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The SDG&E Building: A Peek Inside

The 1918 structure is scheduled to be demolished, but SDG&E is willing to sell it to anyone who wants it for $1 (and the cost of moving it).

Ever wonder what the inside of San Diego Gas & Electric building on Camino Capistrano looks like inside? 

The utility currently leases it to a construction company, which uses it as a storage facility.

Southern California Edison started construction on the building in 1917 and finished in 1918, said Duane Cave, spokesman for SDG&E, which bought the property in 1928.

It initially housed a frequency changer, but it's been too small for the utility's needs since the last upgrade in the 1950s, he said. 

Throughout the years, it's been subject to a lot of vandalism, Cave said. The original windows are still there, fogged with chickenwire, but they've been broken and are now all boarded. 

Railroad tracks lead up to the northern entrance. Cave said heavy equipment would be sent via rail straight into the substation. There, a heavy-duty crane could lift and move it from its sliding rail on the ceiling whereever workers needed it. The crane remains to this day.

The offices were in the leg of the "T," Cave said. At one point, workers lived on cottages on the property. Those buildings have since been moved to Rios Street.

Because the building has no longer been used by SDG&E, Cave doesn't know the entire list of tenants. At one point, though, he does know a feed and tack store set up shop there.

scott bowie March 09, 2012 at 03:00 PM
a sorry day when you can't find anyone to buy a centennial building for a dollar.
Matt Gaffney March 09, 2012 at 05:47 PM
I remember Beaman "Thumper" Howell who lived in one of the houses that used to be behind the bldg. He was on the Legion Cubs when I was on the El Adobe Yankees in Little League. He went on to a career at SDG&E. His Dad worked in the building. Ah the old days in Capo.

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