A rare and iconic landmark unique to San Luis Obispo County, the Octagon Barn was on the verge of collapse when The Land Conservancy stepped in to save the building and revitalize the site for community benefit. Today, thanks to many dedicated volunteers and generous donors, The Land Conservancy has restored the historic Octagon Barn itself; however, more work is needed to complete the Octagon Barn Center and open the site for public use.
The structural restoration of the Octagon Barn has been a community effort that has involved tremendous local support since 1996. Hundreds of volunteers donated thousands of hours, and many local businesses have helped with materials and construction expertise. Today, we can proudly say that the century-old Octagon Barn structure has been saved from collapse.
With our Conditional Use Permit in hand, we have taken the first step towards transformation of a formerly private site into a public amenity with the fully restored Octagon Barn as the keystone element. The Octagon Barn Center will be a multi-use community asset that will host private and public events and serve as a new trailhead for the Bob Jones City-to-Sea Trail.
At this time, the Octagon Barn is not open for public events such as weddings or private parties. If you would like to be on a waiting list for the future, please contact us.
Built: Circa 1906 for dairy farming
Location: 4400 Octagon Way (on S. Higuera Street in San Luis Obispo, less than 1/4 mile south of Los Osos Valley Road)
Size: 77 feet wide and 80 feet tall
Volunteer Hours Accumulated: 8,500
Completion Target Date: 2015
Octagon Barn Center Project Highlights
Envisioned as a community gathering place at the edge of the country-city boundary, the Octagon Barn Center will provide opportunities for folks to:
- Explore San Luis Obispo County’s agricultural past, especially local dairy farming
- Gather and celebrate special occasions in a unique setting
- Learn about the importance of land conservation
- Ride a bicycle or walk along the future connecting stretch of the Bob Jones City-to-Sea Trail
- See the stories of local people come to life through the years
Raising a Barn, Raising a Community
The restoration of the Octagon Barn has been a community effort that has involved many people and local businesses. Literally thousands of volunteer hours have helped repair the barn piece by piece, making this project one of the Land Conservancy’s most popular efforts. Our volunteers have shared their memories of seeing the barn over the years and have woven their own stories of the barn with those of past generations. We have also had the support of many local businesses that have helped with materials and construction expertise. Today we can proudly say that the Octagon Barn structure has been successfully restored.
Vision for the Future
Plans are underway to transform the formerly private site into a public amenity with the fully restored Barn as the keystone element. The Octagon Barn Center will be a multi-use community asset that provides for local private and public events, and a place for generations of local residents, school groups, and area visitors to learn about the importance of agriculture in San Luis Obispo County. Click the link to view the Project Plans and Renderings.
With an anticipated opening date of 2015, the Octagon Barn Center will celebrate local agriculture and land conservation with displays highlighting the history and future of San Luis Obispo County’s landscapes. Rental fees for moderately scaled events such as barn dances, weddings, and festivals will provide self-sustaining funding for maintenance and upkeep of the facility.
History: How We Got Here
In 1997, while The Land Conservancy was working with the Hayashi Family to plant trees along San Luis Obispo Creek, the nearby Octagon Barn was a vacant shell of its historic past. The crumbling structure known by area residents and visitors for over 100 years was on its last legs. The Land Conservancy’s Executive Director at the time, Ray Belknap, approached the Hayashi Family with the idea of restoring the old barn. Ray recognized the rarity of the architecture, the symbolism- tying it to an agricultural landscape, and its potential for new life. In 1998, The Land Conservancy leased the Octagon Barn and began the huge undertaking of its restoration. Read more.
How You Can Help
Back when the barn was built, it was common for farmers, ranchers, and town folk to work together on barn raising events. We hope to capture this community vitality to support our current effort. Your help is needed to realize the dream of the Octagon Barn Center. Join us in raising a barn and raising our community! Click here for more ways you can help.
Major Project Funding Partners
- Forbes Family Foundation
- Utility Telephone
- Westland Engineering
- Hind Foundation
- San Luis Obispo County Parks
Thank you to all our community donors and partners who have supported this project in the past and who still continue to do so. Thank you to B.K. Richard, Land Conservancy Honorary Board of Trustee, who voluntarily acts as the Octagon Barn Project Coordinator. This project would not be possible without all of you!
Octagon Barn Links
- Raising a Barn, Raising a Community brochure
- History of the Pereira Octagon Barn document
- Octagon Barn’s Chain of Title
- Photo Gallery (coming soon!)