Re-creating Fresno’s Past

Posted by John Rupe

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I’ve never done a blog before. So I will give you the short story. I was raised in Fresno from 1976/1994.  At age 11, in 1982, I started urban exploring with my older brother, all the abandoned buildings in downtown Fresno.

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We went inside the following, The Brewery building on M st, The Sun Maid plant , (demolished).Hotel Fresno, The Brix Apartments, (demolished). The Republican, (demolished) . Maubridge apartments. At 13, I found my first Pop Laval book, at my schools library. From that point I was always intrigued with downtown, and it stumped me how something so beautiful could be erased.

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Eventually I left Fresno for Southern Ca, then Washington state, where I stumbled upon the Laval online page. This is where I started to take interest again, as an adult. I had dabbled with 2 Victorian structures earlier. Then I decided to do the Fresno Water tower. I actually moved back to Fresno, and completed it here.

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Then my compulsion lead me to do Fresno’s Old Courthouse, after seeing photographs, in the Bee’s historic perspectives. From that point it just developed into a need to do the entire central business district, as it appeared in 1900. In my endless research I discovered the Griffith Land office/and Helms first business, still standing along Fulton Mall, completely forgotten, about.

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Then I discovered Fresno’s first newspaper, the Expositor, still standing on the Mall (1881) Fresno’s oldest structure. Most of these buildings are judged at face value, which isn’t much. I feel in some way maybe if I show it how it appeared, and have the facts presented, that the still exist, maybe they can be saved, before a developer comes in, and unknowingly demolishes, or remodels a significant piece of history.

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Thanks for your time John Rupe.

 

*You can keep up with John’s progress on his Grand Central Fresno Facebook page.

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