BUENA PARK, Calif. (KABC) -- A major piece of Southern California amusement park history was destroyed when a former Knott's Berry Farm building went up in flames on Thanksgiving night.
Known simply as The Barn, the structure was the workshop for thrill-ride pioneer Bud Hurlbut, the man who designed several attractions for Knott's starting in the 1950s.
"It's a sad piece of history to see it go that way," said Allen Palovik, who's worked at Knott's Berry Farm for 49 years and is considered the park's unofficial historian.
Among the rides created in The Barn is the Timber Mountain Log ride, one of the first rides of that kind in the United States.
"The whole log flume, free-flowing waterway -- that was all created by Bud and conceived over there," Palovik told Eyewitness News.
Palovik said another major innovation to come out of The Barn is the hidden queue -- where the long, winding lines were tucked away underneath the Calico Mine Ride, out of sight.
"You can't see that line, and you don't know how big a line that is," Palovik said, explaining the psychology behind the idea. "So that's not going to discourage people from going onto the ride.. That's become an industry standard now."
Palovik says Knott's Berry Farm sold the The Barn to the city of Buena Park more than a decade ago. It was empty at the time of the fire, the cause of which is still under investigation.