More fun sights spotted around Liberty Station!

A cheerful sun, beach and ocean bench at Liberty Station in Point Loma.
A cheerful sun, beach and ocean bench at Liberty Station in Point Loma.

New art installations and other surprises are always popping up around Liberty Station in Point Loma.

The site of the former Naval Training Center San Diego is a historic place where culture now thrives, and inspiration awaits around every corner.

Over the years Liberty Station has become increasingly dynamic. A cool new movie theater, THE LOT, has opened. Liberty Public Market has been open and thriving for a while, too. I’ve read that a new hotel will be coming to the Arts District, and I’ve observed the old Base Exchange might become a fantastic performance venue.

During my recent walk around Liberty Station my eyes searched for stuff that I haven’t photographed before. In the past I did post an image of the “sun, beach and ocean” bench you see above, but I had neglected to provide fun up-close photos.

A happy crab, shells and a sand dollar.
A happy crab, shells and a sand dollar.
A seahorse and jellyfish.
A seahorse and jellyfish.
More sea life on a colorful bench!
More sea life on a very colorful bench!
These cool egg-seats await diners outside Breakfast Republic at Liberty Station. (I hope they're hard-boiled, not soft-boiled.)
These cool egg-seats await diners outside Breakfast Republic at Liberty Station. (I hope they’re hard-boiled, not soft-boiled.)
I spotted this patio chair's artistic seat while walking around the Arts District.
I spotted this patio chair’s artistic seat while walking around the Arts District.
A sculpture by the relatively new THE LOT movie theater. Afoxe, by artist Brad Howe.
A sculpture by the relatively new THE LOT movie theater. Afoxe, by artist Brad Howe.
A music and performance venue is proposed for Liberty Station, site of the old Naval Training Center San Diego.
A music and performance venue is proposed for Liberty Station, site of the old Naval Training Center San Diego.
The old Base Exchange, Building 178, of now closed Naval Training Center San Diego, awaits renovation as a possible performance venue.
The old Base Exchange, Building 178, of now closed Naval Training Center San Diego, awaits renovation as a possible performance venue.
A banner showing a contemporary quilt outside Visions Art Museum at Liberty Station.
A banner showing a contemporary quilt outside Visions Art Museum at Liberty Station.
Paintings inside the Dick Laub NTC Command Center lobby by local artists with studios at Liberty Station.
Paintings inside the Dick Laub NTC Command Center lobby by local artists with studios at Liberty Station.
New art is always appearing around Liberty Station, a unique cultural center in San Diego!
New art is always appearing around Liberty Station, a unique cultural center in San Diego!

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Another photographic walk around Liberty Station.

Colorful quilting artwork in a window of the Visions Art Museum at Liberty Station.
Colorful quilting artwork in a window of the Visions Art Museum at Liberty Station.

I’ve blogged many times about Liberty Station. But there’s always more to discover.

Yesterday I walked around the historic old Navy base, and was pleased to take a few photographs that you might enjoy. I spotted some artwork and framed some of the place’s beauty.

These few moments in time and space might seem random, but it was all new to me. That’s why I like to walk.

I spotted this bust in a nook while walking along the North Promenade. It was probably created in a nearby art studio. I could find no information.
I spotted this bust in a nook while walking along the North Promenade. It was probably created in a nearby art studio. I could find no information.
The beautiful Galinson Family Fountain at NTC Liberty Station.
The beautiful Galinson Family Fountain at NTC Liberty Station.
I spotted this cool metal wire sculpture of a man dining on the planet Earth near an old, peeling Naval Training Center wall. The art includes a dangling mobile and casts a thin, weird shadow.
I spotted this cool metal wire sculpture of a man dining on the planet Earth near an old, peeling Naval Training Center wall. Plastic Dinner, by Spenser Little. The art includes a dangling mobile and casts a thin, weird shadow.
Peer into one window at IDW Publishing, headquartered at Liberty Station, and you'll see a huge statue of Leonardo, of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!
Peer into one window at IDW Publishing, headquartered at Liberty Station, and you’ll see a huge statue of Leonardo, of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!
A peaceful place of natural and man-made beauty, perfect for a slow thoughtful walk.
A peaceful place of natural and man-made beauty, perfect for a slow thoughtful walk.
Decoration above an arch. I believe that is Cabrillo's ship San Salvador. He entered San Diego Bay not far from here.
Decoration above an arch. I believe that is explorer Cabrillo’s ship San Salvador. He entered San Diego Bay not far from here.
Looking down a long colonnade where U.S. Navy sailor recruits once walked.
Looking down a long colonnade where U.S. Navy sailor recruits once walked.
Photo of the eye-pleasing USNTC North Chapel, reflecting the Point Loma sunshine one Sunday.
Photo of the eye-pleasing USNTC North Chapel, reflecting the Point Loma sunshine one Sunday.
Nautical symbols above the front entrance to the Navy's old North Chapel at Liberty Station.
Nautical symbols above the front entrance to the Navy’s old North Chapel at Liberty Station.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

A huge postcard from historic Liberty Station!

A huge postcard has appeared on Dewey Road in Point Loma, at the southwest end of the Liberty Station's Arts District!
A huge postcard has appeared on Dewey Road in Point Loma, at the southwest end of Liberty Station’s Arts District!

I walked around Liberty Station today before sitting down by the boat channel to write another short story. And look what I discovered! It’s the first time I’ve seen this cool mural!

This new public art resembles a gigantic postcard, which reads: Greetings from U.S. Naval Training Station. It was created by the two artists who painted the postcard-like Greetings from San Diego mural, which I photographed a month ago in North Park. Victor Ving and Lisa Beggs are travelling around the country in an RV and creating a whole bunch of these huge colorful postcard murals!

Painted inside the letters I see scenes from Ingram Plaza, the Barracks Arcade, Liberty Public Market and the USS Recruit!

As you might know, the U.S. Naval Training Station, or Naval Training Center San Diego, was a military base where thousands of sailor recruits learned the ropes upon enlisting in the U.S. Navy. It closed in 1997 and has been redeveloped into a mixed cultural, recreational, shopping, business and residential complex in Point Loma. It’s like a spacious park with lots of grass, arched walkways and fountains–a perfect place to relax!

During my stroll today though Liberty Station, I discovered even more public art, which I’ll blog about shortly. And please watch for my new work of fiction at Short Stories by Richard. I think it’s almost done!

Greetings from U.S. Naval Training Center. A cool new mural at Liberty Station by artists Victor Ving and Lisa Beggs.
Greetings from U.S. Naval Training Center. A cool new mural at Liberty Station by artists Victor Ving and Lisa Beggs.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

History of recruits at Naval Training Center San Diego.

The Recruit story is one of personal transformation and maturity. A display explains how sailors were made at Naval Training Center San Diego.
The Recruit story is one of personal transformation and maturity. A display explains how sailors were made at Naval Training Center San Diego.

Over a span of 74 years, Naval Training Center San Diego in Point Loma graduated over 2 million recruits. Most went on to serve as sailors in the United States Navy.

A fascinating historical exhibit in the NTC Command Center at Liberty Station provides visitors with a glimpse of what life was like as a naval recruit. Photographs recall how young men were transformed at Naval Training Center San Diego and prepared for service on a ship at sea, far from home.

If you’d like to read some of these displays, click the photos and they will enlarge.

To those of you leaving comments concerning memories–thank you for your service!

The Dick Laub NTC Command Center at Liberty Station has a fascinating exhibit about the training of naval recruits at this location years ago.
The Dick Laub NTC Command Center at Liberty Station has a fascinating exhibit about the training of naval recruits at this location years ago.
The Admiral Stockdale Wing of the NTC Command Center has a corridor lined with historical photos, Navy artifacts and interesting information.
The Admiral Stockdale Wing of the NTC Command Center has a corridor lined with historical photos, Navy artifacts and interesting information.
Marching in the courtyards, known as grinders, was a constant part of Recruit Training Command or boot camp.
Marching in the courtyards, known as grinders, was a constant part of Recruit Training Command or boot camp.
Home comforts were far away for U.S. Navy sailors aboard ship. Another display shows sailors training in San Diego.
Home comforts were far away for U.S. Navy sailors aboard ship. A display shows sailors training in San Diego.
The USS Recruit--a model Training Destroyer Escort--is where most men experienced their first duty aboard ship.
The USS Recruit–a model Training Destroyer Escort–is where most men experienced their first duty aboard ship.
The USS Recruit is landlocked permanently at Liberty Station. Fondly called the USS Neversail, this ship set in concrete was used for training new Navy sailors.
The USS Recruit is landlocked permanently at Liberty Station. Fondly called the USS Neversail, this ship set in concrete was used for training new Navy sailors.
Graduation at Naval Training Center San Diego. One photo shows Admiral Nimitz watching a Pass-In-Review at Preble Field.
Graduation at Naval Training Center San Diego. One photo shows Admiral Nimitz watching a Pass-In-Review at Preble Field.
A large map of the old Naval Training Center San Diego, which today has been transformed into Liberty Station, which features shopping, parks, museums and more.
A large map of the old Naval Training Center San Diego, which today has been transformed into Liberty Station, featuring shopping, parks, museums and more.
Photo of vacant old Naval Training Center buildings waiting to be restored and put to use commercially at Liberty Station.
Photo of vacant old Naval Training Center buildings waiting to be restored and put to use commercially at Liberty Station.
During training, recruits were divided into companies of 100 men. Teamwork was promoted.
During training, recruits were divided into companies of 100 men. Teamwork was promoted.
Homecooked meals were prepared by NTC's Chef and Mess School, which was one of the best in the country.
Homecooked meals were prepared by NTC’s Chef and Mess School, which was one of the best in the country.
NTC grew in size over the years, expanding across the boat channel. A march over Nimitz Bridge was a rite of passage. (I blogged recently that a new public park will be opening east of the channel.)
NTC grew in size over the years, expanding across the boat channel. A march over Nimitz Bridge was a rite of passage. (I blogged recently that a new public park will be opening east of the channel.)
An old poster depicts authorized grooming standards for United States Navy Personnel.
An old poster depicts authorized grooming standards for United States Navy Personnel.
Photos of graduation from San Diego's NTC include the final 1993 ceremony before the base closed.
Photos of graduation from San Diego’s NTC include the final 1993 ceremony before the base closed.
The 2082nd and Final Recruit Pass-In-Review, Friday, November 19, 1993.
The official program for the 2082nd and Final Recruit Pass-In-Review, Friday, November 19, 1993.
NTC San Diego graduated over 2 million recruits over its 74 year history!
NTC San Diego graduated over 2 million recruits over its 74 year history!
Welcome aboard!
Welcome aboard!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Weathered yellow arches and a bold blue door.

Photo of shuttered windows taken through dark, weathered archway.
Photo of old, shuttered windows taken through dark, weathered archway.

During my recent ramble around NTC Liberty Station, I did some nosing around. I took a few interesting photos of a lonely portion of the old Naval Training Center San Diego that has yet to be renovated. A row of old, weathered barracks along the North Promenade are vacant and locked shut. But if you listen closely, and use a little imagination, it might be possible to hear the echoing footsteps of naval recruits from decades ago.

The old Naval Training Center in Point Loma is a fascinating place with a significant place in United States history. The idea of training sailors in San Diego was first explored in 1915 by Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt. When the complex was finally built in 1921, it was a modest affair, with several barracks, a mess hall, dispensary, and a few other buildings. It expanded over the years, and during World War II accommodated as many as 25,000 naval recruits. The center remained a vital resource of the United States Navy until 1997, when it was finally closed. Today around 50 original buildings along the beautiful promenade (which also includes the old base’s command center and parade ground) have been restored. Liberty Station has become a popular destination for shopping, recreation and a variety of cultural attractions.

In the following photos, you might note the architecture is mostly based on the Spanish Colonial Revival style, particularly the long arcades. The design of the Naval Training Center was directly influenced by buildings constructed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

Looking along the length of long-abandoned Barracks 5 at NTC Liberty Station.
Looking along the length of long-abandoned Barracks 5 at NTC Liberty Station.
Some old base signs still can be seen at the historic Naval Training Center San Diego.
Some old military base signs still can be seen at the historic Naval Training Center San Diego.
Buildings 18 and 25 remain empty. Most structures in the complex are renovated and have commercial or nonprofit tenants.
Buildings 18 and 25 remain empty. Most structures in the complex are renovated and have commercial or nonprofit tenants.
Simple geometry of functional architecture influenced by the Spanish Colonial Revival style.
Simple geometry of functional architecture influenced by the Spanish Colonial Revival style.
Peeling yellow paint on buildings where new United States Navy recruits used to train.
Peeling yellow paint on buildings where new United States Navy recruits used to train.
There's something strangely picturesque in this image of lonely decay.
There’s something strangely picturesque in this image of lonely decay.
With a bit of imagination, one can picture newly recruited sailors moving and marching through the Naval Training Center years ago.
With a bit of imagination, one can picture newly recruited sailors moving and marching through the Naval Training Center years ago.
This boldly painted blue door really catches the eye!
This boldly painted blue door really catches the eye!
Walking around NTC Liberty Station is like taking a small voyage back into history.
Walking around NTC Liberty Station is like taking a small voyage back into history.

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52 Boats Memorial at NTC Liberty Station.

52 Boats Memorial at NTC Liberty Station.
52 Boats Memorial at NTC Liberty Station.

52 U.S. Navy submarines were lost at sea during World War II.  3,505 submariners lost their lives.

At NTC Liberty Station, the 52 Boats Memorial remembers the sacrifice of these men.

The unique memorial runs along two beautiful walkways, and consists of 52 American Liberty Elm trees, 52 flags and 52 black granite markers.  The history of each submarine and the names of lost crew members are recounted for future generations to remember.

USS Grayling (SS-209) on eternal patrol.
USS Grayling (SS-209)  sunk in World War II is on eternal patrol.
American flag shelters one of the solemn black marble markers.
American flag shelters one of the solemn black marble markers.
USS Pompano (SS-181) on eternal patrol.
USS Pompano (SS-181) and crew remain on eternal patrol.
Beautiful bird of paradise flowers along pathway through 52 Boats Memorial.
Beautiful bird of paradise flowers along pathway through 52 Boats Memorial.
USS Runner (SS-275) on eternal patrol.
USS Runner (SS-275) remembered over half a century later.
Submariners who lost their lives in World War II in incidents that did not involve the loss of a boat.
Submariners who lost their lives in World War II in incidents that did not involve the loss of a boat.
A new plaque respectfully recounts those Boats and Men Lost at Times Other Than WWII. A faded, identical plaque has been replaced in this photo, which I took at a later time.
A new plaque respectfully recounts those Boats and Men Lost at Times Other Than WWII. A faded, identical plaque used to stand here.
Someone honors submariner heroes by leaving flowers beside a black granite marker that remembers the USS Pickerel (SS-177).
Someone honors submariner heroes by leaving flowers beside a black granite marker that remembers the USS Pickerel (SS-177).

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Grounded warship signals Seasons Greetings.

USS Recruit with Seasons Greetings sign.
USS Recruit with Seasons Greetings sign.

How did this guided missile frigate end up sitting on the ground? Why does it have a tinsel sign that spells out Seasons Greetings? Did Santa drop it like an oversized toy from the sky?

This unusual sight is often glimpsed by San Diegans motoring along Harbor Drive between downtown and Point Loma. Built right there on the ground in 1949 to train Navy recruits, today this two-thirds model of a real warship is situated at the southwest end of the redeveloped NTC Liberty Station. The landlocked “non-ship” is officially named the USS Recruit and was originally modeled after a destroyer, and commissioned as a regular Navy ship!

Nicknamed by sailors the USS Neversail, she’s become something of a San Diego landmark. And every year around Christmas she wishes passersby a happy holiday!

UPDATE!

Here are a few pics taken during a walk in late September of 2014. The USS Recruit appears to be awaiting a new coat of paint!

Beautification in progress in late September 2014.
Beautification in progress in late September 2014.
Scaffolding along the side of the weathered old USS Recruit in Point Loma.
Scaffolding along the side of the weathered old USS Recruit in Point Loma.
A bicyclist passing the USS Recruit heads into Liberty Station.
A bicyclist passing the USS Recruit heads into Liberty Station.

I walked past the USS Recruit in early March, 2015. The ship has a new paint job! Of course, I had to take more photos…

This model of a destroyer escort helped instruct as many as 50,000 naval recruits annually in basic naval procedure. The Recruit was the Navy's only commissioned ship never to reach water.
This model of a destroyer escort helped instruct as many as 50,000 naval recruits annually in basic naval procedure. The Recruit was the Navy’s only commissioned ship never to reach water.
People walk past the newly painted USS Recruit near Liberty Station.
People walk past the newly painted USS Recruit at one end of Liberty Station.
Nicknamed the USS Neversail, this ship is an unusual sight that captures the attention of visitors to San Diego.
Nicknamed the USS Neversail, this ship is an unusual sight that captures the attention of visitors to San Diego.