National Register of Historic Places in Stanislaus County

National Register #03001359: Plaza Building in Patterson, California 16 June 2006
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National Register #03001359
Plaza Building
AKA Center Building
Plaza #2
Built 1910

The Center Building is was designed by master architect Arthur B. Benton of Southern California. He came to the developing town in October 1909 at the request of the town founder Thomas W. Patterson.

Benton contracted with the Patterson Ranch Company to design the first three buildings here. The Center Building and the Del Puerto Hotel (ruined by fire in 1996 and demolished in 1998) are in the Mission Revival style. The Mercantile Building is a two-story brick building.

Benton chose local architects to oversee construction of these buildings before returning south. The Center Building was completed in 1910. It is the oldest building in Patterson and the city continues to revolve around it.

Adapted from the NRHP nomination.

The California Mission Revival architectural style had its inception during the late 1860's and 1870's.

Newcomers from the East became aware of the abandoned and deteriorating missions. They found each mission was different in design with some few things in common. Usually built around a quadrangle, the sun-dried adobe brick walls had to be four to five feet thick to support tile roofs. Overhanging eaves protected the adobe, covered with lime stucco, from melting in the winter rains. Roofed corridors with exterior arches were used on the quadrangle walls to protect walkers from sun and wet weather.

The Spanish padres coming into Alta California were accustomed to the needs of Mediterranean climates and built accordingly. Mission Revival architects recognized and appreciated this factor. Although having to build with concrete or stucco rather than adobe, the revivalists adopted some basic mission elements to create the style. These included arches, gables, quatrefoils, open or enclosed porches and tile roofs.

Adapted from the NRHP nomination.

The building now houses the Patterson Township Historical Society.

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