Skip to main content

Image / San Diego Mission

Have a question about this item?

Item Information. View source record on contributor's website.

San Diego Mission
Alternative Title
Los Angeles Photographers Photo Collection;
Schultheis, Herman
Made accessible through a grant from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation
Date Created and/or Issued
[ca. 1938]
Contributing Institution
Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Rights Information
Images available for reproduction and use. Please see the Ordering & Use page at for additional information.
Title supplied by cataloger.; Herman J. Schultheis was born in Aachen, Germany in 1900, and immigrated to the United States in the mid-1920s after obtaining a Ph.D. in mechanical and electrical engineering. He married Ethel Wisloh in 1936, and the pair moved to Los Angeles the following year. He worked in the film industry from the late 1930s to the mid-1940s, most notably on the animated features "Fantasia" and "Pinocchio." His detailed notebook, documenting the special effects for "Fantasia," is the subject of a 14-minute short-subject included on the film's DVD. In 1949, he started employment with Librascope as a patent engineer. Schultheis was an avid amateur photographer who traveled the world with his cameras. It was on one of these photographic exhibitions in 1955 that he disappeared in the jungles of Guatemala. His remains were discovered 18 months later. The digitized portion of this collection represents the images Schultheis took of Los Angeles and its surrounding communities after he relocated to the area in 1937.
La Misio´n San Diego de Alcala´, also known as San Diego Mission, is located at 10818 San Diego Mission Road. It was established on May 14, 1769 and founded on July 16th of the same year by Father Juni´pero Serra, serving as the headquarters of the Alta California Mission System from 1769 to 1771. This was the first of the 21 missions founded by Serra, and was California's first church. The Mission was originally built overlooking the bay, but remained there only five years as the water supply was not sufficient for sustaining the crops, the soil was not fertile enough, and the American Indians were intimidated by the military. The decision to relocate the Mission six miles east was approved and the new site was closer to the San Diego River and the American Indian villages. Unfortunately this new location proved to be a bit problematic, as the land was difficult to till and the water was not always plentiful. But with perseverance, the Mission eventually became more productive. Over the years, the church was enlarged to accommodate the growing population. In 1931, the Mission was rebuilt to mirror the 1813 church structure. On April 15, 1970, Misio´n San Diego de Alcala´ was designated a National Historic Landmark, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places - #70000144. It was also designated a California Historical Landmark - #242, and a City of San Diego Historic Designation - #113. In 1976, Pope Paul VI designated Misio´n San Diego de Alcala´ as a Minor Basilica. Today this Mission serves as an active Catholic parish and cultural center.
Close-up view of a side entrance and wall that are adjacent to, and part of, the San Diego Mission. La Misio´n San Diego de Alcala´, as it is originally known, was the first of the 21 missions founded by Father Juni´pero Serra, and was California's first church.
1 photographic print :b&w ;11 x 15 cm.
Photographic prints
Herman J Schultheis Collection; Los Angeles Photographers Collection;
N-009-346 8x10
San Diego Mission
Missions, Spanish--California--San Diego
Church buildings--California--San Diego
Catholic churches--California--San Diego
San Diego (Calif.)
Schultheis Collection photographs
Serra, Juni´pero,Saint,1713-1784

Explore related content on Calisphere: