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City of Pismo Beach to discuss re-purposing historic building

Posted at 10:39 PM, Jun 03, 2022

Some Pismo Beach residents are concerned about a project that would re-purpose a historic building.

Old City Hall in Pismo Beach has sat vacant and has been used mostly for storage since 1995.

The city is now planning to build a new fire station and expand the police station.

"There is pretty much no older building in the City of Pismo Beach," said Effie McDermott, author of 'Pismo Beach History, the Book'. "This building is older than the pier, it's older than the brick hotels."

Old City Hall was built as a schoolhouse in 1923. It was damaged by an earthquake and later bought by the city in the 50s.

The building served as city hall until 1995 when it moved to its current location on Mattie Road.

"It's so beautiful and so significant. Many of us have walked these halls and come to council meetings here. There are still people in town who went to school here," said McDermott.

The building has sat mostly vacant since the 90s and has been deteriorating ever since.

The city now wants to transform it into a new fire station while expanding the police station next door.

"One of the important components of the project has been to preserve the façade in some way as part of the project," said Pismo Beach Assistant City Manager Jorge Garcia.

The current proposal would involve shifting the façade closer to Wadsworth Avenue and Bello Street and building the new fire station behind.

Some residents are now raising concerns about the proposed rebuild.

"The latest plan submitted which is gonna be considered on Tuesday has nothing left of this building," said McDermott. "I believe that we should be able to save this brick front. I would like them to save the stairs. I don't know how far I'm gonna get with that though."

The city says it is working to address those concerns.

"We have come up with options that would preserve the façade and the façade means the front wall of the building, the entrance, the steps, and the mosaic tiles," said Garcia.

Others are stepping in with ideas of their own.

"I felt there were a lot of problems that were presented to the council last, option C," said Henry Meyers, owner of the Kon Tiki Inn.

Meyers has come up with a plan he says will preserve the façade of the building. He hopes the city council will consider it on Tuesday.

"That is a big part of the history of Pismo Beach, there are those that do want to preserve it so this plan does help accomplish that," said Meyers.

The city council will hear input from the public with the goal of improving response times in the city while staying true to its history.

"The value is your history, it's like having a birth certificate and knowing where you came from," said McDermott. "People drive by this and it's a beautiful old building and it brings back memories."

It's important to note that no final decision will be made on Tuesday.

The architect hired by the city will present a new design for the project.