Sunday, January 25, 2015

Downtown Hollister Historic District: 401 San Benito Street

Today, the two-story commercial building at the southeast corner of San Benito and Fourth Street is a church. Originally, the building at 401 San Benito Street was a grocery store. It was built in 1907 to replace the first building destroyed in the 1906 Earthquake. It is a contributing building to the Downtown Hollister Historic District, which means that the owners cannot demolish it until certain measures are met. The storefront was remodeled for a modern look in the 1970s.

This historic building is one-of-a-kind in Downtown Hollister. It has two square corners, which remind me of castles. The fancy parapet at top of the roof has a cheerful curved middle section, which makes me think of the Three Musketeers.  And, the balcony on the second floor, well, that brings Romeo and Juliet to mind.

By the way, that balcony is a copy of the original one that had gone missing at one point in time. The copy was made from original timbers, according to Welcome to Historic Downtown Hollister, a walking tour pamphlet by Sharlene Van Rooy.

I'm hooking up at Sundays in My City, hosted by the Unknown Mami. Come check out posts of other cities around the world by clicking here.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Downtown Hollister Historic District: 417 San Benito Street

The one-story commercial building at 417 San Benito Street is another example of 1880 architecture in the Downtown Hollister Historic District. The storefront, though, may have been remodeled after the 1906 Earthquake. Today, it's home to Silvia's Jewelry and Gifts.

Ever noticed this decorative detail near the top of the building? Beautiful, isn't it? It's described as a diamond-shaped false vent. The beads, I'm guessing, are to simulate vent grilles. The vent makes me think of Tales from the Arabian Nights.

Actually the whole top of the building makes me think of The Tales of One Thousand and One Nights. I like the way the parapet slopes downs from its center on either side and then slightly travels back up. I also like that sloping cornice with a fluted look and that fancy dentil below it.  I wonder what the building looked like before the storefront was remodeled.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Downtown Hollister Historic District: The Grangers Union Building

The two-story commercial building that takes up half the block on the west side of San Benito Street between Sixth Street and Brown Alley is called the Grangers Union Building. This historic contributing building in the  Downtown Hollister Historic District was built in 1917. A general merchandise store incorporated in 1890, the Grangers Union had two previous buildings at the site. The 1906 Earthquake destroyed the first building, while a fire took the second building. 

Glance up at the top of the building to see the beautiful detail of the cornice that goes around its front and side. The entry way to She's, which used to be Ladd's Hardware, is my favorite aspect about the building. As a kid, I always thought the support column was a sign of times past and when I went through the doorway, I felt like I was stepping into another world. I still do.

Today, the Grangers Union Building is home to:

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Downtown Hollister Historic District: 411 San Benito Street

Aren't the details of this building amazing?

This is the top of the historic commercial building at 411 San Benito Street. It's another contributing building in the Downtown Hollister Historic District, which is in the National Register of Historic Places. (Contributing buildings cannot be torn down without following certain measures.)

The building was constructed in 1907, after the original one on the site was destroyed by the 1906 Earthquake.  In the 1960s, either this storefront or the one to its right had a display of Buster Brown shoes. I always wanted a pair.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Downtown Hollister Historic District: 419 San Benito Street

The commercial building at 419 San Benito Street is one of the oldest contributing structures in the the Downtown Hollister Historic District. The single-story structure was built around 1880. The National Register of Historic Places notes that the parapet (the green protective wall along the roof's edge) may have been remodeled after the 1906 earthquake. It also notes that the storefront, with several windows in different shapes, was changed in the mid-1970s.

The last business that I recall being in the vacant building was the Acme Club. For many decades, the tavern was a place for many locals to unwind with a drink and a game of poker.  In 1929, it was the Fremont Cafe, according to an advertisement I found online in both the Santa Cruz Evening News and the San Jose News. The ad said:
When in Hollister,
Be it for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner
419 San Benito Street

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Downtown Hollister Historic District: The Old and Current City Hall Buildings

On the south side of Fifth Street, between San Benito and Monterey Streets, are the old and current City Hall buildings, which are both contributing historic structures in the Downtown Hollister Historic District.

339 Fifth Street — The Old City Hall

The Hollister City Hall was originally located at 339 Fifth Street. The first building was destroyed in the 1906 Earthquake. Two years later, the new beautiful two-story City Hall, designed by William H. Weeks, was completed. The west side of the building housed the Hollister Fire Department.

The building has many interesting decorative features. Click here to see a close-up of one of the figurines—brackets—at the top of the building. Once upon a time, the Old City Hall had a cupola. Click here to see vintage postcards of how the building looked over 100 years ago.

Today, the City of Hollister uses the first floor of this building for its utility payment center and offices for its building and planning divisions.

375 Fifth Street — The Current City Hall

Some of you may recognize the Classical Revival style of the current City Hall as being a design of many Carnegie Libraries. You're right. The current City Hall was once the city library. In 1910, the City of Hollister received a grant from the Andrew Carnegie Library Foundation to build the one-story reinforced concrete building. Completed in 1912, the building was designed by William Binder and constructed by E. J. Sparling. In the 1980s, the City built an addition at the rear for the City Council chambers.

There are so many wonderful elements to this building, such as the Ionic columns that flank the entry way and the fine details of the cornice across the top of the building. What impresses me the most is that the concrete was scored to look like granite blocks.

The Hollister Carnegie Library is entered in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Downtown Hollister Historic District as well as individually. Want to see what the library looked like back in the day? Then, click here.

Today is Our World Tuesday, and that's where I am linking up. Click here to check out what's going on in other parts of the world.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Downtown Hollister Historic District: 135 5th Street

Who remembers the old post office on 5th Street? And, the beautiful cedar tree next to it?

The building is still there. It's now the Apostolic Assembly Bible Learning Center.  What's missing though is the cedar tree.

The old post office at 135 5th Street is the major contributing historic building on the eastern edge of the Downtown Hollister Historic District.  Built in 1935, the building was designed in the style of Spanish Colonial Revival.  One of the interesting features of the building is the arched entrance surrounded by fake voussoirs -- those ray-like lines. Actual voussoirs are wedges of stone or other material forming the units of the arch. I am definitely learning a lot of architectural stuff with this series.

Do any of you remember the awesome wooden mural that once hung in the old post office? It's now hanging at the new post office on Maple street.  Click here for a photo of the mural.



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