National Register of Historic Places in Humboldt County
The Janssen Building is of the commercial type known as a loft building and is constructed of brick walls on a continuous brick foundation. The façade is in the Italianate architectural style sometimes called the California Gold Rush style or the California Renaissance style.
The building boasts a distinguished iron front which was shipped north from San Francisco. All of the windows were originally protected by exterior bi-fold iron shutters which folded back into the window recesses. The lower windows have cut granite sills.
The structure housed the first elevator installed in the City of Eureka and it remained, for many years, the only elevator in the northern part of the state. Although no longer operational due to fire and building regulations, the original water powered equipment still exists.
Laid out for the handling of general merchandise, the store room on the first floor contained elegantly conceived shelving and drawer space for the display and storage of dry goods on one side, with heavier work to accommodate hardware and construction equipment on the other. The rear of the salesroom provided for groceries and necessary office space. The spacious second floor, reached via the prized elevator, afforded ample storage for stock.
Excerpted from the NRHP Nomination.
When we took the photograph, the Janssen Building was home to First Street Gallery.