National Register of Historic Places in Fresno County

National Register #78000664: Physicians Building in Fresno, California 25 June 2006
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National Register #78000664
Physicians Building
2607 Fresno Street
Built 1926

The Physicians Building, designed by architect Charles E. Butner for six Fresno physicians and surgeons, was the first building in this part of the Central San Joaquin Valley designed to house medical examination offices and laboratories.

Butner was a proponent of the simple dignity of the Italianate manner. His design for the Physicians Building is an elegantly refined blend of the various revival styles peculiar to California architecture during the 1920s. Beyond the red-tiled roof and the original, sheer white-washed walls, the building resists strict comparison to the more common Spanish Revival Style. With its centralized axial plan, its dramatic and classically styled inner court, and its crisp angularity and precision detail, the design suggests a more conscious adaptation of Palladian ideals.

Time and the thundering movement of the wrecker's ball have brought "progress" to the community, with a corresponding loss of many of Fresno's most character-full old structures. A troubling number of Butner's buildings have been destroyed, such as his Sullivanesque McKinley and John Muir Schools.

Among Butner buildings which still exist as a part of the Central Valley's architectural heritage are Twining Laboratories (1930), Republican Printery (1919), the Leon Gamy residence (1935), and the Physicians Building (1926).

Adapted from the NRHP Nomination dated 31 July 1978.

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