Skip to Main Content

Researching San Luis Obispo County History

Resources for researching San Luis Obispo County and the Central Coast

Researching a SLO building or site

Historic records can be a rich source of research on historic sites or buildings. 

Helpful information to have on a site as you conduct your research: current address, historic address, block and lot information, names of individuals and families who lived there, tract name.

General search Tools for researching a building or site in City of San Luis Obispo:

Very specific turn-of-the-19th century sources that are digitized:

Historical research reports provide information on historic areas and structures, try searching "city name" and "Historic context" online. Here are some selections for SLO city

Resources from Local Government

Interactive Map with Selected of historical properties from SLO City Mapping & GIS Division

Historic District boundaries from SLO City Mapping & GIS

Permits Collection

Application for Building Permit Do you think the building or site you are researching was may have a permit before 1937? The SLO Building Permits Collection contains over 4,000 building permits issued between 1906-1937 on new and existing construction in SLO City. Search the inventory to the collection at the link above, or browse the permit viewer.

Search Tips

Search tips:

  • Address are not always assigned when the building is constructed. Try searching by block and lot information. 
  • Sometimes the specific address is not listed. Try phrases like "700 Block Higuera" or the cross streets
  • The people who resided/owned the building may be an additional search term, so try searching names of inhabitant