Collection of architectural drawings of Camp Calvin B. Matthews, a former U.S. Marine base located north of San Diego (Calif.) and transferred to the University of California, San Diego, in 1964. The drawings, usually pencil on tracing paper, were created or contracted for by the Department of the Navy, Eleventh Naval District, Bureau of Yards and Docks, and given to the University at the time of transfer. The drawings date from 1929 to 1959 and document buildings, streets, utilities, rifle ranges, and other facilities of Camp Matthews. The drawings are housed in 15 oversize folders and are arranged in three series: 1) GENERAL PLANS, 2) UTILITIES, and 3) BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES.

Historical Background

Camp Matthews was established in 1918 as a U.S. Marine rifle range under the command of Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. It was called the Marine Rifle Range, La Jolla from 1918 until 1942, when it was renamed Camp Matthews after Brigadier General Calvin B. Matthews, a coach of Marine rifle and pistol teams and a strong advocate of Marine marksmanship.

In 1917 the U.S. Marine Corps leased 544 acres from the City of San Diego to establish a rifle range to train new recruits. In 1923 a permanent detachment of Marines was stationed at the camp and helped train the more than 1 million recruits who went through the camp until its closure in 1964. During the 1930s and early 1940s, the camp expanded with the construction of more target ranges and other facilities, including more administrative housing and barracks, to house the growing number of Marines stationed there. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the subsequent U.S. entry into WWII, recruits poured into the recruiting depot and were sent to Camp Matthews to receive training. During 1944, 700 men were stationed at Camp Matthews and 9,000 men were rotated through every three weeks for their training.

Through WWII and the Korean War of the early 1950s, the camp expanded again to meet the growing training needs, adding administrative buildings and installing street and utility systems, but during the mid-1950s the garrison stationed at the camp was reduced to about 120 men.

As the City of San Diego expanded, houses were built around the camp and there was growing concern over having a Marine training facility in the middle of a suburb. In 1956 the La Jolla Town Council began pressuring the Navy to close Camp Matthews, but the Navy resisted the idea. In 1959 Congressman Bob Wilson from San Diego introduced a bill in Congress to turn Camp Matthews over to the University of California for their planned campus in San Diego. On August 21, 1964, closing ceremonies were held and in October of 1964 Camp Matthews was officially closed. The land became part of the new University of California, San Diego campus.

Scope and Content

The collection contains architectural drawings of Camp Matthews, a U.S. Marine base that occupied part of the present site of UCSD, created or commissioned by the Eleventh Naval District, Bureau of Yards and Docks, Department of the Navy. The drawings consist of floor plans, elevations, and schematics drawn on lightweight architectural paper, covering the years 1929-1959, and occupying 15 oversized folders, are arranged in three series: 1) General Plans, 2) Utilities, and 3) Buildings and Facilities.


The GENERAL PLANS series consists of contour drawings showing elevations and topographic surveys of the land, general layouts and locations of buildings and camp expansion plans.


The UTILITIES series consists of electrical, plumbing, sewage, and water schematics.


The BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES series consists of elevation and floorplan drawings of buildings, such as the administrative building, mess hall, rifle ranges, and smaller facilities.


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Box Folder Oversize
1 1 MC-046-01 Contour Maps and Boundary Maps, 1937 - 1953.
1 2 MC-046-02 General Plans, 1952.
1 3 MC-046-03 Rehabilitation and Expansion, 1952 - 1959.


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Box Folder Oversize
1 4 MC-046-04 Improvement of Water Supply, 1931 - 1945.
1 5 MC-046-05 Installation of Street Lighting System and Correction of Distribution System, 1952.
1 6 MC-046-06 Rehabilitation and Expansion of Sewage Treatment Plant.
1 7 MC-046-07 Rehabilitation of Pavements, 1952.
1 8 MC-046-08 Repair Pavements and Erosion Control, 1949 - 1956.
1 9 MC-046-09 Utilities, Power, Gas, and Water, 1941 - 1956.


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Box Folder Oversize
1 10 MC-047-01 Additional Facilities, 1940 - 1943.
1 11 MC-047-02 Administrative Building, #251, 1941 - 1955.
1 12 MC-047-03 Boiler House, 1929.
1 13 MC-047-04 Buildings, 1942 - 1953. Includes floorplans for dormitories, barracks and elevations for roofing of other facilities.
1 14 MC-047-05 Mess Hall and Galley, 1929 - 1937.
1 15 MC-047-06 Rifle Ranges, 1936 - 1943.

Finding aid generated: 2006-03-28