The San Juan Bautista City Council unanimously approved on Sept. 21 the Luck Park Master Plan that includes a building with roll-up doors for the historical fire engine, keeping the Jim Jack Cabin in its current location, a performance area and band stand, and potentially an area for multi-generational games.
The one-acre property is located on Third Street between Monterey and Tahualami streets. It houses the library/museum and two historical structures: the Luck Gas Station built in 1919 and the Jim Jack Cabin, which dates back to the 1880s.
The year-long process of the master plan included several community meetings in which residents identified amenities such as open lawns, mature trees and keeping the Jim Jack Cabin and the historic fire truck in the park as priorities.
Councilmembers Mary Edge and Scott Freels said they did not see any point to moving the Jim Jack Cabin.
“I’m just worried about moving it and the damage that can be done,” Freels said.
He added that the cabin was placed there as an Eagle Scouts project in conjunction with the San Juan Bautista Historical Society.
To keep the Jim Jack Cabin in its current location, Anna Schmitz with RRM Design Group said the lawn area would need to be reduced.
“It needs some amount of access to and around it. You would also need some room for interpretation and maybe some seating which were all amenities that we wanted to add to the Jim Jack Cabin, so that people understood and could enjoy his legacy.”
To accommodate all aspects of the Jim Jack Cabin, Schmitz said the fire engine museum would need to be relocated near the library extension area on Second Street.
As an example of what he envisions for the fire engine museum, City Manager Don Reynolds showed photos of a building with a see-through rollup door and large windows that would allow residents to view the fire engine.
“That’s why we thought the fire truck exhibit was consistent with the historic nature of the park,” Reynolds said. “It’s not just a parking lot for an old truck.”
In the course of revising the design, Schmitz said that amenities were added such as pedestrian lighting, demonstration gardens, and more seating to the playground area.
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