In a few short months, the grounds of the Price Historical Park in Pismo Beach will start to transform with a parking area, a future site for public restrooms, and an all-weather road to prevent volunteers’ cars from sticking in the mud when the area finally gets some rain.
And that’s just the beginning.
On Thursday, Friends of Price House will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the first phase of construction on the seven-acre city park.
The ceremony also marks the culmination of seven years of work by the nonprofit group to update a master plan for the park and guide it through the city approval process.
Friends of Price House formed 22 years ago to lead restoration and preservation efforts at the park for the city of Pismo Beach. The park is located off Highland Drive east of Highway 101 and the Pismo Beach sports complex, with a view of Price Canyon Road.
The Pismo Beach City Council approved the master plan in August 2013. It calls for a picnic grove, play area, creek-side trail, interpretive historical features and gazebo, among other improvements.
The plan will maintain the rural look and feel of the property and preserve its historical integrity, said longtime Pismo Beach resident Effie McDermott, president of Friends of Price House since 2006.
“We’ve been working on houses and structures and orchards for so long, but now we’re going to build the park,” McDermott said. “I am so excited.”
The Price Historical Park features the six-room home of John Michael Price and his wife, Andrea, who raised 13 children. John Price built the home in 1893, just before his 50th wedding anniversary.
But the couple had lived on the property for about 40 years by that time, occupying two adobe homes. Portions of the original adobe walls remain today.
Over the past 22 years, Friends of Price House has replaced the Price Anniversary House's foundation, roof and electrical wiring, rebuilt the porches, rehabilitated the interior walls and planted an orchard.
McDermott said there’s still some work to be done on the house, including sanding and staining the staircase and installing a stove.
“It’s an old wooden structure so it’s an ongoing project,” she said.
The park also features the 1905 home of Price’s daughter, Mary Ann Meherin, which was moved there in 2001.
The first phase of park improvements includes underground utilities, including sewer hookups for public restrooms; a parking area; an all-weather road for emergency access; and a segment of the federally-designated Juan Bautista de Anza historic trail.
Other improvements will include a small grassy play area, walking paths, landscaping around the homes, a gazebo and a utility building.
McDermott expects all of the improvements to be completed in five years.
The total project cost is estimated at $600,000. The City Council has approved $239,000 for the first phase of the project using park development funds.
Donations and grants to the Friends of Price House have paid for restoration of the homes over the years.
If you go
A groundbreaking ceremony for Price Historical Park will be held Thursday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 100 Rancho Pismo Drive in Pismo Beach.
Tours of the Price Anniversary House and grounds are given by appointment.
For information, go to www.pricepark.org.