Tahoe Conservancy demolishes Urgent Care

Laney Griffo
Special to the Sierra Sun

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — As snow continuously fell, California Tahoe Conservancy staff and demolition crews gathered to watch the destruction of the long-lived Urgent Care building on Lake Tahoe Boulevard.

On Tuesday, April 19, while doing a final walk-through of the building, the people present shared different stories of their time visiting the Urgent Care. The inside isn’t completely gutted and there are still remnants of its past life, such as the chart holders on the wall.

But, while it is sad to see the destruction of an old building, it will ultimately help the environment as CTC prepares to stabilize the ground underneath.

CTC staff prepare for demolition.
Laney Griffo/Tahoe Daily Tribune

“Historically, before regional planning began in Lake Tahoe, people developed on environmentally sensitive lands in our community including wetlands, meadows and even in our forests. All of that hurts our water quality,” said Erica Uhor, land management program lead, CTC.

The Urgent Care building was built during the 1950s on a stream environment zone, so not only was it damaging to water quality, the building also frequently flooded.

The CTC acquired the property in April 2021 as part of a longer-term plan to stabilize the surrounding area. In 2016, they acquired the land adjacent to the urgent care, and demolished the building which was previously a smoke shop.

Uhor is careful to note that their goal is not to restore the land, it’s simply to stabilize it.

Prior to demolition day of the urgent care, crews went in and pulled some of the more dangerous building materials, such as asbestos and lead paint. Then, on that Tuesday, they completely demolished the building and cleaned up the debris.

Destruction of the building, which was done by Thomas Haen Company, only took about an hour. Uhor, who worked hard on preparing for the day, said it was gratifying to see the first bite taken out of the building.

Gallery caption: Demolition of the site only took about an hour. | Laney Griffo/

“Once we are in grading season, starting May 1, our constructor will rip up the parking lot and the foundation,” Uhor said. “Then, there will be minor tilling and minor grading, then some mulch set.”

“All of the work will only be done in the developed area, we don’t really want to touch the soils that are already native,” Uhor continued.

CTC acquired the site in April 2021.

The site will never be developed again and precautions will be taken to ensure that people don’t camp or park on the site.

“This lot is in an SEZ, so we can provide measures on this lot that will eventually protect the lake and the whole basin,” Uhor said.

The CTC has done similar projects around town and is in the process of acquiring the Motel 6.

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Laney Griffo is a staff writer for the Tahoe Daily Tribune, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at

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