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Update: Almond tower approved for National Historic Registry 

Derby Wine Estates


Update posted Jan. 29

Designation part of national program to support historic resources

–The State Historical Resources Commission determined the Paso Robles Almond Growers Association Warehouse is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.


Original story posted Jan. 8

Application will be considered in Sacramento on Jan. 29

–At the most recent Paso Robles City Council meeting, the council unanimously voted 5-0 to have the mayor sign a letter of support for the Almond Growers Association Warehouse historic nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.

The “Almond Growers Association Warehouse,” also known as the Farmer’s Alliance, is now the Derby Wine Estates building, located at 525 Riverside Avenue. In 2006 an historic evaluation concluded the building, built in 1922, is an historic resource.

Ray and Pam Derby, of Derby Wine Estates, moved to the Central Coast in the early 1990’s with the intention of retiring. In 1998 they purchased their first vineyard property, now known as Derbyshire Vineyard. In the years following, Ray acquired the historic Laura’s Vineyard in east Paso Robles and a westside property, Derby Vineyard. In 2008 Ray and Pam launched Derby Wine Estates and soon were looking for a building to serve as their grape processing location.

The building that is home to Derby Wine Estates was purchased in 2010 with grape processing and a tasting room in mind.

The project consisted of restoring the exterior of the original building façade including: painting the exterior in the original color; replacing/repairing the existing windows to the original condition; restoring the historic lettering “Paso Robles Almond Growers Association Building” on the parapet; retaining the existing diamond frames and incorporate a new sign for Derby winery on the tower; retaining and utilizing the existing roll up doors; and reusing the existing loading dock along the front of the building. Interior work included restoration of historic elements as recommended by the historic evaluation, and tenant improvements needed for the new winery use.

The project restored the architectural integrity and function of the building, and returned the building back to its original purpose of agricultural production.

The Derbys have applied to the State Historical Resources Commission to have the building included on the National Register of Historic Places. The State Historic Resources Commission will be considering the application at a meeting in Sacramento on Jan. 29.

Nominations for listing national historic properties come from State Historic Preservation officers. A professional review board in each state considers each property proposed for listing and makes a recommendation on its eligibility.

The commission is soliciting public comment on this matter and has contacted the City of Paso Robles regarding the process. The Derbys requested that the city provide a letter to the commission supporting the nomination.

In addition to honorific recognition, listing in the register has the following results for historic properties, according to the National Parks Service:

  • Consideration in planning for federal, federally licensed, and federally assisted projects
  • Eligibility for certain tax provisions
  • Qualification for federal grants for historic preservation, when funds are available.

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