Touchstone Completes Latest Gym in Retrofitted Post Office

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Touchstone The Post roped climbing
The Post adds 16,000 square feet of newly opened roped climbing and 6,500 square feet of bouldering to the Touchstone chain of gyms―a network which spans 14 public facilities and a team training center. (All images courtesy of Touchstone)

Touchstone The Post
Pasadena, California

Specs: Touchstone held a soft opening for The Post, the California gym chain’s 15th location, in June of last year. According to Heather Bellgreen, Touchstone’s Marketing Director, “most of the facility was ready for use as just a bouldering gym.” More features were in the works and have been opened since then, including 40-foot roped climbing walls and a weight room. With the addition of its roped walls, The Post now offers 22,500 square feet of total climbing surface.

 

The first Touchstone gym opened back in 1995 in the Mission district of San Francisco. “The [original] gym captured the imagination of the city and immediately set a new standard for indoor climbing facilities,” said Bellgreen. Today, Touchstone has grown to become the third largest chain of climbing gyms in North America. “Before we build a gym, we want to find an area that we feel has a lot of climbers who aren’t yet being served,” Bellgreen said of Touchstone’s gym planning ethos. “We work with existing buildings because we love old buildings! Oftentimes we’ll find buildings with a lot of character but are under threat of being torn down. Adaptive reuse allows us to breathe new life into old buildings and preserve some of the area’s history.”

Old post office building
As its name alludes to, The Post is located in a former post office which has since been repurposed for climbing, a three-year project that came to completion last year.

That process was certainly the case for The Post, which is housed in an old U.S. post office building that Touchstone began retrofitting for indoor climbing in 2019. After experiencing several supply chain shortages, the gym’s construction was slowed until late 2021 when the walls started arriving. “We began working full steam ahead to get this gym open to members as soon as possible,” Bellgreen said.

Part of that work involved making room for the roped walls, while preserving as much of the original building as possible. “This was a pretty involved project,” added Bellgreen. “Not only were we raising the roof of an existing building and building a brand-new structure, but that structure needed to be excavated down by ten feet.” The recently opened roped walls include crack features and a 10-meter speed wall to go with the gym’s bouldering walls, training boards (Moon Board, Tension Board and Touchstone Board), and climbing and fitness classes.

Bouldering at Touchstone The Post
Bouldering is a fixture at The Post and all of Touchstone’s climbing facilities, a handful of which are bouldering-only gyms, in terms of the climbing offerings.

Walls: Walltopia
Flooring: Flashed
CRM Software: RGP
Website: touchstoneclimbing.com/the-post/
Instagram: @ThePostClimbing

In Their Words: “Touchstone is over the moon to bring this incredible gym to Pasadena! After years of planning and tons of hard work from our team, we finally have opened our doors to The Post. We are so proud of this gym and excited to start building the climbing community here in Pasadena.” – Heather Bellgreen, Marketing Director