I’ve been hanging out for the past week near the Central Coast of California in a campground in the hills between Morro Bay and Atascadero. Some days, I go into Morro Bay for a macchiato, a walk on the beach, a sand dollar or two, a bite of fresh fish, and some days, I go into Atascadero for a thrift shop spree, or a wifi connection and an iced white tea at Starbucks.
Today in Atascadero, I saw this amazing building just a block or two off the main drag. Turns out, it’s the City Hall building, and although it was originally completed in 1918, it was closed in 2003 after a 6.5 earthquake caused major structural damage. It reopened ten years later, after the earthquake repair and unreinforced masonry retrofit was completed, and it’s a fabulous structure, with exhibits and displays inside, as well as the building itself being “on display.”
I commented to the receptionist about the beautiful building and she gave me the number for the Historical Society docent who leads tours that include areas not accessible to the public, such as the room above the dome. I continued to explore the exhibits, and before I left the building, she asked me if I’d like to join a tour taking place tomorrow morning. Of course, I said, yes!
And then she told me the tour was for 38 third-graders.
I may live to regret that immediate response – but tomorrow morning, I’ll be a quasi-adult-go-along for this large group of elementary kids. Ought to be hoot, no?
We’ll get to go to the room above the dome (yay!) as well as tour through the other floors for an hour or so, and I’m hoping to see some evidence of that retrofit. Whatever we end up with, I know it’ll be fun. And entertaining. It’s been a very long time since I’ve gone anywhere with 8-year-olds.
I am truly excited!
I also can’t think of a better way to celebrate Building Safety Month (which happens every May) than to tour a retrofitted unreinforced masonry building. *Yay for Building Safety Month!
If you’re in the area, go check it out. It’s a gorgeous building, inside and out, with interesting historical exhibits… and it’s bound to be an interesting tour!
*I guess, once a building inspector, always a building inspector 😀