Major fundraising campaign begins after City permits San Diego Museum of Man to remodel and host tours in the iconic California Tower.

(October 22, 2014 — San Diego, California)

Three years in the making and 80 years in the imagining, the iconic California Tower will open to the public on January 1, 2015.

The San Diego Museum of Man just received permission from the City of San Diego to go forward with its plans to reopen the historic Tower to the public. The Tower, a 100-year-old landmark in Balboa Park, has been closed to the public for nearly 80 years.

“The staff from the City of San Diego have been absolutely wonderful in working with us to turn this longstanding dream into a reality. We are very grateful to them,” said Micah Parzen, CEO of the Museum. “This is transformational not just for the Museum of Man, but also for all of Balboa Park. This will be the one experience all visitors — tourists and residents alike — remember forever.”

Before it can open the Tower doors to the public, the Museum will launch a campaign to raise $3 million from donors at all levels to provide for the necessary remodeling and safety improvements, for a long-term fund to care for the Tower, and for investment in the future of the Museum.

The Museum is also offering donors the once-in-a-lifetime chance to name one of 76 steps or one of 20 benches and to inscribe a 54 character message of their choice. “We wanted our visitors to have a unique experience as they climb, reading plaques with messages of the heart from throughout our community,” explained Dr. Parzen.

The fundraising campaign kicks off with a third of its goal already reached: the Legler Benbough Foundation has pledged $1 million. Donations of any size from the public are being accepted at


The San Diego Museum of Man is a 100-year-old nonprofit museum that focuses on inspiring human connections within the context of what it means to be human. The Museum strives to create transformational visitor experiences and to create opportunities for meaningful dialogue about the human experience. Find out more about its programs and exhibits at

California Tower webpage:

A brief history of the Tower:

Hi-res images of the Tower:

San Diego Museum of Man logos:

Press contact:
Grant Barrett
Marketing Manager
San Diego Museum of Man
(619) 239-2001 x43