Thursday, January 15, 2015

Downtown Hollister Historic District: 101 Fifth Street

Today, most people in San Benito County know 101 Fifth Street as being the home of Pat's Place, a very cool thrift shop that raises money for the Community Food Bank of San Benito County.  Originally, the historic two-story building was a laundry called the Model French Laundry. It was constructed around 1934 by Joseph and Marie Latapie, according to Welcome to Historic Downtown Hollister, a walking tour pamphlet by Sharlene Van Rooy. The Latapies moved from San Francisco to Hollister after the 1906 earthquake and operated their laundry in two other locations previously to settling at 101 Fifth Street.

This is a contributing building to the Downtown Hollister Historic District. It was noted in the registration form submitted to the National Register of Historic Places for its parapet with a zig-zag band at the top to building and the tiled cornice with false vigas a foot or so below the parapet. The alluring arched doorway on the right side of the building was mentioned, too. I think the light fixture beside the doorway also gives the building its pizazz.

The storefront, with its anodized aluminum door and windows, was remodeled in the 1980s.

When I was a kid in the 1960s, I was fascinated with the Model French Laundry. The name always made made me think of the Eiffel Tower and I thought all French buildings had to look like this cute one. I never went into the laundry, but that did not stop me from imagining people inside speaking  French and having a special way of making the clothes they laundered look chic and ooh-la-la.


  1. Great topic, Su-sieee! Where can I get a copy of "Welcome to Historic Downtown Hollister," a walking tour pamphlet by Sharlene Van Rooy?

    1. Thanks, Wanda. The Chamber of Commerce might carry photocopies of the pamphlet. If not them, try Sharlene at the Hollister Downtown Association.


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