It has faced the wrecking ball more than once — and survived.
Now the Peacock House in Hart Park has a whole new life ahead of it.
At a small gathering Wednesday morning in front of the Depression-era adobe structure that has crouched on the east side of Hart Park since 1939, Kern County Supervisor Mike Maggard announced that the county of Kern is committed to saving and repurposing the modest building.
To those who fought to save the historic adobe, Maggard's words were a revelation.
"We're doing this with community development funds," Maggard said to the group that was probably most responsible to raising awareness about the historic house — and ultimately pushing for its preservation.
It wouldn't have happened, he said, without the vision of many of those present, representatives of the Hart Park Working Group, the Kern River Parkway Foundation and other organizations and individuals.
"Bidding will start in March 2020, construction will begin in April 2020," Maggard said. "Our goal is to have it completed by June 2020."
The house, built in 1939 by the Depression-era WPA just 10 years after the park was dedicated in 1929, has been in danger of demolition for years, but those interested in preserving the history of the park and its landmarks have fought to keep the house standing.
Bill Cooper, co-founder of the Kern River Parkway, recalls driving through the park in 2009 when he saw crews demolishing one of the adobe buildings next to the Peacock Adobe.
"I stopped and asked what the (expletive) was going on and the contractor said he was going to take them all down. I told him to stop and started making phone calls," Cooper remembered.
Later county officials told him he had to take it by lease because they had no plans for it other than demolition as it was deemed a seismic hazard and an eyesore.
"I leased it through the Kern River Parkway Foundation and struggled to find a purpose and help on it," he said.
The foundation had the property surveyed, and insured, had a conceptual plan completed, had a qualified engineer develop a seismic retrofit plan — but struggled with a real-use plan and, of course, money.
"The county offered nothing," he said. "I eventually gave up the lease and accepted the fact that it would be demolished."
Enter the infamous $5 parking fee proposal for Hart Park.
According to Cooper and Maggard, the idea to charge an entry fee at the park had a positive effect: While it was rejected by overwhelming public response, it renewed local interest in a regional park that had been neglected for years.
Now the vision is to transform the structure into an attractive amenity in the park. As an interpretative and visitor center, volunteers will operate the center, adding information and education to the visitor experience.
Ann Gallon, a member of the working group, asked Maggard if the half-million dollars earmarked for the project will remain in Kern County by employing local contractors and workers. Maggard answered in the affirmative.
"I'm sure it will," said the county supervisor, adding that he didn't think the job would require bringing someone in from out of county.
Maggard lauded County Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop for not only backing the plan, but setting in motion multiple other improvements at the park, from repairing and remodeling restrooms to developing trailheads, fencing and signage.
But once the Peacock House project is complete, the job of operating the center must be done by volunteers. And he challenged those present to come through big time.
"We have to find volunteers ... people with vision, on how to use the building," he said.
There are many possibilities, he said. But time is short.
"We need to act with a sense of urgency," he said. "The opportunity exists now to get this done. But we can't let our foot slip off the gas pedal."