San Diego Marine Recruit Depot
(San Diego, CA )

On September 6, 1914, esteemed Colonel Pendleton gave a speech at the U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego entitled “San Diego, An Ideal Location for a Permanent Marine Corps Base.” Pendleton urged for the relocation of his men from Camp Howard, which he deemed unsatisfactory and inconveniently located, to San Diego. San Diego’s convenient location to the Mexican border, Latin America and Asia made it a perfect place for a Marine base. In 1916, Pendleton’s wish was granted, and the Navy General Board approved the establishment of a base in San Diego.

Construction of the new Marine Advanced Expeditionary Base began in 1919 and continued through 1926. Colonel Pendleton’s 5th Marine Brigade moved into the partially constructed base in 1921. In 1923, the base became shared by the 5th Marine Brigade and the Marine Recruit Depot, which had moved from Vallejo, California. The base became a basic training location for young recruits, and in 1939, the base was expanded to accommodate the increasing number of Marines. After the outbreak of World War II, the base focused its efforts on basic training. In 1948, the base was renamed from the Marine Advanced Expeditionary Base to its current title, the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Today, the base is still a basic training center for young Marines.

The distinct Spanish Colonial Revival style buildings were designed by architect Bertram Goodhue. Today, the depot has 25 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Spectra restored the decorative concrete and cast stone elements of the base.


  • Ornamental Concrete Restoration
  • Ornamental Cast Stone Restoration

Design Team

Owner: NAVFAC Southwest
General Contractor: Larco Development, Inc.
Restoration Contractor: Spectra Company

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