Posted by John Rupe
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks for your time John Rupe.
*You can keep up with John’s progress on his Grand Central Fresno Facebook page.