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This city displays a wide variety of architecture, ranging from the historic missions to very modern structures. A great example of mission architecture is Mission San Diego de Alcala. Built in 1769 as the first of the area’s missions, the building is now a National Historic Landmark, a Minor Basilica in the Catholic Church, and home to an active parish.
Many buildings similar in style to traditional Mexican and Spanish architecture can be found along the El Prado walkway in Balboa Park. These include the San Diego Museum of Art, the Museum of San Diego History and the Museum of Man.
Irving Gill is the city’s most famous architect. In addition to several homes around the city, one of his most recognizable buildings is the First Church of Christ Scientist building.
Examples of more modern structures around the city include the Salk Institute building, the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, Horton Plaza and the San Diego Convention Center.
For more examples of modern architecture take a stroll around Little Italy. It's a nice walking area (it's small) , a relaxing place for lunch and features several nice examples of modern urban dwellings from San Diego's best architects.
Here's an interactive map of San Diego that contains a curated selection of just a few of the interesting buildings and some of the cool design you can find in San Diego. In the map, switch to the Design tab and as you navigate around the city, the list of places on the left updates to show you some places that might be of interest. The map is just to get you started exploring and is definitely not comprehensive. (All the places on the map were chosen purely on merit to try and represent some of what you'll find in San Diego: it's not advertising or sponsor supported).