For over 35 years, arrivals to Los Osos/Baywood Park have been greeted by welcoming signs on Los Osos Valley Road and on South Bay Boulevard designed and painted by well-known Los Osos sign maker Robert Brooks.
The years were not kind to the signs and they were starting to fall apart, showing severe weathering and faded, peeling paint.
Celebrate Los Osos undertook the project of restoring the iconic Los Osos bear signs as one of our community projects.
In the Spring of 2013 local contractors Bob Crizer and Gerard Ages and sign maker Sean Beauchamp, of Southpaw Signs, along with CLO volunteers’ removed the old and tattered Los Osos Bear signs and started the restoration work.
The project turned out to be very complicated. Besides the faded peeling paint, the old redwood was dry, splitting and crumbling in places.
Volunteers sanded, glued, and rotary ground the signs in preparation for the art restoration. The wood was repaired, bracing was placed on the back of the signs, and steel reinforcing “L” brackets were placed on the sign posts.
The repainting and preservation work was done by Sean Beauchamp and muralist Rebecca McFarland.
The restoration was completed in Spring 2014 and in June the signs were reinstalled along South Bay Blvd and Los Osos Valley Road by Brandon Walker, Jerry Matheny, and Beauchamp.
Photos by Gene Kalland and Pandora Nash-Karner