Vandals Strike Old Town Treasure

The gazebo in the back of the Whaley House Museum is taped up after being vandalized shortly after Christmas. SOHO

The Whaley House Museum in Old Town was recently vandalized, according to the Save Our Heritage Organisation.

On Dec. 26, the same day after a nearby church fire, the museum was ripped apart. A nearby Wisteria tree was also hit, and the metal benches surrounding the gazebo were torn away and used to bash in the sides of the vintage-style gazebo.

The damages are extreme – the $7,000 structure will have to be torn down and rebuilt.

“Someone really went out of their way to destroy it,” said Alana Coons , the education and communications director for SOHO which operates the Whaley House.

Paranormal Investigators are at the historic Whaley House in Old Town is believed to be one of the most haunted houses in America. (Published Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010)

Located in the back area of the Whaley House Museum, the gazebo was used for the occasional weddings and ceremonies. But mostly people used the space to enjoy the day, or take a break from work, said Coons.

She estimated the new gazebo will cost between $8,000 and $9,000 to replace – not including the cost of the new benches. The structure was built to model an 1860’s architecture and is made out of willow wood. In order to replace it, SOHO will have to reach out to donors.

In the meantime, it’s taped off to the public until it has to be demolished.

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“It’s an area that the community really used,” she said sadly. “It was a really lovely spot.”

Anyone with information about the vandalism can call San Diego police at 619-531-2000.