City & County
210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Built 1955 International
2006 the county's courtrooms on the second floor moved down the block to the new courthouse
1994 The Sheriff's Office moved to the Public Safety Building
1985 A vertical expansion that added office and jail space
But as Paul Nelson, the original facilities manager who passed his title to Alfano in the 1980s,
can attest, the county always meant to keep costs down. A few years after the building opened,
Nelson was asked if he could cut openings in the jail cell bars so deputies could deliver food
trays without opening the doors.
Nelson said he was told by the architect that the jail cells were built with steel bars reinforced
with a carbide chip so they couldn't be cut easily. The sheriff insisted he try, however, so Nelson
sent one of his employees with a saber saw.
Sure enough, the bars yielded, and with no evidence of any carbide in the cut pieces. Nelson, now
81, isn't sure why he kept a few of the bars in his garage all these years, but he agreed they
exemplify how, even from the beginning, the building wasn't meant to be too extravagant.