Historic Jail Cells For Sale - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

WEDNESDAY, February 18, 2009

Historic Jail Cells For Sale

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Through these dank, dark hallways passed some of the nastiest men on the face of the earth. From 1932 until the late 1970s, this hallowed ground just in front of Seaport Village in downtown San Diego was the city jail.

"We could have prisoners here actually up to a year that could be housed at this facility, until they went to state prison," Rick Carlson of the San Diego Police Historical Society said.

Over 300 hundred prisoners at a time could be crammed into these cozy little confines.

"We had two to a cell, but on a busy day we had to house all the drunks. Not in the long term... we'd have as many as four people. You'd have two people on mattresses on the floor and one each on the bunk," Carlson said.

Over the years, this building has been used as both a police and FBI lockup. It's been the scene of a deadly fire and a daring escape. The remnants of its violent past remain.

"We don't know what occurred, but there's obviously some evidence left of some violence in this jail," Carlson said.

Along these walls stood some of our city's most nefarious felons, and soon these walls will come tumbling down to make room for an historic renovation, but not before they sell the cells.

"We're actually going to sell these bars, doors and the bunks and sinks out of them," Carlson said.

The sale will take place on site this Saturday, Feb. 21.

"I believe the doors are going to be selling for $200 and the actual bars around the doors for $300," Carlson said.

The space will eventually house retail shops and restaurants, but not before they sell off some rusted relics.

"People can come down and buy a piece of history," Carlson said.

Saturday's the final sale at the jail, before they put the hammer to the slammer.

  • Saturday, February 21
  • 9am to Noon 
  • Foot of Kettner, just in front of the entrance to Seaport Village.
  • For more info: (619) 726-6151

in downtown San Diego
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