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.

The table below lists all 146 sites, along with added detail and description. The sites are distributed across 36 of California's 58 counties.[2]

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 December 29, 1962
37°48′45″N 122°11′08″W
Alameda Joaquin Miller, known as the "Poet of the Sierras", lived here from 1886 until his death in 1913.
2 The Ahwahnee May 28, 1987
Yosemite National Park
37°44′45″N 119°34′27″W
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 January 17, 1986
San Francisco
37°49′35″N 122°25′21″W
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) June 7, 1988
San Francisco
37°48′28″N 122°25′15″W
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 April 27, 1992
Los Angeles
34°04′35″N 118°15′41″W
Los Angeles Church built by and for Aimee Semple McPherson, evangelical sensation of the 1920s and 1930s.
6 Juan de Anza House April 15, 1970
San Juan Bautista
36°50′37″N 121°32′07″W
San Benito One-story adobe house typical of Mexican era, later "Americanized", also in typical way.
7 Aquatic Park Historic District May 28, 1987
San Francisco
37°48′23″N 122°25′25″W
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 February 27, 1987
Pacific Grove
36°37′11″N 121°55′53″W
Monterey Arts and Crafts style conference center built for the YWCA by Julia Morgan in 1913.
9 Balboa Park December 22, 1977
San Diego
32°43′53″N 117°08′43″W
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) February 4, 1985
San Francisco
37°48′36″N 122°25′21″W
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 January 3, 2001
Baldwin Hills
34°01′11″N 118°21′39″W
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 December 29, 1962
Spring Valley
32°44′44″N 117°00′07″W
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 June 2, 1978
San Francisco
37°47′40″N 122°24′11″W
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) March 29, 2007
Los Angeles
34°06′00″N 118°17′41″W
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) December 14, 1990
San Diego
32°43′01″N 117°10′21″W
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 July 4, 1961
38°34′58″N 121°30′12″W
Sacramento Built in 1852; house where Collis Huntington, Mark Hopkins, Leland Stanford, and Charles Crocker organized the Central Pacific railway and founded the Southern Pacific Railroad.
17 Bodie Historic District July 4, 1961
38°12′44″N 119°00′44″W
Mono Established 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 September 20, 2006
Clear Lake
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 May 5, 1977
Los Angeles
34°03′03″N 118°14′53″W
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 June 19, 1964
Santa Rosa
38°26′10″N 122°42′44″W
Sonoma City park containing the former home, greenhouse, gardens, and grave of noted American horticulturist Luther Burbank.
21 C.A. Thayer (schooner) November 13, 1966
San Francisco
37°48′28″N 122°25′16″W
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 California Powder Works Bridge February 27, 2015
Santa Cruz
37°00′38″N 122°02′38″W
Santa Cruz
23 Carmel Mission October 9, 1960
36°32′28″N 121°55′07″W
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.
24 Carrizo Plain Archeological District March 2, 2012
San Luis Obispo
35°11′29″N 119°43′34″W
San Luis Obispo Historically important and environmentally sensitive grassland area.
25 Jose Castro House May 15, 1970
San Juan Bautista
36°50′34″N 121°32′05″W
San Benito Historic adobe home built by José Castro, Commandant General of Northern California. It is part of the San Juan Bautista Historic District.
26 Chicano Park December 23, 2016
San Diego
32°42′01″N 117°08′37″W
San Diego A community-run park known for its vivid murals celebrating Mexican and Chicano culture, founded after a twelve-day occupation by Mexican-American residents to prevent the city from building a parking lot and police substation.
27 Coloma July 4, 1961
38°48′00″N 120°53′21″W
El Dorado Town where the California Gold Rush began 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
28 Columbia Historic District July 4, 1961
38°02′09″N 120°24′04″W
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.
29 Commander's House, Fort Ross May 15, 1970
Fort Ross
38°30′52″N 123°14′37″W
Sonoma Only original structure at Fort Ross, built 1812 by Russians; also known as Rotchev House.
30 Coso Rock Art District (formerly Big and Little Petroglyph Canyons) July 8, 2001
Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake
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.
31 Donner Camp Sites January 20, 1961
39°19′12″N 120°14′30″W
Nevada Museum and monument to Donner party; trapped by weather during the winter of 1846–1847; resorted to cannibalism to survive
32 Drakes Bay Historic and Archeological District October 16, 2012
Drakes Bay
38°02′03″N 122°56′27″W
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.
33 Eames House (Case Study House #8) September 20, 2006
Pacific Palisades
34°01′47″N 118°31′10″W
Los Angeles Built in 1949 by husband-and-wife design pioneers Charles and Ray Eames; also known as Case Study House No. 8.
34 Elmshaven (Ellen White House) November 4, 1993
St. Helena
38°32′06″N 122°28′41″W
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.
35 Estudillo House April 15, 1970
San Diego
32°45′15″N 117°11′49″W
San Diego Adobe house; constructed in 1827; was considered one of the finest houses in Mexican California.
36 Eureka (double-ended ferry) February 4, 1985
San Francisco
37°48′27″N 122°25′17″W
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.
37 USCGC Fir April 27, 1992
38°09′00″N 121°40′59″W
San Joaquin 174 foot U.S. Coast Guard cutter; lighthouse tender; decommissioned.
38 First Church of Christ, Scientist December 22, 1977
37°51′56″N 122°15′20″W
Alameda Church designed by Bernard Ralph Maybeck
39 James C. Flood Mansion November 13, 1966
San Francisco
37°47′31″N 122°24′39″W
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
40 Folsom Powerhouse May 29, 1981
38°40′50″N 121°10′32″W
Sacramento Built in late 19th century using prison labor from Folsom Prison; first delivered power to Sacramento in 1895; remained in operation until 1952.
41 Fort Ross November 5, 1961
Fort Ross
38°30′45″N 123°14′34″W
Sonoma Established by Ivan Kuskov of the Russian-American Company in 1812; thriving settlement from 1812 to 1841
42 Fresno Sanitary Landfill August 7, 2001
36°42′00″N 119°49′47″W
Fresno Opened in 1937; first modern landfill in the U.S.; model for other landfills around the country; and one of the longest-lived.
43 David B. Gamble House December 22, 1977
34°09′06″N 118°09′37″W
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.
44 González House April 15, 1970
Santa Barbara
34°25′27″N 119°41′45″W
Santa Barbara Built about 1825 by Don Rafael Gonzales; typical of Mexican-era adobe town houses; adobe walls at least 2' thick
45 Guajome Ranch House April 15, 1970
33°14′00″N 117°15′14″W
San Diego Spanish Colonial hacienda with two courtyards.
46 Gunther Island Site 67 July 19, 1964
40°48′36″N 124°10′19″W
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.
47 Hale Solar Observatory December 20, 1989
34°07′59″N 118°07′19″W
Los Angeles Laboratory of George Ellery Hale, inventor of the spectroheliograph, with which he made his discoveries of the solar vortices and magnetic fields of sun spots.
48 Hanna-Honeycomb House June 29, 1989
Palo Alto
37°24′58″N 122°09′51″W
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.
49 Harada House December 14, 1990
33°59′07″N 117°22′09″W
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
50 Hearst San Simeon Estate May 11, 1976
San Simeon
35°41′06″N 121°10′04″W
San Luis Obispo Built by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst; open for public tours; Hearst formally named the estate "La Cuesta Encantada".
51 Hercules (tug) January 17, 1986
San Francisco
37°48′30″N 122°25′16″W
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.
52 Lou Henry and Herbert Hoover House February 4, 1985
Palo Alto
37°25′04″N 122°10′09″W
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
53 USS Hornet (CVS-12) (aircraft carrier) December 4, 1991
37°46′22″N 122°18′10″W
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.
54 Hotel del Coronado May 5, 1977
32°40′51″N 117°10′36″W
San Diego The largest beach resort on the North American Pacific Coast, this Victorian building is an iconic symbol of San Diego.
55 Edwin Hubble House December 8, 1976
San Marino
34°07′24″N 118°07′17″W
Los Angeles Home of astronomer Edwin Hubble from 1925 until his death in 1953.
56 Jeremiah O'Brien (Liberty ship) January 14, 1986
San Francisco
37°48′23″N 122°25′43″W
San Francisco This Liberty ship is a rare survivor of the 6,939-ship armada that stormed Normandy on D-Day, 1944.
57 Knight's Ferry Bridge October 16, 2012
Knights Ferry
37°49′10″N 120°39′49″W
Stanislaus Historic bridge
58 La Purisima Mission April 15, 1970
34°40′18″N 120°25′21″W
Santa Barbara Now a historical park, it is the only example in California of a "complete" mission complex.
59 Lake Merritt Wild Duck Refuge May 23, 1963
37°48′14″N 122°15′33″W
Alameda Now known as Lake Merritt park, it is notable for being the first official wildlife refuge in the United States, designated in 1870.
60 Lane Victory (victory ship) December 14, 1990
San Pedro
33°42′52″N 118°16′29″W
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.
61 Larkin House December 19, 1960
36°35′56″N 121°53′44″W
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.
62 Las Flores Adobe November 24, 1968
Camp Pendleton
33°18′00″N 117°27′40″W
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.
63 Leconte Memorial Lodge May 28, 1987
Yosemite National Park
37°44′18″N 119°34′42″W
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.
64 Lightship WAL-605, Relief December 20, 1989
37°47′44″N 122°16′50″W
Alameda A lightvessel now located in Oakland
65 Little Tokyo Historic District June 12, 1995
Los Angeles
34°03′02″N 118°14′22″W
Los Angeles An ethnic Japanese American district in downtown Los Angeles, one of three official Japantowns in the United States.
66 Locke Historic District December 14, 1990
38°15′02″N 121°30′35″W
Sacramento The largest remaining example of a historic rural Chinese American community, built in 1915.
67 Jack London Ranch December 29, 1962
Glen Ellen
38°21′02″N 122°32′35″W
Sonoma Home of Jack London from 1905 until his death.
68 Los Alamos Ranch House April 15, 1970
Los Alamos
34°45′10″N 120°19′20″W
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.
69 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum July 27, 1984
Los Angeles
34°00′50″N 118°17′16″W
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.
70 Los Cerritos Ranch House April 15, 1970
Long Beach
33°50′11″N 118°11′40″W
Los Angeles Largest adobe home built in Southern California during Mexican era.
71 Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge January 12, 1965
Dorris, CA and Klamath Falls, OR
41°58′00″N 121°46′00″W
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.
72 Manzanar War Relocation Center February 4, 1985
36°43′41″N 118°09′16″W
Inyo The most widely known American forced relocation camp where 11,070 Japanese Americans were imprisoned during World War II.
73 Mare Island Naval Shipyard May 15, 1975
38°06′N 122°16′W
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.
74 Marin County Civic Center July 17, 1991
San Rafael
37°59′52″N 122°31′50″W
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.
75 Mendocino Woodlands Recreational Demonstration Area September 25, 1997
39°19′43″N 123°41′54″W
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.
76 Mission Beach Roller Coaster February 27, 1987
San Diego
32°46′12″N 117°15′00″W
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.
77 Mission Inn May 5, 1977
33°58′54″N 117°22′18″W
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.
78 Mission San Miguel Arcángel March 20, 2006
San Miguel
35°44′41″N 120°41′53″W
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.
79 Mission Santa Inés January 20, 1999
34°35′40″N 120°08′12″W
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.
80 Modjeska House December 14, 1990
33°42′59″N 117°37′26″W
Orange Designed by Stanford White, from 1888 to 1906 this was the home of Helena Modjeska, a Polish patriot and Shakespearean actress.
81 Monterey Old Town Historic District April 15, 1970
36°35′59″N 121°53′37″W
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.
82 John Muir House December 29, 1962
37°59′30″N 122°07′50″W
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.
83 Neutra Studio and Residences (VDL Research House) December 23, 2016
Los Angeles
34°05′54″N 118°15′38″W
Los Angeles
84 New Almaden July 4, 1961
San Jose
37°10′48″N 121°50′08″W
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.
85 Richard M. Nixon Birthplace May 31, 1973
Yorba Linda
33°53′19″N 117°49′08″W
Orange The birthplace and home of President Richard Milhous Nixon from 1913 to 1922. Now part of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
86 Frank Norris Cabin December 29, 1962
37°02′11″N 121°42′45″W
Santa Clara Also known as Redwood Retreat this was the home of author Frank Norris in the last year of his life.
87 Nuestra Senora Reina de la Paz October 8, 2012
35°13′24″N 118°33′49″W
Kern Headquarters of the National Farm Workers Federation, now the Cesar Chavez National Monument. Includes the gravesite of co-founder César Chávez
88 Oak Grove Butterfield Stage Station November 5, 1961
Warner Springs
33°23′23″N 116°47′39″W
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.
89 Old Customhouse December 19, 1960
36°35′46″N 121°53′31″W
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.
90 Old Mission Dam May 21, 1963
San Diego
32°50′17″N 117°02′32″W
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
91 Old Sacramento Historic District January 12, 1965
38°34′58″N 121°30′12″W
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.
92 Old Scripps Building May 20, 1982
La Jolla
32°51′52″N 117°15′09″W
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.
93 Old United States Mint July 4, 1961
San Francisco
37°46′58″N 122°24′23″W
San Francisco Built for the San Francisco Mint in 1874 to handle the overflow from the California Gold Rush, this building is affectionately known as The Granite Lady. It is one of the few survivors of the great 1906 San Francisco earthquake and served until 1937.
94 Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission Chapel December 23, 2016
San Jose
37°21′09″N 121°50′41″W
Santa Clara Now McDonnell Hall, the parish hall of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church; important in the life of activist Cesar Chavez.
95 USS Pampanito (submarine) January 14, 1986
San Francisco
37°48′31″N 122°24′56″W
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.
96 Paramount Theatre May 5, 1977
37°48′34″N 122°16′05″W
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.
97 Parsons Memorial Lodge May 28, 1987
Yosemite National Park
37°52′36″N 119°22′00″W
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.
98 Petaluma Adobe April 15, 1970
38°15′20″N 122°35′04″W
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.
99 Pioneer Deep Space Station October 3, 1985
Fort Irwin
35°23′15″N 116°51′22″W
San Bernardino NASA's Deep Space Network for tracking unmanned spacecraft in deep space was inaugurated when this radio telescope (designated DSS 11) became operational in 1958.
100 Point Reyes Lifeboat Station December 20, 1989
Point Reyes
37°59′38″N 122°58′26″W
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.
101 Pony Express Terminal July 4, 1961
38°34′58″N 121°30′15″W
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.
102 Potomac (Presidential yacht) December 14, 1990
37°47′37″N 122°16′44″W
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.
103 Presidio of San Francisco June 13, 1962
San Francisco
37°48′00″N 122°28′00″W
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.
104 Ralph J. Scott (fireboat) June 30, 1989
San Pedro
33°44′29″N 118°16′44″W
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.
105 William C. Ralston Home November 13, 1966
37°31′03″N 122°17′10″W
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.
106 Rancho Camulos February 16, 2000
34°24′20″N 118°45′24″W
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.
107 Rangers' Club May 28, 1987
Yosemite National Park
37°44′44″N 119°35′12″W
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.
108 Rogers Dry Lake October 3, 1985
Edwards Air Force Base
34°57′00″N 117°52′00″W
Kern and San Bernardino Centerpiece of Edwards Air Force Base, this endorheic desert salt pan in the Mojave Desert has the world's largest compass rose and the world's longest runway at 7.2 miles. It is one of the alternate Space Shuttle landing sites.
109 Room 307, Gilman Hall, University of California December 21, 1965
37°52′15″N 122°15′18″W
Alameda Room 307 in Gilman Hall at UCB is where Glenn T. Seaborg and his coworkers identified plutonium as a new element on February 23, 1941.
110 Rose Bowl February 27, 1987
34°09′34″N 118°10′00″W
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
111 Royal Presidio Chapel October 9, 1960
36°35′45″N 121°53′25″W
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.
112 San Diego Mission Church April 15, 1970
San Diego
32°46′58″N 117°06′23″W
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.
113 San Diego Presidio October 9, 1960
San Diego
32°45′31″N 117°11′36″W
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.
114 San Francisco Bay Discovery Site May 23, 1968
37°36′11″N 122°27′17″W
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.
115 San Francisco Cable Cars January 29, 1964
San Francisco
37°47′44″N 122°24′27″W
San Francisco An iconic image of San Francisco, this is the only remaining permanently operational manually operated cable car system in the world.
116 San Francisco Civic Center February 27, 1987
San Francisco
37°46′47″N 122°25′04″W
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.
117 San Francisco Port of Embarkation, U.S. Army February 4, 1985
San Francisco
37°48′26″N 122°25′50″W
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
118 San Juan Bautista Plaza Historic District April 15, 1970
San Juan Bautista
36°50′37″N 121°32′04″W
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.
119 San Luis Rey Mission Church April 15, 1970
33°22′03″N 117°13′06″W
San Diego California's most pristine Spanish Mission Complex, this is the third church at this site.
120 Santa Barbara County Courthouse April 5, 2005
Santa Barbara
34°25′28″N 119°42′09″W
Santa Barbara Known for the beauty of its Spanish-Colonial Revival architecture, which inspired and influenced many other designers.
121 Santa Barbara Mission October 9, 1960
Santa Barbara
34°26′15″N 119°42′45″W
Santa Barbara The only Spanish mission in California to remain under the leadership of the Franciscan Friars since the day of its founding.
122 Santa Cruz Looff Carousel and Roller Coaster February 27, 1987
Santa Cruz
36°57′52″N 122°01′00″W
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.
123 Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome February 27, 1987
Santa Monica
34°00′37″N 118°29′47″W
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.
124 Upton Sinclair House November 11, 1971
34°09′43″N 118°00′04″W
Los Angeles Home of American novelist Upton Sinclair between 1942 and 1966 and where he wrote most of his later works.
125 Sonoma Plaza December 19, 1960
38°17′04″N 122°27′27″W
Sonoma The largest plaza in California, this was the location of the Bear Flag Revolt in 1846 which led to the Mexican–American War
126 Space Flight Operations Facility October 3, 1985
34°11′58″N 118°10′25″W
Los Angeles Control room at Jet Propulsion Laboratory where all NASA interplanetary and deep space missions are monitored.
127 Space Launch Complex 10 June 23, 1986
Vandenberg Air Force Base
34°45′55″N 120°37′20″W
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.
128 Leland Stanford House May 28, 1987
38°34′36″N 121°29′52″W
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.
129 Star of India (bark) November 13, 1966
San Diego
32°42′51″N 117°10′22″W
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.
130 Steedman Estate (Casa del Herrero) January 16, 2009
34°26′07″N 119°38′08″W
Santa Barbara Designed by architect George Washington Smith, this 11-acre, 1920s estate is considered one of the finest examples of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture in the United States.
131 Sutter's Fort January 20, 1961
38°34′14″N 121°28′12″W
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.
132 Swedenborgian Church August 18, 2004
San Francisco
37°47′25″N 122°26′45″W
San Francisco One of California's earliest pure Arts and Crafts buildings, this Swedenborgianism church remains open today with almost no architectural changes.
133 Tao House July 17, 1971
37°49′33″N 122°01′39″W
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.
134 The Forty Acres October 6, 2008
35°45′48″N 119°17′15″W
Kern Served as the original headquarters of the United Farm Workers, the first permanent agricultural labor union in the United States.
135 Tule Lake Segregation Center February 17, 2006
41°53′08″N 121°22′26″W
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.
136 Twenty-Five-Foot Space Simulator October 3, 1985
34°12′03″N 118°10′22″W
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.
137 Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel October 3, 1985
Moffett Field
37°24′56″N 122°03′35″W
Santa Clara This wind tunnel built in the 1950s allowed commercial and military aircraft as well as the Space Shuttle to be aerodynamically tested.
138 United States Immigration Station, Angel Island December 9, 1997
37°51′44″N 122°25′13″W
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.
139 United States Post Office and Court House (Court House for the Central District of California) October 16, 2012
Los Angeles
34°03′18″N 118°14′33″W
Los Angeles Court House
140 United States Post Office and Court House (James R. Browning U.S. Court of Appeals) October 16, 2012
San Francisco
37°46′46″N 122°24′40″W
San Francisco Court House
141 Walker Pass July 4, 1961
Onyx, California
35°39′47″N 118°01′37″W
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.
142 Warner's Ranch January 20, 1961
Warner Springs
33°14′19″N 116°39′03″W
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.
143 Watts Towers December 14, 1990
Los Angeles
33°56′13″N 118°14′26″W
Los Angeles These towers built by Simon Rodia are a superb example of non-traditional vernacular architecture and American Naïve art.
144 Wawona Hotel and Thomas Hill Studio May 28, 1987
Yosemite National Park
37°32′11″N 119°39′13″W
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.
145 Well No. 4, Pico Canyon Oil Field November 13, 1966
Stevenson Ranch
34°22′10″N 118°37′49″W
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).
146 Yuma Crossing and Associated Sites November 13, 1966
32°43′45″N 114°36′55″W
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.

Former NHLs

In addition, there are four sites that were once National Historic Landmarks in California but are not currently.

Landmark name[5] Image
Date designated[5] Date moved
or withdrawn[5]
Location[5][6] Description[6]
1 First Pacific Coast Salmon Cannery Site April 6, 1964 July 14, 2004[7] Broderick, Yolo County
38°34′51″N 121°30′26″W
The first Pacific Coast salmon cannery was established on this site 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.[7]
2 Fort Ross Chapel[7] 1969[7] 1971[7] Fort Ross, Sonoma County[7] The chapel at 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.[7]
3 Rock Magnetics Laboratory[7] October 12, 1994[7] March 8, 1999[7] Menlo Park, San Mateo County[7] 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.[7]
4 Wapama (steam schooner) April 20, 1984 February 27, 2015 San Francisco This 204' wooden schooner was the last surviving of 200 ships of its type plying the lumber trade along the Pacific coast. It was scrapped in 2013.

See also


  1. National Park Service. "National Historic Landmarks Program: Questions and Answers". Retrieved September 21, 2007.
  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.Requested Page Not Found (404) (PDF), retrieved April 21, 2019
  3. Numbers represent an ordering by significant words. Various colorings, defined here, 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. National Park Service (June 2011). "National Historic Landmarks Survey: List of National Historic Landmarks by State" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-11-05. Retrieved 2011-07-04..
  6. National Park Service. "National Historic Landmark Program: NHL Database". Archived from the original on 2004-06-06. retrieved on various dates, and other sources cited in the articles on each of the sites.
  7. National Park Service. "National Historic Landmark Program: Withdrawal of National Historic Landmark Designation". Retrieved 2013-10-29.

Further reading

  • Johnson, Marael (1995). Why Stop? A Guide to California Roadside Historical Markers. Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing Company. p. 213. ISBN 9780884159230. OCLC 32168093.
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