Touring Arcata Plaza, Destination # 4

Park House Building

846 G St.

Built: 1903

Period: Transitional Architecture c. 1900-1910

Bay windows across the top of this three-store building are delightful reminders that this structure goes back to another time in Arcata. Built in 1903, the building provided store space at the street level and upstairs rooms for the Park House or Park Hotel, whose handsome windows overlooked the community's little park--Arcata Plaza.

The first occupant of the north store was the Diamond Fruit Company, which advertised fresh fruits and vegetables, along with nuts, delicacies and novelties. The Popular Cigar Store shared the space along with its "club rooms" at the rear where the male members of the community came to read, smoke and play cards. In 1907, A. Banducci bought the business which he ran at this location until 1925. The Sequoia Delicatessen and Grocery continued here until 1943, followed by Malm and Murray's Sporting Goods, which lasted into the late 1960's.

The middle store started out as the Aloha Ice Cream Parlors in 1903 and that business, under a variety of names Johnson Bros., Garcelon Confectionery, Dougherty's Ice Cream Parlors, Williams' Sweet Shop and the Varsity provided local residents with ice cream, candy and "fountain lunches" for over seventy¬five years.

The south store was the long time home of the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company office. Beginning with its first lease in 1908, the company kept the community's lines humming with operator assisted calls from this G Street office until dial phones were installed in Arcata in 1956.

The building retains much of its original architecture, notably the three bays and the single windows of the upper story. Storefront changes have occurred, but the transom windows, recessed entrances, awnings and large plate glass display windows are reminiscent of Plaza buildings in the 1920's and before.