background.
May 29, 1981
Sacramento Built in late 19th century using prison labor from Folsom Prison; first delivered power to Sacramento in 1895; remained in operation until 1952.
39 Fort Ross
Photograph of a reconstructed blockhouse and palisade wall at Fort Ross, a Northern California forestscape in the background.
November 5, 1961
Fort Ross
Sonoma Established by Ivan Kuskov of the Russian-American Company in 1812; thriving settlement from 1812 to 1841
40 Fresno Sanitary Landfill
Fresno Sanitary Landfill
August 7, 2001
Fresno Opened in 1937; first modern landfill in the U.S.; model for other landfills around the country; and one of the longest-lived.
41 David B. Gamble House
Photograph of the David B. Gamble House across its front lawn. It is a large house with wooden siding and trim presenting a very rustic feel.
December 22, 1977
Los Angeles Arts and Crafts masterpiece; shows influence from traditional Japanese aesthetics and a certain California spaciousness born of available land and a permissive climate.
42 González House
The northern part of the house.
April 15, 1970
Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Built about 1825 by Don Rafael Gonzales; typical of Mexican-era adobe town houses; adobe walls at least 2' thick
43 Guajome Ranch House
Rancho Guajome, 1936
April 15, 1970
San Diego Spanish Colonial hacienda with two courtyards.
44 Hale Solar Observatory
December 20, 1989
Los Angeles Laboratory of spectroheliograph, with which he made his discoveries of the solar vortices and magnetic fields of sun spots.
45 Hanna-Honeycomb House
Hanna House
June 29, 1989
Palo Alto
Santa Clara Located on Stanford University campus, this was Frank Lloyd Wright's first work in the San Francisco region as well as his first work with non-rectangular structures.
46 Harada House
Harada House
December 14, 1990
Riverside Property involved in 1916–1918 constitutional test of an alien land law; at issue was the rights of the children of a Japanese immigrant
47 Hearst San Simeon Estate
The grand entry door at the Hearst San Simeon Estate, with a great quantity of carved stonework, illuminated in the golden evening sun.
May 11, 1976
San Simeon
San Luis Obispo Built by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst; open for public tours; Hearst formally named the estate "La Cuesta Encantada".
48 Hercules (tug)
Steam tug
January 17, 1986
San Francisco
San Francisco This 1907 steam tug is now a museum ship at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Official plaque located in the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Visitor Center, located at the corner of Hyde and Jefferson Streets.
49 Lou Henry and Herbert Hoover House
HABS photograph of the Lou Henry and Herbert Hoover House, a large pueblo-style building surrounded by trees and plantings.
February 4, 1985
Palo Alto
Santa Clara Designed by Lou Henry Hoover, wife of Herbert Hoover, this is where the Hoovers lived before and after his presidency. It is now the official residence of the president of Stanford University
50 USS Hornet (CVS-12) (aircraft carrier)
Interior photograph of the combat information center aboard the USS Hornet. Illuminated display boards cover the walls, and several duty stations with large dials stand in the dim room.
December 4, 1991
Alameda Essex class aircraft carrier which was commissioned in November 1943. She played a role in the Pacific battles of World War II and then went on to serve in the Vietnam War. It also recovered the Apollo Astronauts as they returned from the Moon.
51 Hotel del Coronado
Hotel del Coronado
May 5, 1977
San Diego The largest beach resort on the North American Pacific Coast, this Victorian building is an iconic symbol of San Diego.
52 Edwin Hubble House
Edwin Hubble House in 1975
December 8, 1976
San Marino
Los Angeles Home of astronomer Edwin Hubble from 1925 until his death in 1953.
53 Jeremiah O'Brien (Liberty ship)
Photograph of the liberty ship SS
January 14, 1986
San Francisco
San Francisco This Liberty ship is a rare survivor of the 6,939-ship armada that stormed Normandy on D-Day, 1944.
54 Knight's Ferry Bridge
Knight's Ferry covered bridge
October 16, 2012
Knights Ferry
Stanislaus Historic bridge
55 La Purisima Mission
Photograph of the campanile of La Purisima Mission, flanked by low stucco buildings with tile roofs.
April 15, 1970
Santa Barbara Now a historical park, it is the only example in California of a "complete" mission complex.
56 Lake Merritt Wild Duck Refuge
Panoramic photograph of the Lake Merritt Wild Duck Refuge, surrounded by the buildings of Oakland.
May 23, 1963
Alameda Now known as Lake Merritt park, it is notable for being the first official wildlife refuge in the United States, designated in 1870.
57 Lane Victory (victory ship)
SS Lane Victory, now regularly docked at Berth 46, Port of Los Angeles
December 14, 1990
San Pedro
Los Angeles A rare example of a Victory Ship, it is now a still operational museum ship which makes 6 public cruises a year to Catalina Island.
58 Larkin House
100 px
December 19, 1960
Monterey This house, part of the larger landmark district Monterey State Historic Park, combined Spanish building techniques with New England features, creating the Monterey Colonial style of architecture.
59 Las Flores Adobe
100 px
November 24, 1968
Camp Pendleton
San Diego An estancia halfway between two missions, it is now part of a Boy Scout camp located inside Camp Pendleton just off of Interstate 5.
60 Leconte Memorial Lodge
Interior photograph of the Leconte Memorial Lodge. Stone walls and several laden interpretive display tables surround a large stone fireplace with a bas-relief of Joseph LeConte.
May 28, 1987
Yosemite National Park
Mariposa Built by the Sierra Club in 1903 in honor of Joseph LeConte, one of the founding members of the Sierra Club. It was a Yosemite visitors center, but is now run by the Sierra Club as a museum and library.
61 Lightship WAL-605, Relief
100 px
December 20, 1989
Alameda A lightvessel now located in Oakland
62 Little Tokyo Historic District
Photograph of the ornate entrance to the Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist temple in the Little Tokyo Historic District
June 12, 1995
Los Angeles
Los Angeles An ethnic Japanese American district in downtown Los Angeles, one of three official Japantowns in the United States.
63 Locke Historic District
Photograph of a street in Locke, a narrow thoroughfare between tightly packed, single-story, wood-frame buildings.
December 14, 1990
Sacramento The largest remaining example of a historic rural Chinese American community, built in 1915.
64 Jack London Ranch
Photograph of the wood-frame guest cottage at the Jack London Ranch.
December 29, 1962
Glen Ellen
Sonoma Home of Jack London from 1905 until his death.
65 Los Alamos Ranch House
April 15, 1970
Los Alamos
Coordinates missing
Santa Barbara A good example of the Mexican style single story adobe ranch-house located next to the El Camino Real. It was often used as an overnight stop when travelling between Santa Barbara and Monterey.
66 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Photograph of the peristyle gate of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, tile mosaicon the underside of the arch, and the Olympic torch reaching to the blue sky.
July 27, 1984
Los Angeles
Los Angeles The only stadium in the world which has hosted the Summer Olympic Games (1932 /1984), the World Series (1959) and the Super Bowl (1967 /1973). It is currently the home of the USC Trojans football team.
67 Los Cerritos Ranch House
1934 HABS photo
April 15, 1970
Long Beach
Los Angeles Largest adobe home built in Southern California during Mexican era.
68 Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge
Photograph of a great egret standing on a canal gate valve amidst the marshes of the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge.
January 12, 1965
Dorris, CA and Klamath Falls, OR
Siskiyou, CA and Klamath, OR This national wildlife refuge, established in 1908, was the first large block of public land set aside for wildlife management purposes. Because of the refuge's extensive overlap with the Klamath Basin water reclamation project, it has become an ongoing example of the tensions between conservation and economic demands in public land management.
69 Manzanar War Relocation Center
Photograph of a memorial at the Manzanar War Relocation Center. A low white obelisk with Japanese kenji characters and flower offerings stands against an expansive backdrop of the Owens Valley floor, snowy mountains, large clouds, and blue sky.
February 4, 1985
Inyo The most widely known American forced relocation camp where 11,070 Japanese Americans were imprisoned during World War II.
70 Mare Island Naval Shipyard
Historic photograph of the USS Wadleigh at dock and under work at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in 1945. Shipyard buildings are visible in the background.
May 15, 1975
Solano The first US naval facility on the West Coast, it built and supported WWII naval forces as well as nuclear submarines. It closed in 1996 and is currently under redevelopment which is threatening the historic buildings.
71 Marin County Civic Center
Interior photograph of the Marin County Civic Center. The skylit, two-story atrium has plantings, few sharp corners, and lots of reds and pinks.
July 17, 1991
San Rafael
Marin The last major commission by Frank Lloyd Wright, this government run complex hosts a variety of events including the county fair. Its architecture has led to inclusion in or inspiration for several films. It is also known for two violent attacks in the 1970s.
72 Mendocino Woodlands Recreational Demonstration Area
September 25, 1997
Mendocino The only Recreational Demonstration Area built by the Civilian Conservation Corps that's been continually used as a campground. It has been managed by a nonprofit agency since 1949 and remains in use today as Mendocino Woodlands State Park.
73 Mission Beach Roller Coaster
Mission Beach Roller Coaster
February 27, 1987
San Diego
San Diego One of only 2 remaining wooden coasters on the West coast, it was built in 1925 by noted coaster builders Prior and Church. It was saved from destruction in 1987, restored, and is still operating today.
74 Mission Inn
Photograph in a courtyard at the Mission Inn, with four floors of Spanish revival architecture, arches, and tile roofs rising overhead.
May 5, 1977
Riverside This hotel has become the largest Mission Revival style through progressive additions and embellishments since its first predecessor cottage was built in 1876. In addition to lodgings, it features shops, a chapel, furniture from around the world, and Tiffany windows.
75 Mission San Miguel Arcángel
Historic interior photograph of the sanctuary at Mission San Miguel Arcángel. Beamed wooden ceilings and adobe walls protect an ornate altar, chancel, and pulpit.
March 20, 2006
San Miguel
San Luis Obispo The 16th California Mission church remains well preserved and still in use today though under earthquake remediation construction. Inside are murals by Esteban Munras.
76 Mission Santa Inés
Photograph of Mission Santa Inés, showing the campanile on the right, the chapel at center, and the long, colonnaded walkway to the left.
January 20, 1999
Santa Barbara The 19th California Mission church was the site of an Indian revolt in 1824. It has undergone restoration since the 1940s and is a working parish church today.
77 Modjeska House
Modjeska House
December 14, 1990
Orange Designed by Stanford White, from 1888 to 1906 this was the home of Helena Modjeska, a Polish patriot and Shakespearean actress.
78 Monterey Old Town Historic District
1936 HABS photo
April 15, 1970
Monterey Also known as Monterey State Historic Park, this NHLD contains both California's First Theatre, and the Monterey Customs House, where the American flag was first raised over California. It also incorporates the National Historic Landmarked Larkin House known for its leading architecture.
79 John Muir House
Photograph of the Victorian John Muir House from street level, looking up at the house and its pergola against the sky.
December 29, 1962
Contra Costa John Muir lived here from 1890 until his death in 1914, the time period of some of his most notable achievements including founding the Sierra Club and laying the groundwork for the creation of the National Park Service. It is open to the public.
80 New Almaden
Ruins of the Senador Mine.
July 4, 1961
San Jose
Santa Clara Also known as Senador, one of the oldest and most productive mercury mines in the United States. It helped ensure the California Gold Rush could take place. Now part of Almaden Quicksilver County Park.
81 Richard M. Nixon Birthplace
Photograph of the Richard M. Nixon Birthplace, a single-level, tree-shaded, white, wood-frame house.
May 31, 1973
Yorba Linda
Orange The birthplace and home of President Richard Milhous Nixon from 1913 to 1922. Now part of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
82 Frank Norris Cabin
Frank Norris Memorial HABS rephoto
December 29, 1962
Santa Clara Also known as Redwood Retreat this was the home of author Frank Norris in the last year of his life.
83 Nuestra Senora Reina de la Paz
Nuestra Senora Reina de la Paz
October 8, 2012
Kern Headquarters of the National Farm Workers Federation, now the Cesar Chavez National Monument. Includes the gravesite of co-founder César Chávez
84 Oak Grove Butterfield Stage Station
1960 HABS photo
November 5, 1961
Warner Springs
San Diego The only surviving station house on the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach line. The nearby location of Warner's Ranch was also part of the line.
85 Old Customhouse
Photograph of the Old Customhouse in Monterey, a two-story Spanish-colonial structure with broad verandahs, tile roofs, blue and green trim, and white stucco.
December 19, 1960
Monterey This 1827 Adobe structure is the oldest public building in California and is where the American Flag was raised, declaring California part of the United States. It is now a museum located inside the Monterey State Historic Park, itself a NHLD.
86 Old Mission Dam
Old Mission Dam
May 21, 1963
San Diego
San Diego The first major irrigation project on the Pacific coast, this dam supplied water for milling and irrigation at the Mission San Diego de Alcalá, 5 miles away. Now part of Mission Trails Regional Park
87 Old Sacramento Historic District
Photograph of a street in the Old Sacramento Historic District.
January 12, 1965
Sacramento Built up after the California Gold Rush, this historic district also includes the NHL locations of the Pony Express Terminal and the Big Four House.
88 Old Scripps Building
Historic photograph of the Old Scripps Building, a rectangular structure on a clifftop overlooking the Pacific breakers.
May 20, 1982
La Jolla
San Diego The first building of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which is the oldest oceanographic institute in the United States. It formed the starting point of what has become the University of California, San Diego.
89 Old United States Mint
Old U.S. Mint, 88 Fifth St., San Francisco. Photographed from east side of Fifth St.
July 4, 1961
San Francisco
San Francisco Built for the San Francisco Mint in 1874 to handle the overflow from the California Gold Rush, this building is affectionately as The Granite Lady. It is one of the few that survivors of the great 1906 San Francisco earthquake and served until 1937.
90 USS Pampanito (submarine)
Photograph of the USS
January 14, 1986
San Francisco
San Francisco A Balao class submarine, she served in World War II before becoming a museum ship and part of the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association. She still has several working parts, including the periscopes and a torpedo tube.
91 Paramount Theatre
Photograph of a tall sign and mosaic announcing the Paramount Theatre standing above the marquee and a busy street.
May 5, 1977
Alameda The largest theatre on the West Coast when it was built, it is notable for its Art Deco appearance. It is the home of the Oakland East Bay Symphony and the Oakland Ballet and is managed by a nonprofit organization.
92 Parsons Memorial Lodge
NPS photo
May 28, 1987
Yosemite National Park
Tuolumne This solidly built structure was the first stone structure in a National Park. It was built by the Sierra Club and is still standing today with only minor variations. It reflects the Bay Area architecture influences of Bernard Maybeck as well as the practical weather concerns of the High Sierra valley.
93 Petaluma Adobe
Photograph of the Petaluma Adobe, a broad, low, two-story building with wide verandas amidst open grasslands.
April 15, 1970
Sonoma The largest example of Monterey Colonial architecture in the United States, this adobe structure was the ranch house of General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, commandant of the Sonoma Pueblo. It is now the centerpiece of Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park, which is threatened with closure.
94 Pioneer Deep Space Station
NASA photo
October 3, 1985
Fort Irwin
San Bernardino NASA's Deep Space Network for tracking unmanned spacecraft in deep space was inaugurated when this antenna became operational in 1958.
95 Point Reyes Lifeboat Station
Point Reyes Lifeboat Station
December 20, 1989
Point Reyes
Marin Last remaining instance of a USLS rail launched lifeboat station, commonly used on the Pacific coast. This site rescued crews from ships that foundered on Point Reyes. It is now protected as part of the Point Reyes National Seashore.
96 Pony Express Terminal
1960 HABS photo
July 4, 1961
Sacramento The Western end of the Pony Express, this bank building has also served as the first home of the Supreme Court of California. It is now part of the Old Sacramento State Historic Park, itself a National Historic Landmark District.
97 Potomac (Presidential yacht)
Photograph of the Presidential yacht USS Potomac at dock on a sunny, clear day.
December 14, 1990
Alameda Formerly the USCGC Electra, this ship was Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidential yacht from 1936 until his death in 1945 and only one of three still existing presidential yachts. On August 3, 1941, she played a decoy role while Roosevelt snuck off to sign the Atlantic Charter. She is now a museum ship.
98 Presidio of San Francisco
Presidio of San Francisco
June 13, 1962
San Francisco
San Francisco Used as a fortified military base from 1776 to 1995 by Spain, Mexico, and the United States. It is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and serves a mix of commercial and public uses. It is required to be financially self-supporting by 2013.
99 Ralph J. Scott (fireboat)
Ralph J. Scott (fireboat)
June 30, 1989
San Pedro
Los Angeles A fireboat for the LAFD from 1925 until its retirement in 2003, it could pump 17,000 US gal/min (1,070 L/s). It is now located near the Los Angeles Maritime Museum.
100 William C. Ralston Home
William C. Ralston Home
November 13, 1966
San Mateo Home of William Chapman Ralston, a San Francisco businessman, founder of the Bank of California, and financier of the Comstock Lode. Now part of Notre Dame de Namur University.
101 Rancho Camulos
Historic photograph of Ranco Camulos from an elevated angle. The ranch spreads out on the valley bottom on the banks of a river, with mountains rising behind.
February 16, 2000
Ventura The home of Ygnacio del Valle, an alcalde of Los Angeles and member of the California State Assembly. The ranch was known as the Home of Ramona because it is likely that the popular 1884 novel Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson was set there. The novel helped in raising awareness about the Californio lifestyle. It is now a museum.
102 Rangers' Club
Ranger's Club
May 28, 1987
Yosemite National Park
Mariposa Stephen Tyng Mather, the wealthy first director of the National Park Service personally donated this building to house the newly hired rangers covering Yosemite National Park. Its rustic architecture inspired all National Park construction through WWII.
103 Rogers Dry Lake
Rogers Dry Lake
October 3, 1985
Edwards Air Force Base
Kern and San Bernardino Centerpiece of Edwards Air Force Base, this endorheic desert salt pan in the Mojave Desert has the worlds largest Compass Rose and the worlds largest runway at 7.2 miles. It is one of the alternate Space Shuttle landing sites.
104 Room 307, Gilman Hall, University of California
Room 307, Gilman Hall, University of California
December 21, 1965
Alameda Room 307 in Gilman Hall at plutonium as a new element on February 23, 1941.
105 Rose Bowl
Rose Bowl
February 27, 1987
Los Angeles Home field of the UCLA Bruins college football team as well as the annual Rose Bowl Game. It also hosted events from the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics
106 Royal Presidio Chapel
Royal Presidio Chapel
October 9, 1960
Monterey This cathedral is the oldest continuously operating parish, the oldest stone building in California, the smallest cathedral in the United States and one of the two oldest cathedrals in the United States. It is the only existing Presidio cathedral in California and the only original building in the Monterey Presidio.
107 San Diego Mission Church
San Diego Mission Church
April 15, 1970
San Diego
San Diego This was the first Spanish Mission in Alta California and the start of El Camino Real. Originally located in the Presidio of San Diego, it later moved a few miles away. The nearby Old Mission Dam, also a NHL, provided water for milling and farming.
108 San Diego Presidio
San Diego Presidio
October 9, 1960
San Diego
San Diego The first fortified presidio, it along with the first mission, San Diego Mission Church, paved the way for Spanish colonization of California. No structures remain, but the site is now located in Presidio Park.
109 San Francisco Bay Discovery Site
San Francisco Bay Discovery Site
May 23, 1968
San Bruno
San Mateo On November 4, 1769 the expedition of Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolà reached the summit of the 1,200-foot (370 m) high Sweeney Ridge, where he sighted San Francisco Bay. It is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
110 San Francisco Cable Cars
San Francisco Cable Cars
January 29, 1964
San Francisco
San Francisco An iconic image of San Francisco, this is the only remaining permanently operational manually operated cable car system in the world.
111 San Francisco Civic Center
San Francisco Civic Center
February 27, 1987
San Francisco
San Francisco The United Nations Charter was signed here in 1945 as well as the post WWII peace treaty with Japan. This collection of Beaux Arts buildings serves a number of uses, including the Exposition Auditorium from the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition.
112 San Francisco Port of Embarkation, U.S. Army
Photograph of docks and red-roofed, stucco warehouses at the San Francisco Port of Embarkation, U.S. Army. The Golden Gate Bridge spans the background of the picture.
February 4, 1985
San Francisco
San Francisco Originally built during the American Civil War for coastal defense, this fort became the primary transportation hub in the Pacific for the United States during World War I and World War II. In World War II alone, over 1,647,174 passengers and 23,589,472 tons went through this fort. It is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area
113 San Juan Bautista Plaza Historic District
1934 HABS photo
April 15, 1970
San Juan Bautista
San Benito A prime example of the Spanish-Mexican colonial plan of buildings surrounding the central plaza and Mission church. The NHLD also includes the Jose Castro House, itself a National Historic Landmark. It was featured prominently in the Hitchcock film Vertigo.
114 San Luis Rey Mission Church
As of 2005
April 15, 1970
San Diego California's most pristine Spanish Mission Complex, this is the third church at this site.
115 Santa Barbara County Courthouse
Photograph of the gardens and Spanish colonial façade of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse
April 5, 2005
Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Known for the beauty of its Spanish-Colonial Revival architecture, which inspired and influenced many other designers.
116 Santa Barbara Mission
Santa Barbara Mission
October 9, 1960
Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara The only Spanish mission in California to remain under the leadership of the Franciscan Friars since the day of its founding.
117 Santa Cruz Looff Carousel and Roller Coaster
Evening photograph of the white, wooden Santa Cruz Roller Coaster, amusement park structures, and a background of eucalyptus and palm trees.
February 27, 1987
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz The Looff family was one of the major early manufacturers of carousels, including this 1911 example. Only five other intact Looff carousels remain in the United States. The 1924 Giant Dipper roller coaster is the older of the two large, wooden scaffolded roller coasters remaining on the West Coast.
118 Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome
Exterior photograph of the Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome, a pink building with blue trim and large, arched glass doors and windows.
February 27, 1987
Santa Monica
Los Angeles Built by the Looff family to house one of their carousels, this structure now houses a different carousel, but remains a rare example of what was once a much larger amusement complex.
119 Upton Sinclair House
Upton Sinclair House
November 11, 1971
Los Angeles Home of American novelist Upton Sinclair between 1942 and 1966 and where he wrote most of his later works.
120 Sonoma Plaza
City Hall of Sonoma, which stands at the center of Sonoma Plaza.
December 19, 1960
Sonoma The largest plaza in California, this was the location of the Bear Flag Revolt in 1846 which led to the Mexican-American War
121 Space Flight Operations Facility
Interior photograph of the control room at the Space Flight Operations Facility, with tables of monitors and workstations arrayed facing several large wall-mounted monitors.
October 3, 1985
Los Angeles Control room at Jet Propulsion Laboratory where all NASA interplanetary and deep space missions are monitored.
122 Space Launch Complex 10
Photograph of the Thor-Agena vehicle on the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 10, surrounded by scrub vegetation and various support buildings, the Pacific Ocean in the distant background.
June 23, 1986
Vandenberg Air Force Base
Santa Barbara First built in 1958 to test missiles, it was used to launch space missions from 1963 to 1980. It is now a rare, well preserved example of the equipment and facilities from that era.
123 Leland Stanford House
Photograph of the Leland Stanford House, an impressive Victorian with a modern office tower rising behind.
May 28, 1987
Sacramento The home of Leland Stanford, Governor of California from 1862 to 1863, U.S. Senator from 1885 to 1893, railroad tycoon, member of the Big Four and founder of Stanford University.
124 Star of India (bark)
Photograph of the Star of India at dock as a museum ship in San Diego
November 13, 1966
San Diego
San Diego A seaworthy iron hulled museum ship in the San Diego Maritime Museum, she is the oldest ship that still sails regularly and the oldest iron hulled merchant ship still floating.
125 Steedman Estate(Casa del Herrero)
January 16, 2009
Santa Barbara Designed by architect Spanish Colonial Revival architecture in the United States.
126 Sutter's Fort
Photograph of Sutter’s Fort
January 20, 1961
Sacramento A 19th century agricultural and trade colony, it was known for its connection to the Donner Party, the California Gold Rush, and the formation of Sacramento as well as its proximity to the California Trail and Siskiyou Trails. Now a state park, threatened with closure in 2008.
127 Swedenborgian Church
August 18, 2004
San Francisco
San Francisco One of California's earliest pure Swedenborgianism church remains open today with almost no architectural changes.
128 Tao House
Springtime photograph of Tao House, perched on a hillside above blossoming orchard trees.
July 17, 1971
Contra Costa America's only Nobel Prize-winning playwright Eugene O'Neill lived here from 1937 to 1944 while writing his final and most memorable plays: The Iceman Cometh, Long Day's Journey Into Night, and A Moon for the Misbegotten.
129 The Forty Acres
The Forty Acres
October 6, 2008
Kern Served as the original headquarters of the United Farm Workers, the first permanent agricultural labor union in the United States.
130 Tolowot, Gunther Island Site 67
Tolowot, Gunther Island Site 67
July 19, 1964
Humboldt An archaeological site surrounding a Wiyot shell midden, located in Tolowot, on Indian Island in Humboldt Bay near Eureka, California. This site helped define the Gunther Pattern in archaeology and was also the site of the 1860 Wiyot Massacre.
131 Tule Lake Segregation Center
Tule Lake Segregation Center
February 17, 2006
Coordinates missing
Modoc The largest Japanese American internment camp, it also had the highest security and stayed open longest, even after World War II. The Redress movement in the 1980s and pilgrimages to Tule Lake led to the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.
132 Twenty-Five-Foot Space Simulator
Mariner 10 in 25 ft Space Simulator
October 3, 1985
Los Angeles An 85 foot high stainless-steel cylinder at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory used for testing spacecraft in space-like conditions. Ranger, Surveyor, Mariner, and Voyager spacecraft were all tested in this facility.
133 Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel
Photograph of workers working on large vanes arranged around the inside perimeter of the Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel.
October 3, 1985
Moffett Field
Santa Clara This wind tunnel built in the 1950s allowed commercial and military aircraft as well as the Space Shuttle to be aerodynamically tested.
134 United States Immigration Station, Angel Island
Dormitory at the United States Immigration Station
December 9, 1997
Marin The "Ellis Island of the West" processed over 1 million Asian immigrants between 1910 and 1940. Now part of Angel Island State Park, it was renovated in 2009.
135 United States Post Office and Court House (James R. Browning U.S. Court of Appeals)
United States Post Office and Court House (James R. Browning U.S. Court of Appeals)
October 16, 2012
San Francisco
San Francisco Court House
136 Walker Pass
Walker Pass highest elevation
July 4, 1961
Onyx, California
Kern Joseph Reddeford Walker mapped this pass in 1834 after learning of it from Native Americans. He then led the first immigrant wagon train through it in 1846. This pass significantly contributed to the development of California.
137 Wapama (steam schooner)
1974 HAER photo
April 20, 1984
San Francisco
San Francisco This 204' wooden schooner was one of 200 ships plying the lumber trade along the Pacific coast. Now managed by the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, she has been moved to Richmond, California for possible renovation. She is threatened by severe dry rot. Official plaque located in the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Visitor Center, located at the corner of Hyde and Jefferson Streets.
138 Warner's Ranch
Warner's Ranch
January 20, 1961
Warner Springs
San Diego The only trading post between New Mexico and Los Angeles, this ranch developed into a stop on the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach line along with nearby Oak Grove. Now a hot springs resort.
139 Watts Towers
the skeletal spires of Watts Towers
December 14, 1990
Los Angeles
Los Angeles These towers built by Simon Rodia are a superb example of non-traditional vernacular architecture and American Naïve art.
140 Wawona Hotel and Thomas Hill Studio
Historic photograph of the Wawona Hotel, a broad, two-story building with trees in the background.
May 28, 1987
Yosemite National Park
Mariposa Built in 1879 for tourists visiting the Mariposa Grove, this hotel is also where the Hudson River School painter Thomas Hill painted towards the end of his life.
141 Well No. 4, Pico Canyon Oil Field
Well No. 4, Pico Canyon Oil Field
November 13, 1966
San Fernando
Los Angeles Drilled in 1876 to 376 feet (115 m), this was the first commercially successful oil well in California, producing 25 barrels a day (4 m³/d).
142 Yuma Crossing and Associated Sites
The town of Yuma Crossing and the Colorado River
November 13, 1966
Imperial A major crossroads for Alta California as well as the Westward expansion of the United States. It has several archaeological and historical sites, shared with Arizona across the Colorado River, including Fort Yuma and other state parks.

Historic areas of the NPS in California

National Historic Sites, National Historical Parks, some National Monuments, and certain other areas listed in the National Park system are historic landmarks of national importance that are highly protected already, often before the inauguration of the NHL program in 1960, and are then often not also named NHLs per se. There are seven of these in California. The National Park Service lists these seven together with the NHLs in the state,[5]

Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site is also named Tao House and is listed as an NHL under that name above. John Muir National Historic Site is listed as NHL John Muir House above. Manzanar National Historic Site is listed as Manzanar War Relocation Center above. The other four are:

Landmark name
Image Date established[6] Location County Description
1 Cabrillo National Monument October 14, 1913 San Diego San Diego Located at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula, it commemorates the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on September 28, 1542.
2 Fort Point National Historic Site October 16, 1970 San Francisco San Francisco A military fort built just before the American Civil War to defend San Francisco Bay against hostile warships
3 Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park October 25, 2000 Richmond Contra Costa This park encompasses an array of historic properties which were constructed during the 1940s to support America's entry into World War II
4 San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park June 27, 1988 San Francisco San Francisco This park houses a fleet of historic vessels, in addition to a maritime museum and a library/research facility.

Former NHLs and Possible future NHLs

In addition, there are five similar sites that are not currently NHLs. Three sites in California were designated National Historic Landmarks, and subsequently de-designated. Two landmark ships have been moved to other states, and one site has been determined eligible for landmark status, but the designation not finalized. These sites are:

Landmark name[7] Image
Date designated[7] Date moved
or withdrawn[7]
Locality[7][8] County[7] Description[8]
1 First Pacific Coast Salmon Cannery Site April 6, 1964 July 14, 2004[9] Broderick
Yolo The first Pacific Coast salmon cannery site was established in 1864. However, nothing of the original operation remains, and numerous floods and the establishment of a city park on the former site altered the riverbank's appearance to such a degree that the NHL designation was withdrawn in 2004.[9]
2 Fort Ross Chapel[9] Photograph of the reconstruction of the Fort Ross Chapel, a wooden walled and roofed building with an evergreen-covered hillside behind. 1969[9] 1971[9] Fort Ross[9] Sonoma[9] The chapel in Fort Ross, a rare example of a log church constructed on a Russian quadrilateral plan, was withdrawn from the NHL listings after a fire destroyed most of the building in 1970. A complete reconstruction of the chapel now stands in its place.[9]
3 City of Oakland (USS Hoga) (tug) Photograph of the USS Hoga at anchor in the Suisun Bay reserve fleet, with several larger, rust-stained vessels behind. June 30, 1989 pending Oakland and Benicia
At Pearl Harbor, this tugboat fought ship fires and helped push sinking USS Nevada out of the ship channel. It then served Oakland harbor for many years. The vessel was then transferred to the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum (AIMM) in 2005[10] and was scheduled to be moved to North Little Rock, Arkansas in 2007. The move has been delayed by damage from Hurricane Katrina along the proposed tow route to AIMM and transport costs.[11] As of November 2009, the vessel was moored at Suisun Bay, California.[12]
4 Rock Magnetics Laboratory[9] October 12, 1994[9] March 8, 1999[9] Menlo Park[9] San Mateo[9] Located at the United States Geological Survey's Menlo Park offices, this is the site where Richard Doell, Allan V. Cox, and Brent Dalrymple researched major discoveries in areas related to geomagnetic reversals and plate tectonics. However, the lab was built in a temporary building, which was demolished in the late 1990s.[9]
5 Saddle Rock Ranch Pictograph Site[13] March 16, 1990
determined eligible[13]
Malibu[13] Los Angeles[13] Located on the grounds of the former Saddle Rock Ranch, the site consists of a rock shelter adorned with rock art of the Chumash people.[13]

See also


  1. ^  
  2. ^ The current NPS list shows 144 NHLs, of which two are no longer active: "City of Oakland" relocated to Arkansas and First Pacific Coast Cannery Site withdrawn. | url = | accessdate=June 4, 2013
  3. ^ Numbers represent an ordering by significant words. Various colorings, defined , differentiate National Historic Landmarks and historic districts from other NRHP buildings, structures, sites or objects.
  4. ^ The eight-digit number below each date is the number assigned to each location in the National Register Information System database, which can be viewed by clicking the number.
  5. ^ These are listed on p.111 of "National Historic Landmarks Survey: List of National Historic Landmarks by State", November 2007 version.
  6. ^ Date of listing as National Historic Site or similar designation, from various sources in articles indexed.
  7. ^ a b c d e National Park Service (June 2011). "National Historic Landmarks Survey: List of National Historic Landmarks by State" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-07-04. .
  8. ^ a b National Park Service. "National Historic Landmark Program: NHL Database".  retrieved on various dates, and other sources cited in the articles on each of the sites.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n  
  10. ^ "National Historic Landmarks Program: City of Oakland (USS Hoga) (Tug)".  
  11. ^ "America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places".  
  12. ^ "National Defense Reserve Fleet Inventory". U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration. November 30, 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2009. 
  13. ^ a b c d e  

Further reading

  • Johnson, Marael (1995). Why Stop? A Guide to California Roadside Historical Markers. Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing Company. p. 213.  

External links

  • National Historic Landmarks Program, at National Park Service
  • National Park Service listings of National Historic Landmarks
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