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District Office Building History

History of 1171 Fulton Street

  • The city of Fresno was established in 1872. Fresno was abundant with ash trees, which is the Spanish translation for “Fresno.”
  • The corner of H and Fresno Streets (adjacent to our parking garage) housed the first commercial district in Fresno due to its proximity to the railroad station.
  • In 1884, Fulton G. Berry bought the Grand Central Hotel at J & Mariposa Streets which became a social center. After his death in 1910, J Street was renamed Fulton Street in his honor.
  • The land at Fulton and Fresno Streets was purchased by Andrew Mattei, a Swiss-Italian winemaker & real estate developer, in 1917 for $55,000.
  • Construction on 1171 Fulton began in 1919 by Fresno architect Eugene Mathewson who was inspired by “Sullivanesque” style named for famed Chicago architect Louis Sullivan. The masonry walls and terra-cotta ornamentation of vines, leaves & geometric figures were completed in 1921.
  • The ground floor was occupied by stores and upper floors were used as offices. Mattei’s corner office suite was on the 11th
  • The building is 12 stories or 151 ft. tall, 164.63 ft. long and 50.7 ft. wide and is still the 7th tallest building in Fresno.
  • Between 1913-1925, much of Fresno’s classic revival downtown skyline emerged in the Roaring Twenties “Beaux-Arts” styling.
  • Post WWII suburban expansion saw a decline in downtown use & popularity.
  • Guarantee Savings acquired the building in 1961 & installed a 15 ft. weather beacon in 1965. The “G” would change color according to weather changes.
  • The “G” went dark in 1994 due to costs. Power was restored in 2003 but only with white lights.
  • The Mattei Building is on the Local Register of Historic Places.

Future of 1171 Fulton Street

  • The SCCCD Board of Trustees approved purchase of 1171 Fulton in March 2018 for $10.5 million, including a parking structure
  • District Office staff members are mostly relocated as of June 2019
  • Revitalization of downtown Fresno continues with regular events such as ArtHop, Fulton Live, FresYes Fest, & Taco Truck Throwdown
  • 25% of a $20 million federal grant went towards restoration & relocation of downtown sculptures & fountains
  • Approximately $13 million & 382,000 sq. ft. of building space has been sold in the past year & over 40,000 ft. of commercial space leased
  • Downtown businesses are thriving with the addition of the Brewery District & restaurants such as La Boulangerie who are now investing in downtown Fresno