Sanders: ‘Save the old Martinez jail’

Dear Editor,

I am saddened that the city would destroy a historical landmark for the sake of a few parking spots. We need some creative people here to think outside of the box to “re-purpose” that great old structure. Some way to save the historic value and yet use it as … a restaurant? A retro bar/lounge? A gallery? Live/work spaces? I don’t know, but I do know that in Oregon, the McMenamin group have taken over an old high school, a sanitarium and other “deemed unusable” properties, then turned them into unique hotels, restaurants and bars.

I don’t get that everyone talks about the value of Martinez’s historic heritage and yet City Council/Planning Department are quick to tear down those very buildings. And for what? A parking lot? Really? How about the Contra Costa County Administration Building on Pine? That eyesore was supposed to be torn down years ago due to seismic instability, and yet it still stands. Tear that down and build a proper multi-level (2-3?) parking garage to serve all of the downtown area, as well as the courts!

Bottom line, I would like to see some more thought given to the stately old jail, before the bulldozers, et al, have their way!


Vernon Sanders

P.S. – Yes, I can see that CCC Admin building from my house!

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One comment

  1. Vernon

    It is not the City of Martinez that is proposing to tear down the old jail, it is the County of Contra Costa. I, for one, want to see at least the old granite portion saved if at all possible.

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