Aug 15, 2013 12:27 AM by John Reger

GQ: Are Atascadero's Sunken Gardens really sunken? Where are the gardens?

One of Atascadero's iconic landmarks is the Sunken Gardens Park in front of the administration building which reopened this month. Roberta Galves wants to know: Where are the actual gardens? And are they sunken?

The grassy field in front of the old administration rotunda is about one foot, nine inches lower than the surrounding sidewalk. You can see the slope near the edge of the field. When it was landscaped in 1914 grading was done with mules pulling construction equipment.

E.G Lewis wanted to mimic an English garden that was part of the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis so he included roses, hedges, paths, a fountain and cypress trees all around.

The roses were gone by the 1940's along with other vegetation. A gas station went up in one corner and the paths were dug up and covered with sod in the 50's. The gas station disappeared in the 60's. The walkways were restored in 2005.

The administration building that was damaged in the San Simeon earthquake reopened August 2nd after a 22-million dollar renovation.

Free, family-friendly movies are being featured at the Gardens on Saturday nights in August.
This Saturday they're showing the animated "Despicable Me" at 8:30pm.

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