A thriving community for life and culture in San Diego, Liberty Station is a former U.S. naval base transformed into a waterfront urban neighborhood, boasting a curated collection of locally-based shops, restaurants, entertainment, cultural activities and acres of public parks and open gardens. Recent redevelopment has focused on the booming northern end arts & hospitality focused ARTS DISTRICT sector, a 100-acre section of restored barracks, commissary stations, and gardens, where project developers, McMillin, have curated a rich experience that blends the past with the present. Offering both convenience and accessibility to neighboring communities, the ARTS DISTRICT is home to the city’s most iconic eateries and cafes, retail concepts, office and event space, exercise studios, and artist galleries for traveling visitors a chance to engage in the lifestyle, culture, and history that makes the city unique.
Liberty Station’s 1920s architecture lends itself to the rich history of the time, inspired heavily by the Spanish Colonial Revival-style that dominated the era. Preserved in their original glory, America’s naval might is on display for all to see, with networks of arched walkways, intricate facades, and polished gardens all intertwined throughout the property. Influenced by architect Bertham G. Goodie of 1915 Panama Exhibition fame, the neighborhood is similar in style to Balboa Park, with original landscaping designed by the park’s superintendent of the time solidifying itself as a centerpiece of historic San Diego. Manicured grounds tucked in repurposed barracks offer a comfortable spot for families and friends to relax and enjoy.
Throughout the new north end ARTS DISTRICT, various shops and restaurants have repurposed former military barracks while intently preserving vestiges of the building’s original use. The former naval firehouse is home to Fireside, a live fire cookery from local restaurateurs The Patio Group, while San Diego’s acclaimed brewery and restaurant, Stone Brewing, is built in what was the former mess hall and library at different points in time. Stone’s construction highlights the venues heritage in the exposed original clay tile ceilings and refurbished fireplaces that honor the early 1900s Spanish-style architecture. Next door, the city’s first-ever food hall, Liberty Public Market, offers visitors a glimpse of history and culture as they wander through the colonnades and dine in the historical naval base commissary, under a high-ceiling lined with the original hand-painted murals that illustrate a timeline of the U.S. rich naval history. Amongst over 100 art galleries, museums, studios and organizations, two outdoor living rooms provide areas for comfort and social activation. Blending seamlessly into the historic backdrop, a 30-foot whaleboat named the USS Brave pays tribute to the military history and doubles as a communal seating area, while nearby, lounge-style seating outlines the perimeter of a spherical fire pit where groups are encouraged to convene and converse in a campfire-inspired setting.