By Margaret Magnus
It has taken four years, but the Visitor Center/Caretaker Quarters, built in 1994 for Agnes Baron, has been refurbished. The result is a more welcoming, more comfortable and easier-to-maintain center.
LEAKY ROOF REPLACED
For many more years, the roof leaked. It continued to leak despite one complete, but poor, repair job and two attempts to patch it. However, with limited means, continued patching was the only option.
In 2010, there were finally funds to fully address the issue. The Board asked Phil Riege of Coastal Constructors, Inc., the contractor for the Workshop, to do the job. The existing roof and skylight were completely removed, and a new roof and skylight were installed at a cost of $10,121.
NEW TILE FLOORS
When Leslie and Samantha Bridger arrived at Meher Mount in June 2010, they wanted to upgrade the Caretaker Quarters which included two bedrooms and a bathroom. They purchased and installed a new tile floor. A donor then stepped in to make funds available for tile throughout the rest of the building with Leslie doing the work.
Previously, the concrete floor had been painted red and showed every speck of dust and footprint. It constantly looked as if no one had cleaned. The new floor is much easier to keep clean – and it is more attractive.
A KITCHEN UPGRADE
Next on the agenda was the kitchen. With a donation from the Bridgers and Meher Mount funds, new kitchen cabinets were purchased that provided more storage and improved the working and look of the kitchen. A new kitchen table, chairs and bench made this a great eating area.
HEAT AND COLD
Meher Mount is blessed with a wide range of temperatures – including some very hot days in the summer and very cold Southern California days in the winter.
Previously, during the hot days of summer, the Manager/Caretakers would put a number of fans throughout the building to make the heat a little more bearable.
In 2014, Meher Mount completed installation of a new heating/air conditioning system for the entire building. On a hot summer day, the reception area is a welcome retreat for visitors.
Added to these major changes were new bathroom fixtures and repairs, new ceiling fans, and new bookcases to house the Meher Mount library. All of these changes created a more cohesive look and feel to the interior of the Visitor Center.
PAINTING THE OUTSIDE
Finally, the outside of the building was repaired and painted. Leslie Bridger worked on the doors, and Meher Mount hired a professional to repair the stucco and paint the house and trellis.
In keeping with the design vocabulary set by the Workshop and Topa Topa Patio, the house was painted a very light sandstone color and the trellis matched the green on the patio trellis and Workshop roof.
Come see the changes for yourself and enjoy the day at Meher Mount.