Stockton - San Joaquin Street Now and Then

Informational page, our Practice is 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. Most recently the Downtown Alliance, a business improvement district scheduled to begin operation in January 1998 was established. However, with the California recession of the early 1990s and 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.

North San Joaquin Street from 00 East Main Street
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Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge San Joaquin & Weber - San Joaquin side of Courthouse

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44 N. San Joaquin - County Records Building, above photos

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20 N. San Joaquin - Former Yosemite Theatre building looking out the East walk of the Courthouse. Located between Bank of Stockton and Bravo McKeegan on San Joaquin. I believe at one time it was also The First National Bank / The American Trust / Wells Fargo Location. The Yosemite Theatre opened either in 1892 or 1893. The Yosemite closed in 1919. Logan Camera Shop was also in the building

N San Joaquin St - Weber Avenue Intersects

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102 N. San Joaquin - Belding Building - The Belding Building was designed for medical and dental offices. In more recent years, the building has been occupied by several different law firms. The building is named after a Stockton businessman by the name of Charles Belding, who owned and operated a soda water bottling plant on the property before the present building was constructed. The building appears on the 1917 and 1950 Sanborn maps as the Belding Building, with addresses at 301 E. Weber and 110 N. San Joaquin. The first listing of the Belding Building in Stockton City Directories, however, was in 1935, though Avenue Drug Co. had been listed at 301 E. Weber since 1930. By 1940, Avenue Drug had changed to Hansen & Zinck Druggists. and by 1950 changed again to L. W. Harris Drugs. The Belding Building had a variety of office tenants throughout this period.

Click to Enlarge 118 N. San Joaquin - 1914 Former Central Auto Co / Ford Dealer 1913 - Now a parking garage

Click to Enlarge 121 N. San Joaquin - Former L.M. Cutting Realtor - 1956 - demolished

Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 137 N. San Joaquin Click to Enlarge 137 N. San Joaquin - Former YMCA - Later the location of Stockton Savings and Loan. and now a parking garage

N San Joaquin St - Channel Street Intersects

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212 N. San Joaquin - Lower right photo - Diocese of Stockton / Former County Jail site. The old County Jail often called Cunningham’s Castle. Built in 1893 and torn down in 1961. It lasted well into the 20th century, until a Bay Area reporter was arrested and jailed there and wrote an expose called “The Shame of the Valley.” Then with typical Stockton preservationism, it was demolished. The reporter was Pierre Salinger, later President John F. Kennedy’s press secretary. - Upper left photo courtesy of Floyd Perry Jr. Upper right photo by George Besaw of the Western Card Company of Reedley, California. Card postmarked November 19, 1911. Left photo Cunningham Castle - Former County Jail - Courtesy of Floyd Perry Jr.

Cunningham's Castle was the familiar name given to the old San Joaquin County Jail that once stood at the northeast corner of San Joaquin and Chanel Streets. Castle-like turrets were the features of the Richarson style brick building completed in 1893, hence it's nickname. Sheriff Mile Canlis commented, "the turrets gave a marvelously panoramic view of the city, if you could manage the bats and pigeons who found this an ideal home." It was truly one of the unique buildings in the city; the closest Stockton ever came to a real castle.

Cunningham's Castle replaced what was known as the Market Street Jail, a small two story brick structure built during the Gold Rush. With Stockton's growth, the capacity of this facility was strained and plans were made to establish a new jail. Under the direction of famous Sherriff Thomas Cunningham, plans for the new jail were drawn by architect, David Salfield. His original tracings are now part of the collections at the Pioneer Museum and Haggin Galleries in Victory Park. The three story brick jail was built to accommodate seventy-five prisoners. Unfortunately the capacity was quickly reached and for decades overcrowded conditions prevailed. While architecturally pleasing from the outside, those who saw the interior considered a dark, dreary place.

Glen Kennedy, in his book, It happened in Stockton, aptly described the interior: One trip through the pace was enough. . . . Up ten steps from the corner and through a pair of wide ornate doors, a steel gate was unlocked to let you in. A corridor ran back to center of the building. On one side were some supply rooms, on the other side was a visitor's  room with a screen between the visitor and prisoner and next to it was the jailor's office. "The back part of the building was round in shape with about three tiers of cells around the walls from the main floor up. One corner of this was used as a kitchen. The third floor was used for living rooms together with some cells. In the first floor or basement was a bare cement floor for drunks when they first came in . . .  In one corner of the basement were some dungeon like cells where Chinese were usually delayed."

Sherriff Mike Canlis remembers the basement cells for Orientals and adds, "It gave the appearance of a dungeon because privacy was the watchword, and at that time throughout the entire facility, separate gas jets were provided so cooking was allowed and one of the big occasions of the day was the appearance of Stuart Brothers grocery truck and the private delivery to these cells." "The building itself, "Canlis continues was made from brick and lime mortar, which over the years, because the mixture was so rich, deteriorated and the bricks could be removed by digging through the lime, consequently, large steel plates were welded around the walls.

Cunningham's Castle was criticized as being a miserable place as long ago as 1911. Constant overcrowding was the main reason for such condemnation and for years there was much talk about building a new jail. Finally, in 1958, the correctional facility was moved to new quarters in nearby French Camp. 


Click to Enlarge Looking South on San Joaquin from Channel Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Looking NE up San Joaquin St - Bank of Stockton - Former Emergency Hospital - Medico Dental Building - 212 N. San Joaquin, Former County Jail Site

Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 201-215 N. San Joaquin - Law offices - This one story building is the remains of a three story boarding house. A 1904 fire destroyed the original structure on the site, the "Columbia House," and in 1906 the present structure was constructed as the three story Simon House. The upper floors were originally occupied by the tenants of the Hotel Simon, run by John Cooper (1915) and Fred Ewert (1930). First floor tenants included a telephone office at 213 N. San Joaquin and a Vulcanizing shop. In 1930, the Ross Collection Agency and the San Joaquin Valley Securities Company were the first floor tenants, but by 1950, the first floor was occupied by the State Employment Office.
207 - Simon Hotel
211 - Bill Kobus
215 - Curtis M. Robbins

Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 217 N. San Joaquin St. - CB Merchant Services / Former Safeco Title / Security Title Co.

Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 220-222 N, San Joaquin St - Former Emergency Hospital - Built in 1910, the opening of the Emergency Hospital was an important milestone in Stockton’s history. Before the hospital had its own facility, a receiving hospital was located in the cellar of the neighboring county jail building. Funding for the hospital came from Elizabeth and James L. Hough to the city and county of San Joaquin in memory of Henry Harper Hewlett, Elizabeth’s father. The hospital was an up to date facility designed in the Mission Revival style with male and female wards, an operating room, preparation room, sterilizing room, private, and dental rooms. By the late 1960s the hospital could no longer provide proper services and it was closed by the City in 1968 and converted into county offices. Added to Register Mar 30, 2004 #08-0478

Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 235 N. San Joaquin St. - F. J. Dietrich Building - The 1950 Sanborn Map identifies the building was an electrical supply warehouse. The 1917 Sanborn reveals that this was the former site of the Miner Slough. Stockton City Directories show the first listing of this building in 1940, when Western Plumbing Supply Co. was located here. By 1945, Hockin & Galvin Electrical Contractors had taken over the plumber's space. By 1964, F. J. Dietrich & Co. Real Estate & Insurance opened their offices in the building. It was later converted into a printing company. It is now home to Reality Church. This building is unusual for its second-floor parking garage, accessed via a driveway through the south side of the front facade.

Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 240 N. San Joaquin - Bank of Stockton Trust Department / Former Mid Cal National Bank / San Joaquin First Federal

N San Joaquin St - Miner Avenue Intersects

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Click to Enlarge Blake Residence - San Joaquin & Miner 1870

324 N. San Joaquin St. - Former Schools Administration Building

Click to Enlarge 327 N. San Joaquin St. - Former State Board of Equalization

Click to Enlarge 345 N. San Joaquin St. - Pacific Telephone and Telegraph

N San Joaquin St - Lindsay Street Intersects

Click to Enlarge God's Throne Church - 405 E. Lindsay

Click to Enlarge SE corner of San Joaquin & Lindsay

Click to Enlarge San Joaquin and Lindsay, SE Corner - Left photo, 1930s, right photo, 2013

Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 401 N. San Joaquin St  - Federal Building - This building is typical of 1933 classical depression era architecture and is a product of the extensive fed construction programs of the 1930s. The lobby’s oil murals were a part of the “New Deal’s” art in public places. Aside from housing many federal agencies the building served as the sixth location of Stockton’s main post office. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1932, this building first appears on the 1950 Stockton Sanborn. The main floor of the building was originally occupied by the Post Office, with offices for the Postal Inspector, Army and Navy recruiting, the War Department engineers, IRS, and several other government agencies on the second floor. There was a post office on the ground floor, as well as IRS, FDA, Veteran's Administration, and Coast Guard. Recruiting. The second floor houses Army and Marines recruiting, FBI; Immigration and Naturalization, the Small Business Administration, and a Civil Service exam room. The basement has consistently been used tor storage since the building opened. The Federal Building was designed by the firm of Bliss & Fairweather with James A. Wetmore and local architect Howard G. Bliss. The refinement of the proportions, details, and use of materials and the building's size distinguish the Stockton Federal Building as a regionally important example of its style. The Federal Building also represents Stockton's part in a federal. construction program of the late 1920s initiated by the Hoover administration, a forerunner to Roosevelt's Public Works Administration.  Located across from Fremont Park

Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 445 N. San Joaquin - El Concilio The Council for the Spanish Speaking (El Concilio), an affiliate of the National Council of La Raza, is a non-profit community based organization offering a variety of programs to high-risk youth, infants, families, and adults representing, primarily, the Hispanic population of the Central Valley. Former African American Chamber of Commerce / Former Eichleberger-Hobin Company / First Stockton Title / Former Curnow Brothers Grocery Meats and Bakery - Kevin

620 N. San Joaquin - Women's Center and Youth Services

Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 640 N. San Joaquin St - St. Agnes School and Convent - Built as a Catholic parochial school in 1914 the facility has been successively called the St. Agnes Academy, St. Agnes High School, and San Joaquin Middle School. The adjoining building constructed in 1920 served as a convent for the Dominican sisters. Neoclassic and late beaux-arts design highlight this yellow buff brick complex, arched porch and terra cotta capped pilasters. Located in the Magnolia Historic Preservation District. The building was added to the city register by resolution number 86-0503 on August 11, 1986. Now Stockton Unified Police Department

Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 702 N. San Joaquin & Park - Left photo in the 1920s

South San Joaquin Street - Main Street Intersects

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Stockton Streets

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Stockton San Joaquin Street . Stockton San Joaquin Street