The City of Atascadero was founded in 1913 by Edward Gardner Lewis. His plan was to create a model community in his image. Lewis' plan was to create a civic center mall based on that of Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. He wanted the school to sit above the civic center on a hill, now called high school hill, because in Lewis' mind, education should be above all else. During the early years, many colony houses were built by newcomers to Atascadero. This tour outlines some historic Civic Center buildings, the old Atascadero Train Depot Location, as well as a few prominent colony houses.