NTC's Architecture

A Look at the Buildings

The architecture of the historic district of NTC was designed by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue (1869-1924). Goodhue's style was romantic and modern for the 19th century, but he had a flair for medieval and Hispanic traditions.

Raised in Pomfret, Connecticut, he was 15 years old when he went to work for an architectural firm in new York City. He apprenticed under James Renwick, renowned architect of the Saint Patrick's Cathedral.

After winninga competition to design a church in Dallas, he joined the firm of Cram, Wentworth and Goodhue in 1892, which later changed to Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson in 1898.

He and his partners were awarded the contract to design major additions to the United States Military Academy at West Point from 1903 to 1910. He later designed a hotel at the Panama Canal Zone and several theatrical buildings for the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park, 1911-1915. It was this Spanish Colonial Revival that influenced the designs at both NTC and MCRD.

He died in 1924 before he really had a chance to see the impact his work had on the architecture community and NTC's history.

The Public Works Officer when construction began in the 1920s was Cmdr. Norman M. Smith, civil engineer corps. The head draftsman from the 1920s to the 1940s was F. S. Callendar.

Early drawings of NTC go back to 1921. The original contractor on the first 13 buildings was Lange and Bergstrom. The work was completed on June 15, 1922. On March 29, 1922, buildings 14 to 21 were under construction. These buildings, also constructed by Lange and Bergstrom, were finished on Jan. 21, 1923. Meanwhile, a dredging project was underway to increase NTC's acreage. Eventually the NTC channel was 15 feet deep by 600 feet wide.

Another contractor, R. E. Campbell, began construction on Quarters A, B, C, and D, and buildings 22, 23 and 24 in December, 1922. He completed his work on Sept. 1, 1923 and a new contractor took over. Robert E. McKee began construction on barracks 25 and 26 and a southeast wing to the mess hall of building one on Sept. 15, 1923. This wing was designed as a separate dining area for those men quarantined in "tent city" or "detention camp".

On June 3, 1929, the southwest mess hall wing was under construction and was completed by November 26.

The construction at NTC was performed in three phases, beginning with those buildings in the designated "historic district."

This area comprises those buildings from the original construction in the early 1920s. This historic area includes buildings one through 26 in John Paul Jones Court; the gate one arch, building 24 and those around Seller's Plaza; and the headquarters complex in buildings 200 to 202. The second phase consisted of alterations to the original buildings and construction of new buildings. The architectural style was Spanish Colonial/Mediterranean Revival. There was a continuation of the former style, however a change in attitude toward lifestyle was emphasized. The Tent Camp was phased out and new barracks were constructed in buildings 27 through 30 around Lawrence Court. There was more interest in details and ornamentation.

The final phase took place during World War II. During this phase, additions were built to buildings seven, 11 and 12, and buildings 177, 178, 194 and 198 were constructed. The design during this time remained sympathetic to the past in terms of style, color and symmetry. During this phase, Luce Auditorium (building 35), two school buildings (175 and 176), the library 137 (177) and the North Chapel (208) were built.

These buildings have all been designated as historic landmarks. Quarters A through D originally housed the center commander and other high ranking NTC officers. Now, senior officers in the San Diego area reside there. Each quarters is similar in design, yet unique in their own floorplans. The backyards of these houses overlook NTC and a view of the San Diego skyline. Quarters A is a two-story residence with a clay tiled gable roof, a covered portico in the back, a covered entry in the front and two fireplaces. Quarters B, C and D are all one-story structures, each with covered porches and two fireplaces.

Another historical building is building 35, Luce Auditorium, originally called Luce Theater. Built in 1941, Luce Auditorium's style has slightly different features from the earlier "Mission style". Its history of hosting many prominent people contributed to this building's historical significance.

The North Chapel, building 208, was built in 1942, and is the only white-painted building in the historic district. Throughout the chapel there are stained glass windows depicting religious and naval scenes which make the chapel visually attractive.


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