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Kim R.
user 9321840
Emeryville, CA
Post #: 1
Hi everyone!

I would like to take some photos of buildings with graffiti or just old gritty buildings (without restrictions on access) for my photography class. I was wondering if anyone can suggest a couple of places?

Thanks a bunch! I'm new to San Diego and don't know many places. Wish I can fly back home to New York and shoot some photos but don't have any money since I'm a starving student.

A former member
Post #: 23
Go to downtown
Ask homeless where they sleep

If you are looking for gritty that is, don't know what else you are trying for?

........And are you even interested in coming out to some outings? We'd love to have more explorers! smile
Dan C.
Group Organizer
San Diego, CA
Post #: 2,146
Not adviseable to "go downtown and ask homeless where they sleep". You
might just be asking for trouble, especially on your own.

Better to ask on the message boards of the San Diego Photography Meetup Group­ where some of the members might have seen
and photographed a few building fitting your description.

Unlike big cities like New York and Los Angeles, San Diego tends to fence off or demolish
these structures rather than leave them to be explored by people like us. There ARE
graffittied and abandoned structures locally, but it takes a little legwork to find
out where they are.

There are bridge underpasses, tunnels, storm drains, etc. that are chock full of graffitti
for photographing, some with some pretty good artwork.
Ask (not me though because I'm not up on the locations at present) and you will
probably find.
user 5527101
El Cajon, CA
Post #: 239
I took a Drive down the Historic Hwy 80 yesterday. Travel from the Sunrise Hwy Exit south side al the way down to the Desert View Tower. These photos were from Buckman Springs Old House and Bottling Plant. There are Also some other Foundations and morteros in the area seem to be no problem accessing the site

These were from the Old Station in Jacumba. Didnt seem to be any problem accessing the site but would probably use your own judgement There also is the ruins of the Old HotSprings spa across the Strreet Chimney and Foundations

Heres a photo down by the Desert View Tower Had no problem accessing this site

Sandro A.
Del Mar, CA
Post #: 22
Barrio Logan has some cool 'graffiti art' on several walls of buildings near Coronado Bridge (and under Coronado bridge there are some too); more like mural art, but graffiti tagged too. Woodbury Architecture is headquartered there and might be a good starting point.
Dan C.
Group Organizer
San Diego, CA
Post #: 2,147
Thanks for the photos Charles. I actually used to go out to the structure pictured in the middle pics
when they were painted with scenes from Pink Floyd's "The Wall", along with the usual graffitti. That
was about 20-25 years ago. I remember doing a photo shoot with a girlfriend out there.

The murals under the Coronado Bridge depict historical eras and individuals. Well worth a trip down there
to check out and photograph. There might be a few transients there but I've never encountered a problem
and parking is very easy to find. One of my friends, Mario Torrero, is one of the original artists and well
known in the local arts community.

Barrio Logan and the bridge murals would be a good spot for a group outing.
A former member
Post #: 92
Nice photos Charles. Like I said in the Dulzura Conduit thread, I'd like to go back and do some of the sights along 94 and old hwy 80. Could possibly make a whole day trip of it.

Also, if you go down to Ocotillo there is the old Millers Garage that you can go take a look at, and you can walk along a section of the old highway 80. Here's a few pics:

You can also see sections of the old 80 near desert tower.
user 5527101
El Cajon, CA
Post #: 240
Did a quick drive down on Hwy 80 begginning on the on Ramp from eastside Sunrise Hwy all the way out to the desert View tower which was worth the $3.50 to check it out and the trails. Quite the View.
There is a section of trails with the desert View towers that features small caves and some Depression Era rock carvings.
Buckman Springs is just beyond The Border Patrol Checkpoint on HWY 80 and there are many interesting places i saw from the road Including some Structures that look on the verge of being abandoned. A huge Vehicle junkYard dont know if you can access it And Jacumba which has quite a few abandoned Houses most boarded Up. Including What i think is called the Station and the Old Jacumba Hot Springs Hotel That burn Downin the 80's and is now a Foundation filled in pool and Chimney.
I followed Hwy 80 out of Jacumba to the Desert View Tower and went under Hwy 8 and shrtly after that saw the Stone Building it has an open Door and some small structurs and another foundation next to it. Slightly crispy on the Inside.
Shortly after that there are some interesting Scarecrows in a wash that runs under a bridge on Hwy 8
will try to post some more Photos on this. I am quite sure I didnt see everything on this trip
Heres Some other Photos
Yhe ScareCrows in the wash

Some of the Sculptures DesertView Tower Most Sculptures have Small Tunnels next to them The skull has 2 one on each side

Another shot the Abandoned Rock Building

Desert Tower

Dan C.
Group Organizer
San Diego, CA
Post #: 2,149
I photographed those scarecrows under the bridge several years ago so somebody must be "maintaining" them.

We did a stop at The Desert Tower last time I did a trip out there with the photo group a couple years ago. The owner was a very nice guy who had bought it from someone else not long before, and for the small fee he was charging, he told us a bunch of stories and we were able to climb to the top for the view and photos. Looks from your photos like he did a repaint of the stone carvings recently. Anyway you look at it, it's a fun stop for a brief visit.

Have you visited the giant concrete dinosaurs on the 10 heading to Joshua Tree? They're on the westbound side at Cabazon Looks like someone is trying to make lots of money off of them at $6.95 for adults/$5.95 kids.
I see even photographs are by "written consent only". At one time I think it was a buck to go inside and you could photograph them inside and out, no prob.

From the website:
From the Interstate Highway, the uncommon view of two giant dinosaurs, on an arid plain surrounded by mountains, is an irresistible magnet. But tourists are not the only ones compelled to stop. Well within a convenient day-drive of the Los Angeles sphere, the Cabazon Dinosaurs are media darlings appearing often in commercials, music videos, film and print ads.

The dinosaurs were built over 30 years ago. The apatosaurus (formely known as the brontosaurus) took eleven years to build and is the biggest dinosaur in the world. The belly of Dinny hosts an awesome store with something for everyone. The T-Rex, affectionately known as "Mr. Rex", took seven years to build.

http://www.cabazondin...­ (turn DOWN your speakers, it's loud).
A former member
Post #: 93
I've done the desert tower and boulder park a few times when going to and from the desert. There are also some remains of small gemstone mines nearby as well, just small holes in the ground really, and I have a 3/4 inch diameter garnet crystal I pulled out of one of them. The guy who now owns the tower has some good stories as you say. He told us about a valley with a lot of petrified wood near there as well.

I did the Cabazon dinosaurs last time I went to Palm Springs. It's actually a creationist museum, some crazy stuff about dinosaurs and humans being around at the same time. Aside from that the dinosaurs are interesting and well done. There are "robotic" rubber ones that move inside the main building, and as you say, you can go inside the T-rex all the way up to the mouth, and the Brontosaurus has a gift shop inside.

Here is one of my favorite sites for finding offbeat places, http://www.roadsideam...­
It isn't urban exploring as such, but more weird oddball places, strange museums, unusual sculptures, etc. It has been invaluable to me as a resource for finding some really interesting stuff that I wouldn't have otherwise found, I love that kind of stuff. Best part is there's also an iPhone app as well that uses GPS, so you can find nearby oddball attractions.
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