The San Diego History Center has begun a $300,000 renovation of the Junípero Serra Museum that is intended to preserve the landmark and restore its original brilliance.

Work has started on the west facade of the 1928-vintage Mission Revival-style structure in Mission Hills while funds are being raised to restore the tower and east facade.

The interior is getting new paint, new electrical equipment and restoration of the original light sconces by Chula Vista-based Gibson Lighting.

Museum officials see the restoration as important for preserving San Diego’s history and promoting cultural tourism.

“Thousands come her throughout the year looking for early San Diego history,” said Bill Lawrence, president and CEO of the history center. “It’s iconic architecture, and it needs to be preserved.”

The museum is located at the Presidio, the site of San Diego’s original European settlement, where there was an active military garrison from 1769 to 1835.

A new exhibition will open July 16 telling the story of the Kumeyaay, the people who lived along the river’s edge, and the impact of their contact with Europeans.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.