Port For All: Port of San Diego 50 years and beyond

The Port of San Diego officially marked its 50-year anniversary on Dec. 18, 2012. It is the fourth-largest of the 11 ports in California. The agency was created by the state legislature in 1962. It is a unified port because it manages nearly 6,000 acres —half land, half water —in five member cities: Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City, and San Diego.

1542-09-28 00:00:00

Cabrillo sails into San Diego Bay

Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo sails his flagship, the San Salvador, from Navidad (Mexico) into San Diego Bay

1869-01-01 00:00:00

Alonzo Horton completes wharf at end of 5th Ave.

Alonzo Horton completes a wharf at the end of 5th Avenue, at a cost of about $45,000.

1891-10-29 01:53:17

Coronado secedes from San Diego and incorporates

1900-04-01 00:22:06

Early San Diego harbor

A view of San Diego Bay from an emerging downtown in the early 1900s.

1913-07-18 13:09:45

Broadway Pier built

Broadway Pier is constructed with a $1.7 million bond issued by the city.

1919-07-01 13:09:45

San Diego Harbor Commission and Harbor Dept. Established

The San Diego Harbor Commission and Harbor Department were established to administer the tidelands.

1928-08-16 13:09:45

San Diego Airfield Opened on Pacific Highway

The San Diego airfield opened on Pacific Highway and was dedicated in honor of Charles A. Lindbergh.

1950-03-01 00:30:46

Filling of Shelter Island Completed

During the 1950s, Shelter Island, once called “mud island,” began taking shape.

1955-04-30 08:50:35

Funding for Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal Approved

San Diego citizens approved a $9.5 million bond to build the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.

1956-03-06 05:43:14

R. C. A. Lubach creates Lubach's Restaurant

1960-03-01 05:43:14

Longshoremen offload vehicles at B Street Pier

1961-03-01 05:43:14

Harbor Island shaped from dredged materials

The Port of San Diego created Harbor Island from dredged materials available from a U.S. Navy project at North Island.

1962-12-18 08:21:08

San Diego Unified Port District created

The San Diego Unified Port District was created when the California ​State Legislature approved Senate Bill 41 and it was certified ​by the County Board of Supervisors.

1963-01-03 08:21:08

​First Board of Port Commissioners meeting

The first Board of Port Commissioners meeting was held, and Port District operations began.

1963-05-01 06:10:58

Tenth Ave. Marine Terminal Bulkloading Facility Completed

A bulkloading facility at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal was completed and began operations. Ground broken for 300,000-sq. ft. warehouse.

1963-08-01 19:28:33

Port's first Bay Master Plan

The Port District’s first Bay Master Plan was adopted by the Board of Port Commissioners.

1964-01-01 19:28:33

Tarantino’s Restaurant opens

Tarantino’s Restaurant opens at the Commercial Basin (now America’s Cup Harbor.)

1964-01-02 19:28:33

Bond issued to construct National City cargo terminal

Citizens approved a $10.9 million bond issue for capital Improvements to develop a new air terminal, prepare Harbor Island for leasing and construct a cargo terminal in National City.

1965-09-28 19:28:33

Anthony’s Restaurant on the Embarcadero opens

The design for Anthony's Fish Grotto was originally done by Liebhardt, Weston & Associates

1965-10-06 19:28:33

Port headquarters moved to 3165 Pacific Highway

1966-01-01 04:33:15

24th St. marine terminal construction begins

Construction of 24th St. Marine terminal was launched with a $3.9 million bond issue and matching federal funds.

1966-07-26 19:28:33

Don L. Nay appointed Port Director

1967-03-05 04:33:15

New East Air Terminal opened for business

1967-07-01 19:28:33

The Reuben E. Lee and Reubens restaurants built at Harbor Island

1968-11-01 04:33:15

Cargo handling begins at National City Marine Terminal

1968-12-01 04:33:15

Bond approved for additional Port development

A $25 million bond was approved to expand Lindbergh Field and improve south bay maritime assets.

1969-04-01 19:28:33

National City Marine Terminal receives its first lumber cargo

Wharves on south face of National City Marine Terminal receive first cargoes of lumber.

1969-08-15 04:33:15

Ramada Inn of America opens on Harbor Island

Ramada Inn of America opens on Harbor Island, the first hotel to open on tidelands while under Port jurisdiction.

1970-07-02 04:33:15

Tax levy on district taxpayers eliminated

1970-07-02 04:33:15

Tom Hams Lighthouse restaurant built

The restaurant was adorned with a fully-functional lighthouse.

1970-07-02 04:33:15

Broadway Pier converted into landscaped esplanade

Broadway Cargo Pier was converted into a landscaped esplanade and cruise ship terminal, beginning the initial phase in Embarcadero redevelopment.

1970-11-03 04:33:15

First Port cruise ship call out of San Diego

1973-06-01 04:33:15

Custom crane used at National City Marine Terminal

A custom-built electric container crane went into service at the National City Marine Terminal.

1974-10-29 04:33:15

Oriental Esmeralda inaugural cruise from Broadway Pier

Orient Overseas Line’s 300-passenger cargo liner Oriental Esmeralda boarded 117 passengers at the Broadway Pier for an inaugural 20-day cruise to Mexico and Central America.

1975-01-01 04:33:15

Rotterdam docks at Broadway Pier

Rotterdam, the second largest cruise ship afloat at the time, docked at the Broadway Pier on the final leg of a three-month around-the-world cruise.

1975-12-20 04:33:15

Homeported Xanadu offers cruises to Mexico

The only cruise ship based in San Diego at the time, the 300-passenger yacht Xanadu began offering regular winter voyages to Mexico.

1976-05-01 04:33:15

Mariposa docks at Broadway Pier for voyage to Hawaii

Cruise ship Mariposa docks at Broadway Pier to pick up 45 passengers for a voyage to Hawaii.

1976-05-01 04:33:15

Van Camp dedicates new tuna cannery in San Diego

Van Camp Sea Food Company dedicated its new tuna cannery, the largest and most modern tuna cannery in the ​world, at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.

1976-06-01 04:33:15

Final phase of Spanish Landing park completed

An historical landmark, the site commemorates the 1769 meeting of the Gaspar DePortola and Father Junípero Serra expeditions. The park features a pedestrian path, bike route, picnic tables, benches and the Callaway Carillon bell tower.

1976-07-04 04:33:15

Star of India sails

The Star of India sails, attracting thousands of spectators ​to San Diego Bay

1976-07-04 04:33:15

North and South Embarcadero Marina Park Created

The North and South Embarcadero Marina Park peninsulas ​were created from sand brought up from the bottom of the​ Bay during dredging of the main shipping channel

1976-07-04 04:33:15

Bernice Leyton sworn in as first female Port Commissioner

1976-11-01 04:33:15

First major grain shipment at Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal

1977-07-01 04:33:15

Cabrillo Isle Marina opens on Harbor Island

1977-07-01 04:33:15

Chula Vista boat basin dredged

The Chula Vista boat basin was dredged, with materials used to construct the 72-acre wildlife refuge 2,500 feet eastward of the harbor.

1978-03-28 04:33:15

G Street Mole (Tuna Harbor) dedicated

A $1.5 million pier at the G Street Mole (now Tuna Harbor) ​was dedicated to support the commercial fishing industry.

1978-11-01 04:33:15

Main Bay channel dredging project completed

A $19 million dredging project of the Bay’s main channel to allow deeper draft vessels to travel to the National City Marine Terminal was completed. ​

1979-07-01 04:33:15

Harbor Drive path converted into public promenade

1979-07-11 04:33:15

West Terminal opens at Lindbergh Field

1979-12-01 00:00:00

Embarcadero Marina Park North peninsula completed

Port For All: Port of San Diego 50 years and beyond

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