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 Man.
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.
After being closed to the public for nearly 80 years, the California Tower was opened for public tours in January of 2015. Information on tours can be found on the Museum of Man’s website.
The nearly 200-foot-tall Tower and Dome of the California Building are covered with intricate carvings, colorful tile, and glass beads.