The Stockton

Stockton, Calif.
August 11, 2010

Flash back to 1910, when the newly opened Hotel Stockton was a classy 252-room hotel with shops, restaurants, a ballroom, a rooftop garden, and pergola. In its early decades, the Mission Revival-style hotel played host to such theater luminaries as Lillian Russell, Sarah Bernhardt, John Drew, and David Warfield, and later served as the location for the 1941 Oscar-winning film "All the King's Men."

But as the years went on, the hotel, located 80 miles east of San Francisco, attracted fewer and fewer tourists; in 1960, it closed its doors. While San Joaquin County used the building for office space until 1991, it sat empty for more than a decade until developer Cyrus F. Youssefi decided to turn the 145,000-sf space into a mixed-use development offering apartments, retail, restaurants, and offices.

Seeking to preserve the flavor of the original landmark (it was listed on the National Register in 1981), the new Stockton features the original lobby with re-created leaded glass panels, a large fireplace, two-story mezzanine, and the hotel's authentic six-story open staircase.

Led by Sacramento firms Applied Architecture and Youssefi's CFY Development, the Building Team found it necessary to repair tens of thousands of metal roof tiles, one by one. Hundreds of historic wood windows had to be replaced. Leaded glass and lights in the lobby had to be replicated, as did missing tiles in the grand staircase and storefronts. The oak woodwork of the lobby was restored, and the building's plaster work and decorative concrete were expertly matched.

The new Stockton features a restored 10,000-foot garden rooftop terrace, which required the application of a weather-resistant surface over the original concrete patterned surface. The terrace offers a magnificent space to host events for up to 500.

An unused basement in the original structure was converted into a parking garage, which required the team to construct access points and ventilate the block-long space.

Specially fabricated "shock absorbers" were designed by Miyamoto International, West Sacramento, to meet seismic requirements.

To support 156 apartments for low- and fixed-income residents on the upper levels of the building, the team successfully designed and installed HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems without damaging the historic windows or breaking through the walls for piping and venting. Similarly, piping and wiring were skillfully hidden above the original coffered lobby ceiling. The Building Team was able to work around the open space surrounding the grand historic stairway to provide smoke-controlled emergency egress for the structure's full six stories.

The Stockton, completed at a cost of $18.2 million, is expected to contribute significantly to the city's downtown revitalization.

"Taking a 1910 historic building and converting it into apartments, especially for low-income housing, is a wonderful use," said judge Terry Krause, director of business development with Berglund Construction, Chicago. "It's a source of pride for the community."