The Osuna Adobe
By RSF Association President Jack Queen
I mentioned at a recent board meeting my concerns about the lack of noticeable improvements on the Osuna Ranch property.
My concern is primarily focused on the adobe house and its restoration. The horse operation and facility are actually very well maintained and operated in an extremely professional manner by our Ranch Supervisor Daria Quay. In addition, through the hard work of the Osuna Committee and Association staff, phase one of the Adobe Master Plan has almost been completed.
The main road has been completely redone to allow emergency vehicle access and the electric and water utilities have been converted. We await only the removal of the electric panel from the wall on the adobe and final approval of the lot split so the residence can be sold.
The adobe is another story. Structurally, the adobe house is in much better shape than when we purchased the property. After the purchase was completed, extensive work was done to stabilize the structure and to prevent the continued deterioration of the adobe walls. The stabilization project was very successful, however, we provided only enough funds to do what was necessary and the work left the building looking half finished. The holdup has been security funds to complete the renovation of the entire adobe house and to return it to its original condition and setting. Phase two of the Master Plan is in place—needing only the funds to get on track. The Osuna Committee and Osuna Adobe supporters are attempting to raise funds to complete the work through their Osuna Amigo program, but have had limited success. It has proven to be very difficult to raise funds given the current economic conditions. Not only are available funds decreasing but the number of organizations needing assistance for other worthwhile projects, is increasing.
As you may know, the construction of the Osuna Adobe and the issuance of its land grant in 1831 is considered to be the first in Southern California so it is very disappointing for me to see that nothing is currently happening that will address restoration of our adobe — especially disappointing considering the large financial investment our Association made to save the adobe almost six years ago. This site is truly a jewel in the rough and has the potential to be a real community asset and something that is truly unique in California history. I feel that any investment today will generate benefits that will enhance our community for decades to come. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, I would love to hear them.