Stockton's - Main Street Then and Now



Disclaimer! Informational page only, our practice is limited to residential real estate.

Over the last ten years, Stockton has attempted to address the issues affecting disinvestment downtown and wrestled with finding solutions. Many studies have been commissioned to analyze the market and develop strategies to revitalize downtown, and some gains have been made. The Downtown Alliance, a business improvement district began operation in January 1998. However, with the complexity of the issues facing downtown, a workable strategy has not emerged to meet the scale of the challenge.

Nonetheless, it is clear that downtown Stockton offers much to build upon. Excellent highway access and visibility; the availability of vacant waterfront sites and large parcels to accommodate new development; and an impressive historic building stock, including the landmark Hotel Stockton, are just some of the physical assets the panel identified immediately. In addition, downtown Stockton has a concentration of government jobs, financial institutions, and public and private city leadership interested in the downtown. The photos on this page are a collection of past and present.

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East Main from 00 Center Street

See Center Street

Main & Center - Northeast corner. 1890's Black's Family Grocery Store - Operated by Alexander and Houston Black. The family later operated grocery stores all over the Central Valley including five stores in Stockton. - The entire 00 block of East Main listed below was demolished in the West End Redevelopment - Right photo, Main & Center, 1950s

1- 5 E. Main - Stockton Bargain Spot - Demolished

2 E. Main - Harbor In Cafe - Harbor Inn Tavern

4 E. Main - Center Laundry
5. E. Main - Stockton Bargain Spot (1943)

10 E. Main - Sonora Cafe

11 E. Main - New Haven Rooms - Demolished

12 E. Main - Lincoln Rooms - Demolished

13 E. Main - Gustav Spanos Restaurant / New Roma Lunch  (1935) - Demolished

15 E. Main - Lily Rooms

16 E. Main - Wayne's Cafe

17 E. Main - The Abby Furnished Rooms - Demolished

21 E. Main - Yankee Doodle Inn / Fair Lunch (1935) - Demolished
23 E. Shoe Repair

24 E. Main - Genova Club - Genova Cafe

24 1/2 E. Main - Genova Rooms / Carlton Rooms - Demolished

25 E. Main - John Phillipson Gunsmith - Demolished

26 E. Main - Busy Bee Cafe / Park Restaurant (1935) - Demolished

28 E. Main - Jury Brothers Saloon

29 1/2 E. Main - New England Hotel (43) / Great Eastern Store General Merchandise (1935) - Demolished

30 E. Main - William Kamp General merchandise (1935) - Demolished

31 E. Main - El Rey Billiards & El Rey Card Room

33 E. Main - Strand Theatre - Also known as The Bell - Demolished

34 E. Main - Club Marino Tavern - Demolished

35 E. Main - Black Cat Liquors - Demolished

36 E. Main - Mells Cafe / Valley Cafe - Demolished

37 - Main Drug Company - Demolished

40 E. Main - Main Street Barber Shop

41 E. Main - I'm Inn Tavern / Silvers Loan & jewelry (1935) - Demolished

42 E. Main - Clayton Rooms

44 E. Main - Geno & Charles Men's Clothes / E.L. Marshall Drugs - Demolished

46 E. Main - Thomas Cigar Stand

48 E. Main - Old Peerless Inn & Tavern

E. Main St - 100 Block El Dorado Intersects

See El Dorado Street The entire 100 block of East Main listed below was demolished in the West End Redevelopment

Main Street looking East from El Dorado - Posted by Kevin Shawver 106 East Main - Hollywood Hotel (50) / Eagle Hotel - Demolished Main and El Dorado Streets. Main and El Dorado Streets. Holden Drug Store at  - 1886 - Main & El Dorado Freight wagon and trailer headed to the waterfront for supplies - 1860's 101 E. Main - State Loan & Jewelry / 1928 - Forty Nine Drug Company - Demolished

102 E. Main - Stockton Bargain Spot / Rossi Bros Shoes (1935) - Demolished

109 E. Main - Grand Rooms (50) Demolished

111 E. Main - City Grill (1935) - Demolished

112 E. Main - Karl's Shoe Store (50) - Demolished

113 E. Main Broadway Hotel (50) / Broadway Rooms (1928) - Demolished

114 E. Main - Orpheum Theatre - Demolished

118 E. Main - Aaron's Mens Clothes - Demolished

119 E. Main - 1928  - Jeffrey Brothers Shoes - Bank of America Main St. Entrance  - Demolished

120 E. Main - Quinns Stationary (1928-1950) - Demolished

122 E. Main - Hotel Oakland (50) - Demolished

124 E. Main - Moler Barber College / The original location of Smith & Lang - Demolished

126 E. Main - Empire Loan & Jewelery - Demolished
127 E. Main - Jeffrey Brothers Shoes (50)

129 E. Main - Hunter Square Loan & Jewelry - Demolished

132 E. Main - The Sterling Women and Children's Clothes The Sterling was a popular clothing store SW corner of Hunter and Main St. from1908-1960's. The store was four stories and included an elevator. Stockton Savings & Loan Society (Bank of Stockton) occupied this building from 1875 until they built their "skyscraper" on Main & San Joaquin in 1908.

Jones & Hewlett 1860s. Main & Hunter -  Importers and dealers of farm implements. They sold the celebrated chisel cultivators, hand and horsepower seed sowers, fanning mills, hay and straw cutters, corn shellers and road scrapers.

See Hunter Square - See Hunter Street

Main & Hunter - 1868 First National Gold Bank of Stockton - Next to the J.H. Condit and Company clipper and mower business. Also shown is the Perkins Brothers Grocery business. The First National Gold Bank of Stockton was founded by Henry H. Hewlett in 1872. Hewlett was a founder of the Stockton Savings and Loan Society in 1867, and owned one-fourth of its capital just one year later. He likewise owned most of the stock in the First National Gold Bank, and was elected cashier and manager of the bank- Demolished

Main & Hunter SE corner - Stockton Oddfellows - The next building is 26-28 South Hunter Street - minus the bell tower - SFD Engine Company 2 and Hook & Ladder Company 1. It was erected in 1868 for the joint use of the "Hooks" and "Eurekas" of the Volunteer Department.  - Demolished

132 E. Main & Hunter SW Corner - McKee Block - Stockton Savings & Loan Society - The bank was started in 1867 and initially located at the SW corner of Main & Hunter. They later became the Bank of Stockton, the second bank chartered and the second oldest California bank operating under its original charter. Stockton Savings & Loan Society (Bank of Stockton) occupied this building from 1875 until they built their "skyscraper" on Main & San Joaquin in 1908. The Sterling Women and Children's Clothing store occupied this building from1908 in to the1960's. The store was four stories and included an elevator.   - Demolished

In the center photo: from 1961, this time looking westerly along Main toward El Dorado. The Sterling is on the left edge. On the north side of Main are Asher Bros. Shoe store at the corner of Main and Hunter and at the other corner at El Dorado the former Holden Drug Store. The building with the windows that look like lower case "m's" is the Penial Chapel. posted

Main Street looking East from The Commercial Savings Bank - From The Terry Gust Collection

132 E. Main & Hunter SW Corner looking south  - Stockton Grand Triumphal Arch with bases of twenty feet and a tower on both sides topped with golden eagles. On the arch itself was the words "1776 E Pluribus Unum 1876". Donated to the city by J.D. Peters   - Demolished

173-175 East Main Street - J. Pilcher Spooner - Photograph Parlor - 1878 / Stockton Trunk Factory  - Demolished

192 East Main Street - 1889 Horse drawn Stockton Street Car heading north on El Dorado from Main Street. Part of the Holden Drug store is on the right. Demolished

Main Street Mall - Looking west from Main & Hunter towards El Dorado St - First Federal Building on the left

Main & Hunter looking West - From 1961, looking westerly along Main toward El Dorado. The Sterling is on the left edge. On the north side of Main are Asher Bros. Shoe store at the corner of Main and Hunter and at the other corner at El Dorado the former Holden Drug Store. The building with the windows that look like lower case "m's" is the Penial Chapel.

200 Block of E. Main Street at Hunter looking East - Left photos, 2013, right photo,1950s - The building on the right at 214 East Main was the Rialto Theatre in 1928 - Through the palm trees you can see part of the American Trust Sign - The second courthouse is on the left - The Rialto Theatre dates back to at least 1922 when a Robert-Morton organ was installed. It was renovated in 1949, to the plans of architect William Glenn Balch. The Rialto Theatre is still listed in the 1952 Film Daily Yearbook but not in the 1955 edition. - Demolished for a court house annex

Main & Hunter looking East - Early 1900s

202 E. Main St. Dunlaps Stockton Dry Goods (50) / John Breuner Company (1943)Levy Brothers Department Store. Built in 1921, demolished in 1978 for another government building

210 E. Main St. - I.O.O.F Building - 1920s

The 1891 City Directory lists the San Joaquin Valley Bank at 210 E. Main St. - G.B. Clairborne, President and Charles E. Perkins, Cashier  - Demolished. Later moved to 11 N. Hunter St. and became The Bank of Italy (1917). Renamed Bank of America in 1930. The upper floors were removed in the 1940's and a modern facade covered the front

214 E. Main - 1928 - Fox Rialto Theatre with the Fox West Coast Theatre in the background
216 E. Main - Emma's Fountain (1976) / Palace Candy Store / Palace Restaurant (50)

218 E. Main - Jeffery Brothers Shoes (1957-1976) 220 E. Main - Eldridge Building - Yost Brothers Clothing Originally at 24 South Sutter -  210-220 East Main Street - The Rialto Theatre dates back to at least 1922 when a Robert-Morton organ was installed. It was renovated in 1949, to the plans of architect William Glenn Balch. The Rialto Theatre was demolished January 1950 to make room for a department store addition and latter the Jury assembly room - Courtesy of Mike Whirlow

225 E. Main - Court House

232-240 E. Main St. - Fox California - Built in 1930 on the former T & D Theatre site, a truly ornate mission revival Fox California with its unique tower and vaudeville Marquee reigned as Stockton’s premier movie palace. The baroque interior boasts of magnificent columns, exquisite chandeliers and extensive ornamentation. The theatre presented both movie and stage productions. The Fox is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. #1979000540

Bob Hope tickets

230 E. Main St. - Adjacent to the Fox California Theatre - Appearing on the 1917 and 1950 Sanborn maps. Though it appears to be related, Sanborn maps indicate that 230 E. Main was never physically connected to the Fox Theater next door. The Stockton City Directories shows the first listing for 230 East Main in 1930, at which time the Brownbilt Shoe Store was in this building. By 1940, the shop had changed to Adam Biasotti Liquors. In 1945, the City Directory lists the Denver Rooms and Gladys Hamilton. By 1950, The Mecca restaurant (50) occupied the ground floor of the building and subsequently Cameron's Tavern. Vacant at the time of this photo in 2013

242 E. Main St. Former T&D Theatre. T. & D., Jr. Enterprises (the name derived from the original operators of the chain, Turner and Duncan) operated a number of film houses in major cities of central and northern California and Nevada.

246 E. Main St - Former David Levinson's Women's Clothes / John Breuner Company Music Department (43) / Bank of America (1935)

200 Block E. Main & San Joaquin -Left photo - 1900s - 1925 - From Left Yosemite Theatre - Bank of Stockton - Smith & Lang Building - California Building - Built in 1917 for the former Farmers and Merchants Bank. (11 S. Sutter Address) - Fox Theatre

Shown from the left Main & San Joaquin looking east, on the postcard are the Stockton Saving & Loan (Bank of Stockton), Hale Brothers Dry Goods, Rosenbaum Building, Crawford Building. Both were demolished to build the Farmers and Merchants Bank. The last building is the T&D Theater, demolished to build the Fox California Theatre.
E. Main St - 300 Block San Joaquin Intersects
See San Joaquin Street

301-311 E. Main St. - Stockton Savings & Loan Building  A Classic Revival style building, designed by San Francisco architects Myers and Ward, and featured Stockton's first revolving door as well as a marble interior. Known as 'Stockton's first skyscraper,' this was the third building to serve as headquarters for Stockton Savings & Loan (now Bank of Stockton). The top two floors have always been home to the Yosemite Club, the oldest private club in California. The building is #78000764 on the National Register of Historic Places and was added in 1978. The building was added to the city register by resolution number 34,630 on November 7, 1977. The building is currently vacant. - 311 E. Main - Wilhoit Building (1928-1950)

300-310 E. Main - Smith & Lang was Stockton, Calif.'s oldest department store, established in 1899 by Alfred B. Lang and John H. Smith. Alfred B. Lang (b.1874), a founding partner, first worked at the Alexander Chalmers Dry Goods Store where he met another clerk, John H. Smith, with whom he opened a store at 124 E. Main.

314 E. Main - 1928 - Former Smith & Lang Building

The company was incorporated in 1910 and six years later John Smith died leaving Alfred Lang President for over thirty-five years. The partners took over the Hale Brothers building at Main and San Joaquin Street (1915) and, in 1939, expanded this structure by an additional 7,700 feet.

In July 1945 Smith & Lang was sold to J. Wesley Hearne, a veteran buyer and merchandise manager in California and New York, and Alfred Lang retired, but Walter Sampson continued as manager and the name "Smith and Lang" was retained by the new owner. In February 1946 C. M. Dicker of Redding bought J W Hearne's interest in Smith & Lang and Dicker became the general manager. By 1950 the company employed 125. On July 22, 1958 Smith & Lang burned to the ground in a fire called the "worst national mercantile fire of 1958." Insurance claims totaled $3,000,000. Plans were soon made to rebuild the store and, on August 25, 1959, it reopened in a building designed by Welton, Beckett and Associates of Los Angeles. In February 1963 Weinstock-Lubin purchased Smith & Lang and the company ceased doing business.

313-321 E. Main St - Bravo & McKeegan (1937-1955)

317 East Main Street -1890 Stockton Street Car - Henderson's Carriage Factory - Demolished

320 E. Main- Yost Brothers - Center photo, 1921, Terry Gust Collection. Left photo from the Ron Chapman Collection

321-323 E. Main St - Former State Theatre - The Yosemite Theatre was opened around 1893. It was remodeled by architects Weeks & Day in 1920 and re-named Loew's State Theatre. Listed in the 1941 & 1943 editions of Film Daily Yearbook as the Fox State Theatre with a seating capacity given as 1,510. In the 1950 & 1952 editions it is the State Theatre with a slightly reduced seating capacity to 1482 seats. Following the closure in 1954 of the Esquire Theatre, the name was transferred to this theatre.- Demolished for a parking garage - Also shown is 301-311 E. Main St. - Stockton Savings & Loan Building,  Tom Gleason's Drug Store and339 E. Main - Friedburger Jewlers

323 E. Main - Former Second Esquire Theatre / Former State Theatre  (1943) - Demolished for a parking garage. In the lower left is 313-321 E. Main St - Bravo & McKeegan (1937-1955) before they moved to San Joaquin & Weber Overman's Malted Milk Shop was at 325 E. Main in 1931.

321 E. Main - The parking garage the replaced the beautiful old building above

326 E. Main St. - Yasoo Yani - Greek. If you are searching for the perfect place to indulge in an elegant and upscale dining experience look no further. Yasoo Yani impresses in every way making it the perfect destination for any special occasion. Stockton's premiere destination for gourmet cuisine and impeccable service. Yasoo Yani aims to please and succeeds in doing so.. In 1928 Former Eagle Drug Store

327 E. Main St. - Former Union Safe Deposit - The site was a hotel prior to the construction of the Union Safe Deposit Bank building. By 1930, the Union Safe Deposit Bank shared its building with Shirk's Malted Milk Shop and Brooks Clothing Company. In 1935, the bank was the sole occupant, but by 1940 shared the space with Tom Gleason's Drug Store. In 1945, the Stockton City Directory lists H . W. Cassidy Luggage and Maurice's Shoes along with the bank. In 1950, the Fowler shoe store was noted as vacant, but the luggage store remained. The building is currently vacant. The Union Safe Deposit Bank was founded in Stockton, California, United States in April 1897. It was purchased in 2004 by the Bank of the West, and all its branches were converted to Bank of the West on January 24, 2005  
1928 - 333 East Main - Union Safe

330-332 E. Main - Former Dunne Shoe Company 1928 Directory

333 E. Main St - Former Brooks Clothing Company (1935)

336 E. Main

336 E. Main St - Former J.F. Donovan Women's Clothes / Bert Edises Jewelers / 1955- Hartfields

337 E. Main - Former The Yosemite House / 1928 City Drug Co. was thought to be Stockton's finest hotel before 1900 with 200 rooms. It had several horse drawn ommni buses to take guests to and from the railroad depot. The dining room seated 110 people. it later became a rooming house and burned down in the early 1920s. At the time it was erected one of the best in the state. The building, had a frontage of 102 feet on Main Street, with two wings having having a depth of 60 feet and a central depth of 100 feet. It was completed in July, 1869, by Hodgkins & Hall, at a cost of $40,000. The first story contained a reading room and office, together with a barber shop and bathrooms, a saloon, kitchen and dining-room capable of seating at party tables 110 persons. The second floor comprised a public parlor and ten private parlors or suites of rooms with oak,rosewood and walnut furniture, marble washbowls and Brussels carpets. The sleeping rooms were all well-ventilated and were equipped with gas; running water and call bells. Speaking tubes in each hallway communicated with the main office. The bedrooms at the time commanded an extensive view of the city and county. The hotel was formally opened July 5, 1869, by Alexander McBean.

337 E. Main - Former Gallencamp Shoes (1940-1943) -
339 E. Main - Former Friedburger Jewlers (1943)
337 E. Main (2105)

340-348 E. Main St. Shown above - Main Street Mini Mart - 1928, The Wonder - Being remodeled for a school
348 - Samuel Author Cigars
300 Block of E Main looking West - Stockton Collegiate International School / 1930s showing Former Gensler Lee, the Wonder, Donovans

343 E. Main St & Sutter - 1892

Commercial Savings Bank, 343 E. Main St
343 E. Main St - Commercial & Savings Bank - A Beaux Arts-Renaissance Revival style building constructed in 1915 by Dietrich & Liestern Construction who built it for Commercial & Savings Bank. The building suffered from substantial damage by fire in 1923. it was subsequently repaired and it's size was doubled at the Sutter Street side. The 1928 Directory Shows Bank of Italy Building. Subsequent owners were Bank of America, while later it was acquired by the Grupe Company. The building is number 80000849 of the National Historic Places Register added November 25, 1980. The City of Stockton added the building to their city register on May 13, 1985 by resolution No. 85-0306 The building is currently home of the Cort Companies. 
E. Main St - 400 Block Sutter Intersects
See Sutter Street

E. Main St. and 26 N Sutter - Former Empire Theatre - Today, a parking lot

Main & Sutter - Wells Fargo and Co. Express Banking House and T. Robinson Bours and Co., built 1853. Taken 1860


400 E. Main - Lerner Shops - Demolished - Middle photo by Ron Chapman, left photo by Rhondda Nunes

401 E. Main St - Rodgers Jewelery

400 Block E. Main St. - 1937 - 400 Block Looking west - State theatre in the next block on right

400 Block East Main South Side - entire block demolished for the American Savings building

American Savings Building 400 E. Main Street

400 Block E. Main St. - American Savings Block - Left photo Floyd Perry Jr.

420 E. Main St - Anita Shoes - Demolished

418 E. Main - Former Woolworth Building 414-422 E. Main St. - A 1918 photo of a new franchise operation which opened in 1914 the F.W. Woolworth -. Local business began feeling competition from these new upstarts which also included J.C. Penny and Owl Drugs. (sounds familiar)

Woolworths closed the Stockton location in 1974. It was demolished the following year and replaced by a parking lot. The neighboring Lerners Building was demolished in 1981 to expand the parking lot. In 1987, the rest of the buildings were demolished and replaced by American Savings. (Later acquired by Washington Mutual then Chase Bank. )

424 E. Main St. - American Optical - Demolished - Wolf Building,

400 Block E. Main St. - American Savings Plaza

Former Ritz Theatre - 426 E. Main Street

Ritz Theatre - 426 E. Main Street

426 E. Main St. - Ritz Theater - The Ritz Theater opened in 1937. The Ritz Theater was still listed in 1955 with 926 seats. - Photos courtesy of Floyd Perry Jr., photo courtesy of Denise Armstrong - Demolished for the American Savings Building. A&W was here from 1976-1987

432 E. Main St. - Pesce Jewelers (1928) / Silver's Jewelers - Demolished

432 1/2 E. Main St. - Orange Juius - (1935) - Demolished

434 E Main & California SW Corner - Dr Layne / Sierra Lunch - 1949 - Moss Stores Women's Clothes, See's Candies - The American Savings building wiped out the entire 400 block on the South side of the street
440 E. Main St. - Simon Jewelery / Chandler's Shoes
442 1/2 E. Main St. - See's Candies
444 E. Main St. - Pecks Jewelery
446 E. Main St. - The Nugget Restaurant
448 E. Main St. - Marc's Jeweler's

Kress Building Under Construction - 409 E. Main Street

Kress Building - 409 E. Main Street

Kress Building - 409 E. Main Street

409-411 E. Main St. - Kress Building - Shown above - It is one of the few buildings constructed in Stockton during the Depression. S. H. Kress & Co. sold notions and occupied this location through at least 1950. The building has since been converted into multiple shops and is called the Main Street Plaza.
B of A Building # 409 - Safeway Stores office (1943)

405 East Main Street - Manx Hotel

415 East Main Street - Pacific States Savings and Loan

415 E. Main St - Pacific States Savings and Loan / Leeds Shoes / Tuly's - 1920s - Postcard courtesy of Terry Gust

417 E. Main St. - Gold Star Beauty Supply / Disco Azteca / National Dollar Stores / Nathon Dohrman House Furnishings (1935)

431 E. Main Street

425-431 E. Main St. Commercial Hotel Built in 1874 by George F. Smith at a cost between $25,000 to $30,000. It was two stories high, and 90 by 75 feet in dimensions. In 1878, a third story was added at a cost of $5,000, improving the appearance of the building. The hotel was leased and managed by F.C. Hahn in 1875. The hotel contained sixty-one rooms and was entirely refurnished and re carpeted in 1878.
Early photographs indicate the building has been remodeled. This is one of the older buildings in downtown Stockton . The 1912 Stockton City Directory listed this building as the Commercial Hotel, a title it retains still. By 1930, Millers Bootery occupied a store on the ground floor. Charles Haas and Sons, Jewelers, had a store here by 1930 and through 1950. Suntag Drug Stores took over the Bootery by 1940, and occupied the space until at least 1950. Once Called McAlister Hotel -
425 E. Main St. -
Charles Haas & Son Jewelers

425 E. Main - Reeves Shoes

427 E. Main St.- Karl's Shoe Store

431 E. Main St - Commercial Hotel - 1891 and 1902

439-447 E. Main St. at California - Built in 1895 - The Hotel Main building has addresses at 447 E. Main and on N. California. Listed as the Hotel MacAllister in Stockton City Directories as early as 1912, the name changed to the Hotel Main by 1925. By 1930, Kuechler & Sons Jewelers opened a shop on the Main Street side of the building, and Wilson's News Stand and California Floral Company were on N. California. All three businesses remained in the building through 1950. The ground floor was last consumed by K. V. Furniture. This may have once been part of the Commercial Hotel, next door at 425-29 East Main, starting in the 1880s. A sign on the roof of 439-447 East Main, installed in the 1880s and since removed, once announced the building as the Commercial Hotel. The storefronts of this building have been remodeled, and a large bay window on the second and third floor corner has been removed, but the upper floors are otherwise relatively intact. Bottom left photo by Floyd Perry Jr.
439 E. Main St- The Wardrobe Men's Clothers
441 E. Main St- Tom Gleason's Drug Store  / Mode O'Day (1943)
445 E. Main St - Great American Importing Tea Company (1902)

RestaurantE. Main St - 500 Block California Intersects
See California Street

500 Block of East Main looking east after being PhotoShopped from a dark blob. I thought it was rather artistic considering the photo began with shooting direct into the sun and came from the camera nearly black

500 E. Main at California - Stockton Dry Goods in the 20s before they moved to 601 E. Main - Later it was Penny's - See below / Katten & Marengo (1957) - “Constructed in 1882 this building reveals a Classic Revival architecture. The three story building was once the Avon Theater with a seating capacity of 1,200 and reportedly excellent acoustics. The seats were arranged in an amphitheater format with a gallery on the third floor. Businesses were housed on the first floor. In the 1890s, with the opening of other local theaters, the Avon ‘s popularity declined. At one time it was converted to J.C. Penney, then later a Mode O’Day and Katten Marengo Department Stores. Recently renovated with a new façade, the current ground floor tenant is the San Joaquin County Treasurer/Tax Collector . Built prior to 1895, it is one of Stockton’s oldest downtown buildings.“

J.C. Penny - Sutter Street

540 East Main at American - Stockton Dry Goods

500 E. Main St. - At California - 1940s -  Former Penny's, Sierra Theatre, Bergs / Bailey, Badgley & Company Hardware  Formerly the Avon Theatre - By 1935, J.C. Penny until 1950 - It was originally known as the Avon Theater. It once has a seating capacity of 1200 and reportedly excellent acoustics. The seats were arranged in an amphitheater format. The entrance. was located on California Street and the theater occupied the second and third floors, while businesses were housed on the first floor. Historic photos reveal a Classical Revival building, with a row of small pediments on the cornice line, arched hooded windows,. an pilasters. A small temple' like structure was located at the corner above the projecting cornice. In the 1890s, with the opening of other local theaters, the Avon's popularity declined.

At one time it was converted into a J. C. Penney Store, and later a Mode O'Day Department store. The 1895 map notes this three story building as the Avon Theater, with a gallery on the. third floor. By 1917, it was no longer noted as a theater. Stockton City Directories, unfortunately, show no listing for this building until 1930, at. which point it was F & W. Grand Inc. By 1935, it had been converted into a J. C.· Penny Co. store, and remained as such through at/east 1950. The facade has been removed to expose the brick and plaster walls underneath. Built prior to 1895, it is one of Stockton's oldest downtown buildings.

501 E. Main St. - This building was constructed in 1917 as the Owl Rexal Drug Store. The exterior of the building was painted orange as was typical of the Owl stores. At the time of construction it was thought that a drug store .would give new importance to the downtown area. Drug stores of the time typically had a soda fountain in the store. The Owl Drug Store was one of the first chain states to engage in retail business in the Stockton area. The drug store closed in 1959. The building has since been used for small businesses. Today it's the Skyy Lounge

In 1946, United-Rexall Drug Inc. purchased the Renfro chain in Texas. It also launched the Owl Superstores chain. In 1947, the company held a gala opening for their new headquarters and first store in Los Angeles, California. The new Hollywood Owl was reported in Life Magazine as 'the World's Biggest Drugstore'. In 1958, the Rexall Drug Company was the largest U.S. drug store franchise, with 11,158 stores (for comparison, there are fewer than 12,000 McDonald's restaurants in the U.S. today). Time Magazine noted that 2/3 of its stores were in areas where 1/3 of the population lived. However, this comprised more than 20% of all drug stores in the United States.

503 E. Main Street - Stetson Hats - 1900s

509 E. Main St. - Roberts Mexican Food / Mr. Smorgey / Singer Sewing Machine Co.
511 E. Main St. - 1928 Maryland Rooms
515 E. Main St.  - 1928 Sherman Clay / Dotty Dean 

517 E. Main St. - Cassidy's Luggage Shop / Meads Red Cherry Bakers -

Ruhl Building
523 E. Main St. - Pecklers Shoe Store
525 - Buzz Psychedellic and Smoke Shop / Former Curtain Shop - Ruhl Building
527 - Seymour's Jewelery - Ruhl Building
531 - Eagles Club

517-529 E. Main St. - Ruhl Building - Constructed in 1903, this building was funded by F.A. Ruhl, a local business person. Centered on the street facing façade is a gable shaped parapet with the words ’1903 RUHL BLDG.’ The building replaced the Ruhl Stove and Hardware Store that existed on the site since 1897. The construction of this building was funded by F. A. Ruhl, a local business person. The building replaced the Ruhl Stove and Hardware Store that existed on the site since 1897. Originally, the upper floors were used by the Druids, a men's club, as a meeting hall, while the lower floors were used by the Stockton paint Company, a clothing store, and a retail grocery store. Appearing on the 1917 and 1950 Sanborn maps, with shops along the street and space noted as lodge hall in the rear. According to Stockton City Directories, by 1930, the Druids Hall, Eagles Club, several union offices, Winter Garden dance studio, (517) a luggage shop, beauty shop, (523) Peckler & Giovanessi Shoes, and (517) Mead's Red Cherry Bakers and Restaurant were all located here. By 1935, Mead's had been replaced by Vourakis ·& Sherfey Restaurant, and the beauty shop by a millinery company. By 1940, Dill's Cafe was located here, and a women's clothier also occupied retail space, along with the former tenants. There was little change through 1950, with the exception of the Church of Divine Light occupying part of the upper floors, and a fabric store replacing the luggage shop.
523 - Peckler's Shoe Store - Ruhl Building
525 - Buzz Psychedellic and Smoke Shop / Former Curtain Shop - Ruhl Building
527 - Seymour's Jewelery - Ruhl Building

1940s Main & California, Former Sierra Theatre, Pennys, Bergs

520-522-526 E. Main S. - Next to Penny's - The Former Sierra Theatre was operating prior to 1941, and continued until closing in 1953. It was operated by Blumenfeld Theatres chain which also erected the Esquire - 650 seats. After the Sierra closed its doors, it was remodeled into Ardens (522) (a women's clothing store, and Pecklers Shoes (1928) / then Roe's Shoes). (520), The Sierra Theatre building is still standing today as Solorio's Furniture Store and Solorio's Jewelers.

528-532 E. Main St. - This building's construction was funded by John Quinn, a local businessman. The site was originally used as Mr. Quinn's wallpaper and paint business. He tore down the original building on the site, moved the business across the street and constructed the present structure. Used as a residence and apartment complex, the building was first called the Quinn Apartments and then the Quinn House. Later it was named the Queen Rooms.

In the 1920s it was known as the Antler Hotel, and remained so until the 1960s. The first floor was used for a variety of businesses, including a clothing store, Reimans camera store, Martins Jewelers, and Sherman's thrift store. Left photo by Roy Perez, Right photo by Mike Reiman
528 E. Main - Reimans Camera Shop
530 E. Main St. - Martin's Jewelers
532 E. Main St. - 1928 Antler Hotel
534 E. Main - Federal Outfitting Company - 1935

543 E. Main Street - Hotel Terry

533-545 E. Main St.  - Now known as the Brown-Mahin and Hotel Terry Building. Built in 1912, the building was originally called the Hotel Rex. The hotel housed permanent and transient guests. It acquired its current name, Hate/Terry, between 1920 and 1925. The ground floor was originally used by the Katten Brothers Dry Goods. Other ground floor businesses over the years have included Goccino's Grocery, Katten Marengo Inc. Department Store, Hansen & Zinck Drugs, Kasper & Wilson Co., Jewelers, and Fashion Plate Shoes

531 - Druids Hall / Eagles Club

536 E. Main St. - San Francisco Floral

547 E. Main St. - 1928 - Stockton Paint Company

540 -546 E. Main at American - Constructed in 1890, this historic building jointly functioned as two hardware stores, Austin Brothers and Hickenbotham Brothers Hardware & Steel. In the 20s it was Stockton Dry Goods. In the early 50's the building became the first Esquire Theatre. In the later 1950's after renovation, it became J.C. Penney's Department Store. Later in the 1980's, American Savings Bank purchased the building and completely renovated it for office and bank use. Currently fully occupied as the new Family Law Courthouse for the Superior Courts of California
E. Main St - 600 Block American Intersects

Main & American looking west. Second photo; Main Street and American Street in Stockton, looking west on Main Street, ca.1900. The intersection is in the foreground at right and is paved with cobblestones. Two sets of streetcar tracks run down the middle of Main Street, and a streetcar is visible in the distance. A large horse-drawn wagon is in the middle of Main at center. The streets are lined with sidewalks, two- and three-story buildings, and lines of utility poles. In the distance at right, a cylindrical tower with a pointed roof is visible

624 E. Main St. - Officer Club (1959)

630 E. Main St. - Ross & Hill TV

600 E. Main Street - SF Floral - Courtesy of Floyd Perry Jr.

600-608 East Main Street - Southeast Corner Of Main & American Streets today. Former ROSENTHALS (SF Floral before that) - Hard to believe it's the same building. Awnings removed, colors toned down from previous photo - Now San Joaquin County Environmental Health Center - By 1912, H. L Laska, a tailor, had a shop here. By 1935, H. U. Okamoto had an art goods shop in this building. By 1945, R. L DuBois, women's clothier, was at this address. The large retail space is currently used by the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store. The building appears to have been constructed c. 1912. This building has been heavily altered, impairing its individual integrity, - 1928 Stockton Hardware
606 E. Main St. - The Toy House (1957)
608-616 E. Main St. - Breuner's Appliance (1958)

601-611 E. Main St. Former Breuners when they were downtown - This was the former Stockton Dry goods building right in the heart of Stockton during the 1930s - By 1945 through at least 1960, John Bruener Co., a furniture store, occupied the building

601 E. Main Street - Breuners Building
601-611 E. Main St. at American Street - This building was constructed as a downtown store and warehouse for a clothing company. The 1930 Stockton City Directory listed the Stockton Drygoods Company department store in this building. By 1935, Stockton Drygoods was joined by Abrams Radios, H. E. Norton Beauty Shop, a milliner, and M. Wolochow Sewing Machines. By 1940, only Stockton Drygoods was listed. By 1945 through at least 1960, John Bruener Co, a furniture store, occupied the building.
617 E. Main - Breuner's Parking Lot / Pete's Parking Lot (1958)
601-611 E. Main St. - Stockton Dry Goods - 1930s-1943 - Lots to see here - K&M in the background - Billboards - "Morton Salt" and "I'd walk a mile for a Camel" - La Verta Hotel sign in the foreground - Notice thy were promoting locally owned and controlled. - Stockton Dry Goods started at Main and California in 1914 - They opened this building new in 1921. It has 65,000 square feet of space on 5 stories plus basement and a mezzanine adding up to 7 floors in all. Owned by A.B Cohn and managed by K.H. Harvey - Photos by Floyd Perry Jr.

630 E. Main St. La Estrella Building - Former Ross & Hill TV (66)

634 E. Main St. - 1987  N. SWEET & SONS FURNITURE store between Rosenthal's Clothing (now San Joaquin EnvironmentalHealth Dept.) and the Hotel Bronx (now Main Street Manor). - Photo Courtesy of Floyd Perry Jr.

  640-648 E. Main St. - Former Bronx Hotel - Now Almond View Apartments - The 1912, Stockton City Directories list this building as the Hotel Bronx. By 1930, the Golden Rule Food Store occupied a ground floor  By 1945, City Directories listed the grocery as W. G. Walton's. The Hotel Bronx continued service into the 1970s. The building has recently been remodeled, but only the first floor shows any significant change since the structure was last surveyed in the 1970s
648 E. Main St. - Golden Rule Food Store. / W.G. Dalton Grocery (50)

Also at location were:
637 E. Main St. - Hobby Craft Shop (1967)
641 E. Main St. - Bamboo Fountain / Fresh Maid Dairy (1950) This building first appears in Stockton City Directories in 1917 as the La Verta Hotel. The La Verta is listed in City Directories through 1950. By 1930, the City Directory listed the Art Barber Shop and McMurray Brothers in the ground floor retail spaces. The 1935 Directory shows that W. G. Cuthbert Photography had moved into a formerly vacant space. In 1940, all the retail spaces were noted as vacant, though the La Verta remained. By 1945, J. H. Lucas Photographer and A B. Reynolds, barber, had businesses here. The 1950 Directory listed the Comarr's Men's Shop and Fresh Maid Dairy Lunch in the La Verta Hotel. Built in 1913.

643 E. Main St. - Six Forty Three Club

645 E. Main St. - Stanislaus Apartments - The building also has a 9-11 N. Stanislaus Street address. The 1917 City Directory listed the Stanislaus address as the Lester Apartments. By 1930 the name had changed to the Dudley Apartments, and Gnekows Plumbing and Electric occupied a space on the Main. Street side.By 1935, the plumber had relocated, and F. G. Cowan's restaurant had opened in the building. By 1940, the apartments were listed as Mrs. M. V, Mitchell's furnished rooms, and Marengo Liquors replaced the restaurant. By 1945 and through at/east 1950, the building was known as the Alta Apartments, and Fred Oat Porto's restaurant was located on the Main Street Side. The building is now known as the Stanislaus Apartments.
645 E. Main St. - Solari's Tavern (67) / Valhalla Tavern (1960) / Fred Dal Porto Restaurant (1950)
E. Main St - 700 Block Stanislaus Intersects

701-705 E. Main St. at Stanislaus - Gnekow Building. The building also has addresses at 2-10 North Stanislaus. Cedar's Fountain - Ventura Hotel - This building is present on the 1895, 1917, and 1950 Sanborn Maps. By 1950, the map shows that an original projecting bay at the corner had been removed. The building has addresses on East Main and at 2-10 North Stanislaus. By 1925, the building was listed as the Ventura Rooms, and remained so through 1935. By 1930, the Busy Bee Market occupied a ground floor space, but its space was vacant by 1935. By 1940, individual residents were listed instead of the Ventura Rooms, and the Singer Sewing Machine Co. was listed in one other commercial spaces. By 1945, a billiards hall and cleaners were located here. The 1950 City Directory shows that the billiard hall was replaced by the Richmain Fountain Lunch.
701 E. Main St.  - Cedar's Fountain / Richmaid Fountain Lunch (1950) / Singer Sewing Machine (1943)
705 E. Main St. - Best Cleaners / Lena's Inn  (1967)

709 E. Main St.  - New York Cleaners (1967)
711 E. Main St. - Chuck's Inn (1950-76)
713 E. Main - Hackett Hartsock Studio Photographers (1943)
715 E. Main St. - Harvard Book Store / W.E. Rice Books (1950) / H.T. Boldt Books (1943)

700 E. Main St. - Velvacon Paints / Mint Card Room / Mint Social Club (60) / Stockton Bible House (1950) / Harry Goon Meats (1943)

702-710 E. Main St. - Levy Building - This building was constructed in the early 1900s for a Stockton clothing dealer, Max Levy. The first floor of the building was utilized for retail space while the second floor served as a rooming house. Through the years the building has been used by various businesses, including a cafe, bible shop, and furniture store. Since the mid 1940s the building has been used as a retail paint store. The upper floors have housed the St. George and Burke Rooms
706 E. Main St. - M.P. Paint Company
710 E. Main St. - Morgan's Fabrics (1967) / Stockton Electronics (1959-60)  / White Plains BBQ (1950)
712 E. Main St. - Burke Rooms. (1959)
720 E. Main - Ace Parking Lot

721 E. Main St. - Seven Twenty One Club
723 1/2 E. Main St. - Mow Barber Shop / Jimmie's Cafe (60) / R.E. Prothers Cigars (50)

Hotel Earle / Sutter Hotel / Hotel Milner - Demolished

725 E. Main - Earle Hotel

725-741 E. Main St. - This building was originally called the Sutter Hotel. In the 1940s it became known as. the Hotel Milner (1960) and then in by 1967 the Hotel Earle. The ground floor has had various business since the building was constructed, including clothing stores, tailors, a shoe shine shop, a cigar store, a liquor store,  Gorham Bicycle Schwinn Bicycle Shop, a gift shop, and a book store.  The building burned beyond repair on June 4, 2014.
737 E. Main St. - New Shanghi Cafe (1950)
739 E. Main St. - Main Street Bicycle / Stockton Bicycle / Bacigulalupi Bicycles (1950)
741 E. Main St. - Gunderson Electronics / C.D. Mallory Toys (50) / LW. La Veau Barber (1943)
743 E. Main St. - Cecil's Safe, Lock & Key (1960s)

745 E. Main St. - Davis Piano workshop - This building is recorded on the 1950 Sanborn map, but not the 1895 or 1917 maps. Stockton City Directories, however, show no listing for this building at either the East Main or North Grant addresses. There is a sign on the building at 745 E. Main announcing it as Davis Piano Workshop (now apparently vacant), and the same words are also painted on the cornice line around the comer of the building.
747 E. Main - Stockton Cash Register Company (1960)

730 E. Main St - Louie's Market - The original sign that was on the El Dorado restaurant. Golden Gate began as a Chinese & American Restaurant. Later they added Vietnamese and eliminated American in the late 1980's. In the 1990's, it became Mexican Food as Golden Gate Taqueria. Today, it's Louie's Market. / Rosemar TV
732 E. Main - Former County Personnel Department (1960) / County Welfare Department (1957) / Patrician Studios (1950)
734 E. Main - Golden Gate Grill (1967) / Lincoln Market (1950)

738 E. Main St. - Nutralite / Rosemar TV (1967) / J.W. Warnke Printer (1950)

740 E. Main St. - Midway Barber Shop (1967)
742 E. Main - Cecil Bowser Reloading & Ammo Shop (1967)

744 E. Main - Betty's Dance Studio (1960) / Eiller's Dancing Studio (1957) / Granada Social Club (1950)
746 E. Main - Downing Paint Company (1967) / J.W. Brotherton Restaurant (1950)

E. Main St - 800 Block Grant Intersects

800 E. Main St - Former Yellow Cab Service area - & Hertz Rent A Car - SPD Archives photo - Loomis Armored Car Service (1960) / Main Street Garage & Union Cab (1950) / A.W. Goodfellow Garage (1943)

803 E. Main - A.O. Peterson Grocer

820 East Main Street

820-832 E. Main St. - The 1925 Stockton City Directory lists Mr. Frank Belmore Pet Shop at 828 E. Main Street. By 1930, Charles Pike Furniture, Thomas Browne Gas Engines, and the California Pet Shop / 828 E. Main - Belmore Pet Shop (50) were all listed at this address. By 1935, M. Hoffman & Son Furniture replaced Pike's, and by 1940 the furniture store was replaced by an office of the State Relief Administration. By 1945, a U.S.O. Club and L. R. Meier Signs were located here, and in 1950, the Directory listed Samuel Newstadt Furniture, Meier Signs, Phillips Signs.
820 E. Main - Former Herb's Surplus

825 E. Main St. - Don Rafa's Taco Shop / Albertos / Former L&M Cafe (66) / Jack's Lunch (43) Appearing on the 1917 and 1950 Sanborn maps, and the 1917 Stockton City Directory lists a business owned by Thomas Richards at this address. By 1930, the Quick Lunch restaurant was located here. The restaurant changed hands frequently. In 1935, City Directories listed it as W. T. Collins' restaurant, and in 1940 as Nadine Sutton's. By 1945, the restaurant was owned by Joshua Kurpiel, and by 1950 by Fred Kim Restaurant (50). It appears that the second floor was residential, but there were no listings for this building other than the restaurants in City Directories
831 E. Main - Washburn Realty (1960) / Central Valley Kirby Vacuums (50)

826 E. Main St. - Former Cushman Motor Works
836 E. Main St. - Former Savio Bicycle Supply

840 E. Main St. - Appearing on the 1917 and 1950 Stockton Sanborn Maps. There is, however, no listing in Stockton City Directories for this building until 1950, when the Bridgo Lodge, described as "amusements," was located on the South Aurora side of the building. Left photo - Floyd Perry Jr. at the start of a fun day.

E. Main St - 900 Block Aurora Intersects

Main and Aurora Streets looking West

901-915 E. Main St. - Former Hotel Granada - demolished - The building appears on the 1950 Sanborn map, but not on the 1917 map. The Stockton City Directory for 1925 lists this building as the Hotel Granada. The 1930 Directory listed the Du Bois Cigar Store, Service Pharmacy and Colonial Restaurant as businesses at the ground floor storefronts. In 1935, all businesses were listed as vacant except the hotel, but by 1940, Carmen Delorenzo's restaurant, Samuel Pointer Shoe Shiner, W. L. Pope Barber, and George Kerkens' restaurant had opened here. By 1945, businesses included the Aurora Cigar Store, H. C. Gorton Shoe Shiner, and the Kerkens Restaurant. In 1950, the Directory listed the Aurora Cigar Store, Aurora Cafe, L & L Barber Shop and M. W. Dotson, clothing cleaner.
901 E. Main - Aurora Cigar Store (57)
905 E. Main - Aurora Cafe (57)
907 E. Main - Main Barber Shop (57)
909 E. Main - Hotel Granada (57)
911 E. Main - Don's Watch Repair  (1957) / Simpkin Transfer (1916)
915 E. Main - Main Cafe (57) / George Kirkins Restaurant (50)

902 E. Main - Central Cal Grocery

904 E. Main St - Bay Alarm offices - Formerly The Imperial Hotel - Appearing on the 1917 and 1950 Stockton Sanborn ·Maps and was once the four-story Imperial Hotel, built in 1896. The elaborate hotel had a tower, dormers, and balconies. The building was designed by Charles Beasley, a well-know architect in the area. It was a very prestigious establishment, hosting all of the officials and celebrities who stayed in Stockton. The hotel boasted of its hot and cold running water, electric bells. to communicate with the front desk, an electric elevator and an elaborate fire alarm system. The hotel was a huge success until the Hotel Stockton opened in 1910, which offered a more convenient location to the busy shipping channels and Stockton's. downtown. Having lost. the upper three floors in a fire in about 1920, the building maintains little of its original architectural style and grandeur. The remaining ground floor has recently been converted into offices and monitoring facilities for Bay Alarm.
922 E. Main - Hannan House Furnished Rooms (50)

926-928 E. Main St. -New Depot Hotel (43) - Demolished Appearing on the 1950 Sanborn maps, but not on the 1917. The 1950 map reads "'Olympic Inn» and the building Is noted as having electric lights and steam heat. The train station and railroad tracks were located in the rear of the building . The 1912 Stockton City Directory lists an earlier building on this site as the Sherman House. No reference is made to this building again until1980, when the Directory noted this address as the New Depot Hotel. By 1950, it was listed as the New Depot Apartments. Demolished

1026 E. Main St. - Left photo, Southern Pacific tracks, Main Street & Street Car. Former Malt-O-Meal - California Moline Company- Piggly Wiggly Warehouse. - Minneapolis Moline Company (1931
00 Block West Main Street 00 Center

Yet Bun Heong Bakery - 00 Block of East Main

6 W. Main St. - Filipino Center Plaza & Yet Bun Heung Bakery

All Demolished in the West End Redevelopment:
11 W. Main - Flecks Clothing Store
14 W. Main - Bernard Natali Soft Drinks
15 W. Main - Ito T Restaurant
23 W. Main - Sunset Hotel
18-24 W. Main - C.G. Gall Wholesale Grocery
19 W. Main - Manual Souzo Soft Drinks
24 W. Main - Mi Ranchito Cafe (1959)
26 W. Main - Auga Calienta Cafe Tavern
29 W. Main - Estrallita Cafe Tavern / High lee Laundry (1935)
30 W. Main - Lafayette Hotel
40 W. Main - Lincoln Bakery
44 W. Main - Busch & Bremmer Soft Drinks (1935)
45 W. Main - Main Street Apartments
46 W. Main - Golden West Hotel
48 W. Main - Golden West Tavern / Santini Matteo Soft Drinks (1935)

W. Main St - 100 Block Commerce Intersects

100 Block Main and Commerce - Colombo Hotel - 1890s - Photo posted by Kevin Shawver

100 Block Main & Commerce - Globe Iron Works

122 W. Main - Hotel Central
124 W. Main - Hotel Central Tavern

W. Main St - 200 Block Madison Intersects

202 - W. Main Street - Former Hotel Torino / Trogilia & Barri Soft Drinks (1935)

273-275 W. Main St. The 1893 City Directory lists 273-275 Main as the address for John T. Hickinbotham, importer of Carriage and Wagon materials.  It must have been W. Main as E. Main is where the Courthouse stands.

W. Main St - 300 Block Monroe Intersects
336 W. Main - Sun Drop Bottling Company
W. Main St - 400 Block Van Buren Intersects
419 W. Main - Maffei Beverage Bottling Company (1950), Star Beverage Company

448 W. Main - Star Lumber Company (1950)

1810 W. Main - East Bay Municipal Utility District (1950) (1943)

See also

External links

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