Paradise Lost

12th And Park Street

APRIL 2, 2004

Barb and I were greeted wonderfully by the old berg as we parked on Pine Street and started walking toward the epicenter of December's tragedy. There's nothing like a warm spring day to wring out all the beauty of blue skies, bright blooms and new leaves. Paso Robles in full color! But this real reminder of that horrible day was nothing to rejoice about.

Alley Way  Old Basement Dates

With demolition finished on these two corners, there are still a number of red-tagged stores that need repair,

Closed for Now

including the last original wing of rooms bordering Spring Street at the PR Inn. The old IOOF building, which was reinforced recently has been restored to look better than ever.


In fact, downtown Paso has never looked better. Martha Stewart colors have been brushed on previously mundane looking establishments, creating a touristy feel that wasn't enjoyed 40 years ago.


The new Safety Facility adds to the newer than new feel. It's located a block south of the city park.

Safety Facility

The poor old Carnegie Library turned museum has hiccups to contend with as these pictures show.

Carnegie01  Carnegie02

The park itself is still the central focus for strollers, picnickers and wanderers who need a good snooze.

MerryGoRound  ParkWalk

An added bonus to the quaint surroundings is the big "Hole in the Parking Lot" just south of the new library and across from the Inn. The sweet smell of sulfur water continues to flow underground. The city is pumping it to the water treatment plant, since pumping it directly into the river would violate OSHA rules about hazardous chemicals. Go figure!

Fountain of Smells

Of course, some things haven't  changed, like the old Headhunters barber shop on Spring Street.


At the north end of town, our old Alma Mater stands shrouded behind cyclone fencing, waiting for the demolition/repair crews to begin their task. Will there be a redesigned exterior? How about a replanting of ivy? Yeah, right!

OldHighSchool-Pan OldHighSchool

It's only a matter of time before 'Almost Paradise' will be rebuilt, regained, and hopefully renamed.