Physical Qualities of the Ah Louis Store
Updated: Jan 3, 2021
Ah Louis Store (Photo courtesy of Elliot Gong)
The Ah Louis Store was a general merchandise store, and pharmacy. It was originally built with wood in 1874, but twelve years later, it was renovated and built with brick. One local newspaper reporter described, "The new brick building of Ah Louis...is an ornament to that part of the city, as it would be to any part, and shows the proprietor to be an enterprising, competent business man. The building is...two stories in height, the front stuccoed and having an iron-railed piazza over the Palm Street front. The main room on the lower floor is designed and furnished with shelving, draws [drawers], counters, etc. for a store; another good-sized room for storage of goods; another for a private room and office; and a hallway....The upstairs is divided into six rooms for sleeping apartments." The building can still be seen on Palm Street today, but what the inside looked of the store like is a question that many are left wondering. Below is a description of the interior from the National Park Service.
Interior of the Ah Louis Store:
The downstairs consists of built-in wooden shelves, which line three of the four walls.
Made of painted California redwood
Storage room in the back of the store
Lined with rough timber shelves which stored merchandise
Walls not covered by cabinetry are plastered
Floors and ceilings of both floors are made of wooden planks
The room dividers are made of redwood planks
Upstairs interior retains the original room dividers
The walls and ceilings retain the original wallpaper from the late Victorian Era
The upstairs consists of six rooms
One Living Room
Connected by central hallway
Renovations of the original building in the 1900s
Small toilet in the downstairs storage room
Storage room upstairs was converted into a bathroom
Two glass windows were installed in the front of the store, because it was a fashionable trend
Original counters in the downstairs store were removed
Modern two-car garage built
HISTORY IN SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY Site Created and Maintained by Lynne Landwehr, www.historyinslocounty.org/Ah Louis Store.htm.