Sometimes doing a title search can seem like a vacation. Especially when you are doing a 40 year Cell Tower Search in San Diego County, CA.
I guess being a history nut is either an occupational hazard of being an abstractor or a prerequisite. Either way that impulse has led me to take a few minutes here and there in my travels while doing title searches and abstracting, to observe the history around me.
I was actually completing several 40 year cell tower searches, and when I finished, I stepped out the front door of the San Diego County Administration Center and was struck by the view in front of me. I had to take a few pictures to save and share.
North San Diego Bay and the Maritime Museum of San Diego are literally across the street from the CAC. So of course I had to stroll around and take in the rich heritage before me while I had the chance. I was transformed from a title abstractor to a tourist, just like that.
Afterwards I went back to the San Diego CAC, not to do more cell tower abstracting, but to get a little more information about the beautiful building. I wonder how many county records buildings were dedicated by a U.S. President. Not many I bet.
And I bet even fewer can say they were dedicated by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. But it didn’t start out as an administrations building.
You see in 1902 the residents of San Diego decided they needed a building to house the city and county offices. So in 1926 the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to bring one into existence and took the resolution to the people with 3 countywide votes. Unfortunately it was defeated.
But in 1935 President Roosevelt authorized $1 million from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to be granted towards the buildings construction. It was one of 40,000 new buildings built as a result of WPA funding including the Dock Street Theatre in Charleston, SC, the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, and the Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood in Oregon.
It was officially dedicated in 1938 as The Civic Center. In 1964 the City sold its portion to the County after moving their offices inland and the building was renamed the San Diego County Administration Building or the CAC.
As I packed up the documents and information from my cell tower searches, and drove off to connect back up to Interstate 5, fate provided my one last glimpse into the past. Of course I hastily took a shot of it as well. And the fact that the driver is wearing a cowboy hat is simply icing on the cake. 🙂