HISTORY IN
    
SAN LUIS OBISPO
        COUNTY
 
  Site  by Lynne Landwehr © 2001
     www.historyinslocounty.org

 

 

 

 


Features and Information:

Watsonville Architect William H. Weeks
Left his Stamp on San Luis Obispo County
(continued)

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     Following is a chronological listing, with photos when available, of Weeks-designed buildings
in San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles: 

1902 Naylor residence, 
aka the Crocker house, 793 Buchon,
San Luis Obispo.

 

 

1903 State Polytechnic School buildings, San Luis Obispo.

Cal Poly's first campus consisted of three main buildings--the Household Arts building, the Administration building, and a boys' dormitory that also held shop and agriculture classes. These buildings overlooked the railroad tracks from the hill now occupied by the University's education and business buildings. 

Weeks' Cal Poly buildings, constructed by the local firm of Joseph Maino, were the first in the County with outside walls of lath and plaster. To students who had lived on isolated ranches and seldom been exposed to new construction techniques, these buildings were a wonder--Maino's son Charles later wrote that one new student, on the first day of school, carefully inspected the corner of one of the buildings, then gave it a hard kick: "When he found that he had knocked off a portion of the corner, he ran as fast as he could…." 

1904  Payne residence, San Luis Obispo.

No photo available.

 

 

1905 Municipal Hot Sulphur Bath House, Paso Robles.
(Now the Tribune Building.  Click on the blue-lined thumbnail photo to see a larger version.)

The Paso Robles Press reported in 1928 that the Municipal Bath House "was built by the city with the idea of making it possible for rich and poor alike to share the wonderful powers of Paso Robles' curative waters. This attractive bath house was build at a cost of $25,000. The water from the springs is brought in at a temperature of 102 degrees F. and emptied into the tubs at practically the same temperature without being artificially heated. These baths are especially good for rheumatism, neuritis, stomach trouble, sciatica, asthma, gout, chronic catarrh, diabetes, neuralgia, and constipation. There is a Swedish masseur and masseuse in attendance at all times."

 

1905 Carnegie Library, Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo. 
(Now the County Historical Museum.)
DetailCarnegieLibrarySLO.jpg (45812 bytes)
1906 Bath House for Hotel El Paso de Robles, Paso Robles.
1906 Professor Smith's residence, San Luis Obispo.

No photo available.


PasoRoblesCarnegieLibraryInColor.jpg (81685 bytes)

1908 Carnegie Library, Central Square, Paso Robles. 
(Now the Paso Robles Historical Society Museum. Click on blue-lined thumbnail photos to see larger photos.)

DetailPasoRoblesCarnegieLibraryFacade.jpg (62361 bytes)

1916 Grammar School, Paso Robles.

No photo available. 

 

1908 French Hotel, new version, 
opposite Mission San Luis Obispo, 
San Luis Obispo.

 

1910 Stover Sanitarium, 1160 Marsh Street, San Luis Obispo. 
(Now known as "the old French Hospital.")
1916 High School, 1200 block of Marsh Street, 
San Luis Obispo.

    Watsonville historian Betty Lewis has documented hundreds of Weeks' known designs. Her listing spans nine pages in her very comprehensive book on Weeks, and encompasses structures in 152 different towns and cities. And there was more than one Weeks building in most of these places--Hollister had 27, Monterey had 28, and Salinas's total was 36.  Of course, as his business grew, Weeks had other architects, including his brother Harold, working with him in his firm. And often a design used successfully in one place could be modified slightly and then re-appear in another location--witness the similarities of the Carnegie Library in Santa Cruz (1904) and the Carnegie Library in San Luis Obispo (1905):

Carnegie Library/Santa Cruz Carnegie Library/SLO

     Weeks was prolific, yet he was anything but flashy.  He preferred the revival styles:  Greek, Gothic, and Spanish/Mission.  This conservatism in his style was reflected in his methods--Weeks was solid in his approach and known for his square, fair dealing.  Many of his buildings have lasted now for over 100 years.   He was a small-town architect who made it "big time," and he designed so conscientiously that his work will, we hope, continue to grace our local scene for years to come. 

--Lynne Landwehr, © 2003.

Sources:
       Gibson, Ross Eric. "The Hall that Apples Built: How Watsonville Rode Its Apple Boom," on www.santacruzpl.org 
       Hook, Jeff.  City Planning Department, City of San Lewis Obispo.
       Lewis, Betty. W.H. Weeks, Architect. Fresno: Pioneer Publishing Co.,1985.
       Loe, Nancy et. al. Cal Poly: The First Hundred Years. (San Luis Obispo: California Polytechnic State University, 2001).
       Maino, Charles. Memories of San Luis Obispo. San Luis Obispo: Jeannette Gould Maino/private publication, 1990.
       San Luis Obispo City and County Chamber of Commerce Booklet, 1909.
       San Luis Obispo City Directories for 1902, 1904, and 1914.
       Tritenbach, Paul. San Luis Obispo Discoveries. San Luis Obispo: Excellence Press, 1989.
       Weeks, William H. "Architectural Style for the School Building," in Pacific Coast Architect, September 1914.

 

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Copyright © 2001 Lynne Landwehr.  All rights reserved.
www.historyinslocounty.org