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SLO Tore Down Chinatown to Put Up a Parking Garage and Hotel

Updated: Jan 3, 2021


  • Council tears down Chinatown to put up a parking lot

  • Back in the day, cars mattered more than someone else's culture


  • Chinatown Historical District is formed

  • Consists of parking lot, and four historical buildings

Chinatown Historical District Sign (Photo courtesy of Elliot Gong)


  • One of the four historical buildings is demolished so Hotel San Luis Obispo's "50,000-square-foot footprint would not be diminished by 1,000 square feet of Shanghai Low at the top left corner" (Papp).


  • Two of SLO County's goals are a car-free city, and reaching carbon neutrality

  • Yet the proposed first step is to demolish a historic building to create a REP Theater and 400 parking space garage

  • The Environmental Impact Report states the REP Theater cannot be built "unless the historic Heyd Adobe (which takes up a 10th of the site) is demolished" (Papp).

  • Placing the REP theater somewhere else was not considered

  • Relocating the Heyd Adobe elsewhere was not considered

Works Cited

Papp, James. “SLO Tore down Chinatown to Put up a Parking Lot. Now a Historic Adobe May Have to Go Too.” Sanluisobispo, San Luis Obispo Tribune,

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