about

It was the pride and joy of the community - and it was owned by citizens who purchased shares in the Fullerton Community Hotel Company, headed by Charles C. Chapman.

Groundbreaking was held January 22nd, 1922 for the California Hotel, at which time corporation board member S.C. Hartranft noted that Fullerton, "already has the finest water system, the finest churches, the best schools, elegant paved streets, a lighting system unequaled anywhere, and civic organizations we are proud of....now we are going to have the finest hotel in the state! A triumph unparalleled."

The building, located at the northwest corner of Wilshire and Harbor, was dedicated on January 15th, 1923. Designed by local architects Frank Benchley and Eugene Durfee, the attractive structure was built of Spanish Colonial designs for a total cost of $136,000, $25,000 of which was personally pledged by Chapman.

Originally, the building housed stores, twenty-two apartments and fifty-five single rooms. Built on the site of a former public comfort station, the building filled the need for area ranch residents facing long trips home as well as those visiting the area.

Extensive remodeling began in 1964 to produce the building as it appears now. The single story strip across the Spadra Road (Harbor Boulevard) side of the property was added at this time and the Villa del Sol came about in 1965. This remodeling further enclosed the courtyard and created a hidden oasis just off of bustling Spadra Road, soon to be Harbor Boulevard.

The building remained in this condition until 1992, when it was acquired by Dunlap Real Estate Investments, who oversaw a number of improvements and redevelopment projects, most notably the seismic retrofitting process.

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site development: the nerve