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Growing support for proposed renovation of Barnsdall-Rio Grande Gas Station in Goleta

GOLETA, Calif. – Locals at the the Goleta Historic Preservation Commission on Monday voiced support for the proposed renovation for the iconic Barnsdall-Rio Grande Gas Station.

The original building was built in 1929 in a Spanish architectural style similar to most of the area but business tapered off in the 1950s after highway construction took the building off the state route.

Now, 34 years after Santa Barbara County honored the station as a historical landmark, Barry Winick and several other partners are looking to renovate the old building.

Crews will renovate the historic structure and add a new café, museum, electric bike station and several trees among other measures to highlight the building's history.

The applicant proposal, headed by Barry Winick, fielded several questions on the upcoming project.

One question came up about the proposed museum that will surround the new facility, one that applicant member Bill Medel answered will highlight the historical background in a modern fashion.

"The café door that flips up was supposed to mimic a mechanic's bay door that opens up," said Medel. "So we thought that was kind of neat to be part of the design."

Several homages to the legacy of the old gas station will remain a part of the new makeover, including bike charging stations shaped like the gas pumps that helped drivers all those years ago.

Another applicant member, Tim Hazeltine, shared his thoughts on the new direction for the historic landmark.

"A very small building that isn't very functional for commercial uses is going to have a new purpose," said Hazeltine. "Buildings with purposes last longer than buildings that are vacant."

Several committee members reacted positively to the proposed changes and public comments reflected this sentiment.

The next steps for the renovation plan involve additional meetings with the City before the full project is underway, including formal public hearings from several environmental and government agencies.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
barnsdall rio grande gas station
gas station
goleta historic preservation commission

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Caleb Nguyen


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