When it comes to historic buildings in San Joaquin County, one of the most prominent and well known is Hotel Stockton. Construction began in 1907 but was hindered due to the massive scale of the project and the floods of 1907 and 1909. Regardless of these obstacles, the hotel was completed and officially opened on May 26, 1910; its peak coincides with the past glamour of the city of old Stockton. Located on 133 E. Weber Avenue, what was then known as Weber’s Hole, the building boasts a Spanish Mission style by a local businessman, Lee A. Phillips, Frank A. West, Samuel Frankenheimer and architect Edgar B. Brown. Located on the head of the Stockton Channel the building was the first reinforced structure in the Central Valley and was completed at a cost of $500,000. Hotel Stockton held 252 rooms, 200 private baths as well as a roof garden and a gorgeous fountain. In addition the hotel boasted a large ballroom and beautiful dining room adjourned to the lobby. The original rates were $1.00 a day for a room without a bath and $2.00 with one.
In its glory days the hotel housed the wealthiest of San Joaquin. Many movie stars called the hotel home while they completed filming, in addition, it was Hotel Stockton that Chuck Tatum first thought up the “Tatum Special” which forever changed car racing. Speculation on the decrease of Hotel Stockton’s population revolves around the popularity and affordability of cars, as more convenient interstate motels sprung up across the country. To combat this trend, Hotel Stockton underwent a massive renovation updating the 40- year-old structure with modern conveniences in 1950. Nevertheless the renovations were not enough and Hotel Stockton closed on November 26, 1960.
It was not long before the building was reused as a number of county offices including the Department of Public Assistance; however these county services were relocated in 1992. While housing these county offices the building was recognized as a National Historical Place. Since that time Hotel Stockton has been restored and officially reopened on March 17, 2005. Included in the restoration was replicas of the oak railings, fireplace and stained glass. Also restored was the beautiful roof top terrace. The upper floors of the building have been modified into 156 apartments for fixed income residents. To this day Hotel Stockton remains a beautiful example of what a few citizens may achieve by coming together for the betterment of the city.