Junípero Serra Museum Unveils New Core Exhibit

| August 6, 2019 | 0 Comments

The Junípero Serra Museum, the historic home of the San Diego History Center, debuts a transformed visitor experience that tells the story of San Diego around its namesake river for the 90th anniversary of the dedication of the Museum.

This new core exhibition explores the earliest history of San Diego—the story of the people that lived along the river’s edge since time immemorial—as well as those that came to settle the area and changed and used the river in order to adapt to San Diego’s arid climate.

The new exhibit also focuses on the Presidio as the site of San Diego’s and California’s original European settlement, one that was an active military garrison from 1769 to 1835. The Presidio and its church complex housed soldiers, their families, craftsmen, Indian workers, prisoners, and others who settled in San Diego prior to the establishment of the Pueblo San Diego (now Old Town) at the foot of Presidio Hill. Historical accounts combined with archaeological data tell of the presence of diverse people from many different social and ethnic backgrounds, surviving in an often harsh environment.

Through the Dialogues feature, visitors begin to understand the layered and multi-faceted history of the region and the Presidio site by listening to contemporary people reflect on that history through large touchscreens. In an interactive timeline, visitors can scan through 12,000 years of history, or select specific dates to view the detailed history of the Presidio. Visitors will also be able to step back in time to view a sophisticated three-dimensional rendering of the Presidio and the Kumeyaay settlement of Kosa’aay and view a sampling of the artifacts recovered from one of the Presidio archaeology projects. Upstairs the landing gallery offers a visual history of development along the San Diego River watershed, and at the highest point of the Serra Museum, the tower vista gallery, visitors can enjoy the views of the landscape in all four directions.

Operated by the San Diego History Center, the Junípero Serra Museum, located at Presidio Park, is an iconic regional landmark. Located just above Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, the Serra sits on one of the most significant historical sites on the West Coast, the site of the first permanent European settlement in what is today the State of California.

Guests of the recent 250th commemoration of the Serra Museum enjoyed seeing the renovated interior and learning of the interactive media available to visitors. Photo is courtesy of Gilda Adler.

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