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
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.