One of Atascadero’s oldest public buildings faces demolition unless it is saved by a last-minute effort by the Atascadero Historical Society.
The structure, known to locals for about 90 years as the Boy Scout Log Cabin, needs to be moved from its location next to Atascadero Creek and the Atascadero Unified School District Office. The site is also marked by the narrow bridge that was built by the Colony Holding Corporation in 1922 to get passengers from the new train station to the center of town. Estimates put construction of the log cabin building in the late 1920s. The exterior consists of half-round “logs.”
Construction of a new 50,000-square foot, two-story junior high school building is the reason the little cabin has to go. The district wants to build a new access road to the junior high that will get vehicles to the cafeteria area without having to go across a campus filled with students, as it does currently. The new access road would go between the district office and the creek.
According to Jim Wilkins, president of the Atascadero Historical Society, his organization wants to save the structure, which was home to the community’s first Scouts and other organizations. The school district took use of the building many years ago, and the last time I was in there — probably in the 1990s — the building was divided into offices. A small barbecue/patio exists on the side facing the creek.
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The Atascadero Historical Society has been working with the school district and the city of Atascadero to get the permits to move the building off the district’s property, Wilkins said. The society also is trying to get a permit from Caltrans to use a portion of Highway 41 to move the building onto a 3-acre site, which was historically known as “Hotel Park” and where the new Colony Heritage Center will be built, he said. This is the same site where Tent City was located in 1915 and is next to the new Atascadero Library. The move is estimated to cost $21,000, Wilkins said. “We have $15,000 at this point.”
Besides getting the necessary permits and another $6,000, the organization also must accomplish the move within a week. The school district is giving the society until July 1 to move the building, which sits on a concrete foundation. The district wants to knock it down, saying the about 60-by-30-foot building is in poor condition and may not even survive a move.
Donations to help save the building may be mailed to Atascadero Historical Society, P.O. Box 1047, Atascadero, 93423.