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Latest on the Old Police Headquarters

By Steve Willard, Director San Diego Police Historical Association

It's not often someone new to the preservationist field can work to save an endangered location that he/she actually had personal experiences with. One would have to be pretty old to have actually lived or worked at the Whaley House when it was in its heyday. Then again, its not often that a location has preservation advocates who are armed either. Many of my colleagues and I once called the Old Police Headquarters home. Perhaps that's just one of many things that makes the Old Police Headquarters so unique.

One of only two police facilities in California occupying a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, the architectural masterpiece Old Police Headquarters has been on the endangered list for many years. Faced with prospects from being completely demolished for an expansion of the Seaport Village, or cut in half for a park, the fate of the building that once served San Diego's finest for almost half a century looked very bleak indeed. Now, thanks to the partnered efforts of the San Diego Police Historical Association and SOHO, there is actually a chance this once magnificent building can be saved.

On September 4th the Port District held the first of a two part series of public workshops over the fate of the Old Police Headquarters.

The first meeting was held from 3-5pm and repeated from 6-8pm. Moderated by a professional consultant hired by the Port, opinions were solicited from the large crowd in attendance as to what should become of the Old Headquarters. The Port asserted claims of being held hostage by the Coastal Commission to build a park on the site of the station. Despite that, supporters told the Port to find ways to save the building first and then make the park fit.

Equally encouraging was SOHO executive director Bruce Coons asking for a show of hands of those who wanted to see the station preserved. All but four were raised in a room of over a hundred. The message to save the building was loud and clear. While this progress is encouraging, presure needs to be kept on the Port to see this project through.

If you attended the workshops, thank you for your support. If you didn't, won't you now take the time to send the Port District a letter asking that they preserve the Old Police Headquarters? We have shown we can make a difference in this important project. Let's not let up now.

2002 - Volume 33, Issue 4

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Volunteer Profile, Sandé Lollis


Getting To Know Your San Diego


Historical Resources Board


Welcome New SOHO Board of Directors


Remember SOHO in Your Will


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Remembering Claire


The Whaley House Junior Docent Program


Dreaming of a White Christmas


Around the Whaley House


Strength in Numbers


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