Touring Arcata Plaza, Destination # 17


853 H St.

Built: 1901

Period: Transitional Architecture c. 1900-1910

The Humboldt Manufacturing Co.'s general merchandising store was built on this site in 1901 and continues to exist as the south half of the building, but hidden by the 1950's facade. The north half was constructed in 1956, replacing "the finest, most substantial and artistically finished building in Northern California" the two story Bank of Arcata, built in 1890.

The Humboldt Manufacturing Co. building was a new storefront with the always popular center entrance, recessed between large plate glass display windows. The projecting cornice was decorated by a tiny railing and lined with brackets, a row of squares and dentils. The moulded and grooved comer boards terminated in large brackets with finials on top. Another row of dentils extended across the top of the windows, which were set off by mouldings and narrow colonettes.

The Bank facade was of fine pressed brick with window and door arches of yellow pressed brick and matching terra cotta caps. The window, 10'x l2', was the largest single sheet of glass on the north coast when it arrived from France in the fall of 1890. Columns, separating the second story windows, were also of yellow terra cotta, upon which was a two foot course of yellow pressed brick. Interior amenities included a beautiful laurel and burl counter, a fireplace mantle with pilasters of the same material and a four foot laurel wainscoting, finished with Mad River ash and curly redwood, around the vault.