San Diego Police Department Jail Cells and Police Exhibit – San Diego, California - Atlas Obscura

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San Diego Police Department Jail Cells and Police Exhibit

At this local mall, visitors are ushered through a 1940s jail exhibit.  


Down an inconspicuous hallway in this Spanish-style outdoor mall where visitors can step into the past and see eight preserved jail cells from the 1940s.

The exhibit includes photographs and information about the old San Diego Police Headquarters, which was converted into an outdoor mall appropriately named The Headquarters, which opened in 2013. Located outside the cells are replica signs with instructions for new prisoners and a height chart used in police mugshot lineups.

The location of these jail cells is somewhat jarring and unexpected, making it easy to miss. The Headquarters features restaurants and shops that cater to tourists staying at the nearby waterfront hotels.

Know Before You Go

The exhibit is free and open to the public during the operating hours of The Headquarters, currently, 10 am to 9 pm, Monday through Saturday and 10 am to 8 pm on Sunday. Parking in the area is plentiful, but you almost certainly will have to pay. The Headquarters is just off San Diego's waterfront, in the vicinity of Seaport Village.

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August 29, 2022

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