Best of 2001: Best Use Of A Bank Vault

Safe Deposit Box Vault,
Courtyard By Marriott

530 Broadway, Downtown

This is the place to hold the meeting where the family lawyer tells you you've inherited Grandma's entire La Jolla waterfront estate. Yippee! And even if it goes to your sister, you can break down and rant and rave in the comforting knowledge that nobody hears you. Why? Because you're below ground in the old 1928 safety-deposit box vault of the historic San Diego Trust and Savings Bank. The building was a jewel in the crown of architect William Templeton Johnson. The red-carpeted vault once kept untold millions of dollars' worth of high-society jewels between social seasons. It's now a Courtyard by Marriott hotel, and the new owners have turned it into a small conference room, complete with two-foot-thick circular vault door. For $300 to $350, you can take 14 family members and lawyers and powwow all day. For $10.95 a head they'll bring you breakfast. Only thing is, if you're feeling mad, you can't lock the rest of the family in: the door is now sealed open.

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