Dmitri and Kitty Fridman outside Vertigo Coffee.

May is National Preservation Month, and historic preservation is considered as a tool for managing growth and sustainable development, revitalizing neighborhoods, fostering local pride, and maintaining community character while enhancing livability. At its May 20 meeting, on behalf of the San Juan Bautista Planning Commission and the citizens of San Juan Bautista, the City Council recognized Dmitri and Kitty Fridman for their adaptive reuse of the 1930s industrial building at 81 Fourth Street: Vertigo Coffee. A certificate of recognition was awarded to them at Vertigo later that week.

The San Juan Bautista Planning Commission recently implemented a program to recognize business owners that have made significant improvements to their properties in commercial areas that enhance and maintain the overall area and help attract visitors to the City. The guidelines are the Secretary of the Interior Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, which “are intended to promote responsible preservation practices that help protect our Nation’s irreplaceable cultural resources.”  

“In these difficult economic times, we need to maintain our spirit as a community as we weather the storm,” said Wanda Guibert, a member of the San Juan Planning Commission. “Business owners like the Fridmans help the public see that there is hope for the economic recovery of our city. In this case, actions speak louder than words, specifically, preserving, rehabilitating and restoring an existing resource at 81 Fourth St. in San Juan Bautista.”

The Fridaman’s did the following work on their building:

  • Upgraded the entire structure while retaining its character-defining features
  • Extended the economic life of the building
  • Engaged local craftsmen
  • Complied with City regulations
  • Exemplified adaptive reuse to house a local business

They have not only adapted the building housing their business, but also continually adapt their offerings to meet local needs from coffees to brick-oven pizzas and a variety of sweet and savories menu options.