National Register of Historic Places in Fresno County

National Register #82002177: Rehorn House in Fresno, California
25 June 2006
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National Register #82002177
Rehorn House
1050 S Street
Built 1904-1906

The Rehorn Home was one of several mansions built in the Cathedral District by prominent members of the lumber and building industries. Frank Rehorn was a pioneer building contractor who figured heavily in the growth of Fresno from its early days as a shack town to its emergence as the San Joaquin Valley's first high-rise city.

Rehorn was an outspoken member of the Citizen's Alliance, and the first president of the Builder's Exchange. These organizations were born out of anti-union sentiment during the period that the Rehorn Home was designed and built. The house was at the center of no fewer than three well-publicized strikes and took well over twelve months to complete due to delays inflicted by union pickets. In March 1905, during one of Rehorn's numerous skirmishes with the unions, his office mysteriously burned to the ground. He was not a popular man within union circles because of his commitment to the open shop concept. Curbside public gatherings, political oratory, street brawls and mass jailings were common news in the community, and Frank Rehorn was vocally involved and much quoted in the papers regarding many such occurrences.

After Rehorn's death, the home was sold to H. H. Holland. The Holland family sold the residence to the Roman Catholic diocese in 1941, and it was used as a convent by the Sisters of the Holy Cross until 1970.

By 1973, the home had been in use for several years as the Villa Carmel Home for unwed mothers. The house sat vacant in 1974, until it fell prey to the communal student housing craze, which left its own set of hallucinatory markings on the old residence.

Architects Allen Y. Lew and William E. Patnaude purchased the Rehorn residence in 1976, and launched an ambitious rehabilitation project to restore the dilapidated structure for use as their architectural office.

Source: A Guide to Historic Architecture in Fresno, California

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