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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Watsonville in Santa Cruz County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

The Lettunich Building

Corner of Main and East Beach Streets

 
 
The Lettunich Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 23, 2012
1. The Lettunich Building Marker
Inscription. Once hailed as the most elegant hotel south of San Francisco, the Mansion House in Watsonville, built in 1871, was considered past its prime in 1910. Owners Mateo and M.N. Lettunich, orchardists who also operated the Pájaro Valley’s largest fruit packing business, moved the hotel in 1914 and hired James Patterson of San José to build a new structure which was to be known as the Lettunich Building.

Then called a “skyscraper”, the structure was built of steel and reinforced concrete with twenty-seven offices on the three upper floors which were reached by electric elevator. Built in a record six months, the new Lettunich Building boasted electricity, steam heat and water throughout as well as the celebrated Cutter Patent Mail Chute. The exterior of the building, of concrete and enameled terra cotta, featured an ornament over the entrance made of fruits of the Pájaro Valley.

Banking had its beginning in the building with the Fruit Growers National Bank as a tenant in 1919. Fruit Growers sold to Liberty Bank in 1927 and that in turn became the Bank of Italy which later became the Bank of America. Bank of America remained until 1969 when it was relocated to Main and Fifth Streets. The Lettunich Building remains a central part of downtown Watsonville.
 
Location. 36° 54.612′ N, 121° 45.392′ W. Marker is in Watsonville, California
The Lettunich Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 23, 2012
2. The Lettunich Building Marker
The Lettunich Building is in the background.
, in Santa Cruz County. Marker is at the intersection of East Beach Street and Main Street, on the right when traveling east on East Beach Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 24 East Beach Street, Watsonville CA 95076, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. This Gun Was Used (here, next to this marker); The Mansion House (within shouting distance of this marker); A Year to Remember in Watsonville (within shouting distance of this marker); Where Strawberries are Sweeter (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Porter Building (about 500 feet away); The City of Watsonville (about 800 feet away); The Apple Annual (approx. 0.2 miles away); Judge Julius Lee House (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Watsonville.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNotable Buildings
 
The Lettunich Building image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 23, 2012
3. The Lettunich Building
The Lettunich Building, East Beach Street side. image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 23, 2012
4. The Lettunich Building, East Beach Street side.
The Lettunich Building Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 23, 2012
5. The Lettunich Building Entrance
The Lettunich Building, Bank of America Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 23, 2012
6. The Lettunich Building, Bank of America Entrance
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 27, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 371 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 27, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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