Touring Arcata Plaza, Destination # 1

Union Building

808 G St.

Built: 1889

Period: Victorian Architecture c. 1885-1900

For seventy five years, this little false front building was the home of the Arcata Union newspaper, established in 1886 and moved to this location in 1901. A small office on the south front provided space for a variety of uses including real estate and insurance businesses, a: millinery shop and, from 1901 until 1907, the Arcata Post Office. A false front addition at the rear housed the "neat and well appointed" undertaking parlors of J. G. Dolson from 1904 until 1912.

The building was constructed for John C. Bull, Jr. in 1890 to replace one destroyed in the 1889 fire which swept the east side of the Plaza on November 19th. First occupied by the O.K. Saloon, run by H. McCormack, the building later became the tailor shop of A. Basch before the Wiley family remodeled it in 1901 for the newspaper office.

Painted white with dark "Arcata Union" wording across the front, the Union Building was a handsome example of simple storefront architecture. Brackets lined the projecting cornice at the top of the false front, larger fan brackets marked the comers, and above the transom and large, four pane windows, a row of dentils decorated the overhang.

As the long time home of the community's only newspaper, which has been the chronicler of Arcata's history for the past century, the Union Building deserves historic recognition through restoration of its tum of the century architecture.