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Culture and Identity

Effort to save Atascadero's historic Printery Building gets assistance from SLO County

The Printery - The Masonic Temple, Landmark Facebook page
Atascadero's Printery Building has sat unattended for years

An effort to save Atascadero's historic Printery Building is getting some help from San Luis Obispo County Tax Collector Jim Erb. 

The building was scheduled to be put up for public auction on Saturday. Erb said Wednesday that state tax code gives him the leeway to pull it from the auction at this time and he feels that move is in the best interest of both the County and the citizens of Atascadero.

The century-old building was heavily damaged in the 2003 San Simeon earthquake and has sat vacant for many years.

Karen McNamara is President of the Atascadero Printery Foundation, the group working to save the building. She told KCBX that it's not financially feasible for anyone to save the building for commercial reasons, so her organization wants to raise $10 million to fix it up for other purposes.

"We want it to be a totally community-use building, something that's active every day," said McNamara. "Our focus is arts, history and education, and non-profits."

McNamara said she's convinced the group can raise the money in a reasonable amount of time. She said the goal now is to protect the building from any further damage it may receive from sitting vacant.

If the foundation is not able to take action in acquiring the building, including paying back taxes of $255,000, San Luis Obispo County must put it up for auction next year around this same time.