I am very upset that this city allowed a Colony-era building in the heart of the business district to be torn down. Heavy equipment razed the building in what seemed a couple days last week. All that remains of Mrs. Scott’s Bonita Gift Shop is a concrete slab. By the time you are reading this that, too, may be gone.

The building was constructed in 1925, the same year the building on the north side, built by Doctor J.E. Doran, was built. We all know it as Atascadero Market.

Right next door another historic building is being remodeled to look like it did when it was constructed and opened in the spring of 1924. The red-brick structure was the first post office in the downtown. That business owner deserves our collective thanks for blasting off the stucco exterior to return the building to its original appearance. Additionally, he has spent a pile of money making the structure earthquake safe.


Just down the street the Zappas family has begun a project that will fill in a large hole left by the former Golden Way buildings.

Before any downtown buildings are knocked down ample public exposure should be promulgated to us citizens. We need to know in advance what is proposed. Otherwise, you just get square boxes like the ones nearing completion on the corner of El Camino Real and Morro Road, which I like to refer to as the “R&R” mart — right turn only in, right turn only out.

People often ask me if Atascadero has a design theme. My first instinct is to say, “Yes, early Tijuana.”

Surely, we can do better.

Lon Allan,