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Community works to save Atascadero's dilapidated Printery Building

The Printery - The Masonic Temple, Landmark Facebook page

A decision on what will become of the century-old building in Atascadero is looming closer as a last-ditch effort to save the troubled landmark gets underway.

Because of unpaid back taxes, the building will be put up for online public auction on May 14.

The deadline for entering an objection to that auction is now set for Friday, March 31.

Taxing entities, like the City of Atascadero, have the ability to enter an objection to an auction sale, but must first indicate an intention to purchase. In this case, the City has declined to so.

"We don’t have an intent to purchase it," said Terrie Banish, Atascadero's Deputy City Manager. "There’s quite a bit involved with the Printery Building. The person who would purchase it—the owner—would be responsible for its historical preservation, and the cost to do that are not in any budget."

A newly-formed local nonprofit called the Atascadero Printery Foundation is attempting to raise the funds to buy the property and ultimately turn it into a community center for public activities.

As time runs out, Foundation backers believe a ground swell of community support could save the day, despite all the intricate City and County legal issues at play.

"We do believe the money’s out there," said Karen McNamara, spokesperson for the foundation. "There’s a lot of foundations that want historic buildings preserved, and the Atascadero community is really behind this project."

The building was severely damaged in the 2003 San Simeon Earthquake, but survived only to fall into disrepair and become an attractive location for squatters and illegal activity.