Historical Downtown

History Of The Grand 1401

Built in the agricultural boom of the early 1900s, The San Joaquin Light & Power Corporation took fourteen months to erect and had cost $1,000,000 to build. Famed local architect and builder, R.F. Felchlin, designed and built the ten-story scraper which was hailed by The Fresno Bee as “Fresno’s Champion Skyscraper.”

It was meant to bring various departments of the company together instead of being spread all over town. This was during a time when the small town of Fresno shifted into being a big city. The building stood out from all others as it was illuminated with 46 different colored flood lights, making it the brightest building in the Pacific Southwest, fitting for a power company. The tower was complete in 1924 in the style of Italian Renaissance Revival, which can still be seen in the building today.

The unique ballroom on the 10th was originally an auditorium built with elliptical barrel-vaulted ceilings for acoustics and a veranda outside for viewing of the Fresno skyline. A skyline that hasn’t change much since then, when six buildings over eight stories were erected between 1913-1924.