Town Square

Cashing in on Kolln

Original post made on Sep 27, 2008

A majority on the Planning Commission went into last night's meeting convinced they wouldn't support the installation of an ATM on the historic Kolln Hardware building at Main and Division streets downtown. It's Old West elegance, complete with the distinguishing cupola that is almost as recognizable as the neon Pleasanton sign, has been restored for the past four years by owner Bud Cornett.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, September 25, 2008, 12:45 PM


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 27, 2008 at 8:37 pm

Here is an example of the ludricrousness that this group sometimes engages in. An ATM is a 3 foot by 5 foot device built into a wall. It seems they all got excited about nothing.

In the end they voted unanimously for the project to go forward. Of course, they had to because there is no foundation to their concern.

It's like watching a group engaging in self-flagellation and unanimously saying "yeah!" when they stop. Seems like they really do need a new leader.

Thanks to PW that shines light on these insanities.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 27, 2008 at 10:27 pm

"they were doing their best to make the cash machine look historic and blend in with its surrounding"

What came to mind when I read this? Vegas, baby! Some sort of gaudy imitation of an 1800s styled slot machine! Yea! How else does one make an ATM look "historic"?

Posted by Karen, a resident of Golden Eagle
on Sep 27, 2008 at 10:40 pm

Personally, I don't believe carving a hole through the most historic building in Pleasanton with a chainsaw to install an ATM machine is right. Why destroy the historic character of a treasured downtown buiding like this?

Can't they put the thing in a detached kiosk like other banks?

I hope the city council does not let this go through. If Pleasanton had a historic preservation district like other cities, this would never be permitted. There should be a historic preservation committee in Pleasanton before every other building of historic significance is compromised (hope 'frank' does not apply).

Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 27, 2008 at 11:55 pm

Oh my goodness. The owner has renovated and restored this building and now agrees that his tenant should install an ATM machine, but folks sitting in their Golden Eagle mansions have better ideas regarding what he should do with the money he spent. Give me a break! To make it sound awful they conjure up images of "chainsaws" and "carving a hole".

Posted by Ted, a resident of Birdland
on Sep 28, 2008 at 12:25 am

That is all we need in downtown-another bank, another ATM. Just kidding.

ATMs don't belong on the facades of historic, architecturally significant landmark buildings like Kolln Hardware. They don't allow them in historic buildings in New Orleans -- see this link Web Link -- so why have them mar a historic building in Pleasanton? I don't get it.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 28, 2008 at 8:16 am

Web Link

"The ATM will replace a window on Division street that was installed during reconstruction by building owner Norman Cornett."

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Sep 28, 2008 at 4:39 pm

If anybody is unhappy with the cash money that they withdraw from the Vegas style thing, PLEASE HAND IT OVER TO ME.

Yours truly,


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 28, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Here's the background piece on this $2MM renovation.

Web Link

This is Pleasanton, not New Orleans. The owner who spent $2MM thinks an ATM ought to be there. The city acknowledges that an ATM is a minor addition, which is supported by any standard of measure.

Certain members of our Planning Commission decided to appeal the approval but turned around completely to unanimously approve it. They waste their purpose for their existence and their right to authority to make political statements and force owners who have already invested in these projects to spend more money on nonsense. And the Pleasanton NIMBY's chime in with their support as if they have inalienable rights in these types of things.

Total nonsense. Period.

Posted by chris, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 29, 2008 at 10:32 am

Cholo, you made me laught, Good one!

Posted by PWeek Herman, a resident of Mission Park
on Sep 29, 2008 at 3:47 pm

Nearly all banks have ATMs nowadays. What's the problem with Comerica having one? Is the argument that it's not "historically accurate?" Well, the Kolln Hardware building was built in 1849 without electricty. So will Comerica have to use gaslights and manual adding machines too? And where will they put the trough for the horses?

Posted by iwastheretoo, a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 1, 2008 at 7:48 am

Hey Frank - you seem so unhappy about everything - why don't you run for office - or volunteer to serve on a Commission of some type - where you there in the audience and watched what happened or are you simply relying on the Weekly (or Weakly) - easier to throw shots at everyone and not be involved

Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 1, 2008 at 10:58 pm

So, I should join Alice and follow the white rabbit down the rabbit hole.

No thanks. Clearly my view looking down from a few thousand feet up gets under some people's skin. It should. If our representative bodies such as our Planning Commission spend their time this way (as reported in the PW), then criticism is justly deserved.

Today it's an ATM machine. Next, who knows, it may be newspaper stands!

Posted by Jim, a resident of Downtown
on Oct 2, 2008 at 12:04 am

I remember when Kolln hardware had the red radio flyer wagons lined up outside the side of their storefront with the big bear. I'd take the entire family down to Main Street because Kolln, a family-run business, represented the past and represented 'hometown,' with the uncomplicated quaintness that comes with it. Now a corporate giant, a sterile financial institution, in the form of all things, a commercial bank/S&L, takes it place? And instead of the red radio flyer wagons there is a jarring, out of place ATM machine.

It is no wonder that downtown has empty storefronts as last week's editorial discussed. As its charm is chipped away year by year and taken over by chains, it is no wonder that Pleasanton's downtown is losing its very essense that made it once a very special place.

Posted by chris, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 2, 2008 at 4:55 pm

Jim, I remember the wagons and the bear too....Actually I collect lamps and one of my favorite places to by lamps was at that was perfect on that corner and very charming....It is sad to see these family run business go away....

Posted by Another Gatetree Resident, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 2, 2008 at 5:12 pm


I couldn't have said it better myself. The emptiness of Main Street is of their own making.

Posted by Matt, a resident of Jensen Tract
on Oct 2, 2008 at 10:14 pm

As the chains move in with corporate backing, the rents go up higher and higher downtown, squeezing out the local businesses, who can no longer afford to be located on Main Street. Personally I have Comerica accounts and driving to Crow Canyon in San Ramon is no big deal. I just found out they are moving to Pleasanton and am very disappointed they would move into Kolln. There is not even a parking lot in back of Kolln Hardware so expecting people to drive downtown to visit the bank is wishful thinking on their part. If I keep my accounts in Comerica, I'll continue to drive to San Ramon.

Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 3, 2008 at 7:10 pm

So, it's red wagons and the bear instead of an ATM machine! Ahh, the good old days.

Now Mr. Matt's post is more revealing than you might suspect.

He DRIVES all the way to San Ramon from his Jensen Tract residence to do his banking. This is astounding, when doing banking transactions at a branch bank was something many left behind at least ten years ago. Ever heard of ATM machines? How about online banking and bill paying? Direct deposit?

All of that gas wasted, and carbon emissions, too!!!! Do you drive there in a big SUV?

So, suppose you MUST go to a branch, like the branch that Comerica is providing. You could walk from your Jensen Tract house to this branch in downtown Pleasanton and do your old-fashion branch banking. Or bike over. No need for parking, the bank came to you, so to speak. But you say you will still drive to San Ramon! Incredible!

Posted by Matt, a resident of Jensen Tract
on Oct 3, 2008 at 9:25 pm

I'm switching all accounts to Wells Fargo. The two trips I take to the bank each year in San Ramon where I work won't be needed anymore. I can tell Frank, if he works, works at Comerica, yes?

Posted by Change, a resident of Downtown
on Oct 4, 2008 at 1:38 pm

The ONLY thing certain is CHANGE! The objective is to make the changes as high quality as possible.

Posted by Darren, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 15, 2008 at 5:16 pm

I'm frustrated by people who strip Downtown Pleasanton's character away. We have cities surrounding us (Ex: Dublin & Livermore)that refer to Pleasanton's downtown character when developing their "downtowns". We are lucky in that we already have one; we just need to hang on to it. Realizing the great downtown we have and wanting to keep it must come from growing up here...Frank- When did you move to Pleasanton? Before you start going off on me about "having ever heard of an ATM" I'm part of Generation Y with technology being at my finger tips every step of the way but still I wouldn't compromise such a historic building with an ATM.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 15, 2008 at 5:34 pm

There's steel i-beams supporting the structure. Is that historic?

Posted by Darren, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 16, 2008 at 8:23 am

I think some people may be confusing safety and bringing a building to code with building character and a historic look. When did an ATM provide structural safety to a building? Does an ATM look historic on the outside of an 1800s building?

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 16, 2008 at 9:54 am

I think you're getting my point. Where is the line drawn? The building lacks a watering trough, a hitching post, and an awning. Should we tell the owner he must install those otherwise the building does not have its historic look? The sidewalk around the building additionally is made of cement and not wooden planks. That needs fixing otherwise people might get confused about what is historic. Lastly, the bank tellers should all be dressed in period costume.

Is an ATM installed in a window opening on the side of the building any more detrimental to the historic look of the building than the lack of the above-mentioned items? It is my guess that no one would mistake that building for something other than historic with the ATM installed.

Posted by When, a resident of Country Fair
on Oct 16, 2008 at 3:25 pm

When does something go from simply being old.... to historic? I love the look of the old design, but what is truely historic about the old hardware store other than its old?

Historic seems to be more of a good feeling about the past, than about the specific building. There was a time just 15 or so years ago when Main Street rolled up the carpets at 6:00PM at night and was more like a ghost town with seedy old bars dominating the landscape. A little perspecitve tells me its come a long way in a short amount of time. Now we're worried that an ATM is going to "ruin" the restoration of this great old building?

Posted by Darren, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 16, 2008 at 3:29 pm

You're right ATM fits in with a historic look from the 1800s...What was I thinking?

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 16, 2008 at 10:34 pm

Anyone ever seen those "retrofit" jobs on old buildings where the historic architecture of the facade is kept and juxtaposed with a modern architectural style on the retrofit and expansions? Horrendous. A removable ATM in a window opening that wasn't even part of the original building? Small potatoes.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 21, 2008 at 4:42 pm

I noticed today that the historic brick Johnston Building on the corner of Main and Rose, which also houses a bank, has an ATM built into an opening on the side (facing Rose).

Posted by !fereurora!, a resident of Ridgeview Commons
on Nov 3, 2008 at 6:22 am

Where is your ?
May be you prefer ?
With over 100 species of domestic and ?

Can't touch this!