Main Structure

The Bakersfield Californian Building Main Structure

 

Placed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 10, 1983, The Bakersfield Californian Building is a steadfast example of magnificent architecture in Bakersfield.

The strong construction of the building has aged well with time, even withstanding the 1952 Kern County Earthquake. It was a magnitude 7.3 that shook downtown Bakersfield, where the newspaper building stands. The earthquake destroyed the town’s clocktower, also located in the downtown area, as well as surrounding areas in Kern County. Though the earthquake did not damage the building, measures were taken after the event to ensure the building would remain strong. The exterior walls, previously unreinforced, were removed brick-by-brick and strengthened with gunite, a layer of concrete.

When the building opened in 1926, Mr. Alfred Harrell was congratulated by many prominent people, including the then President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge. Harrell purchased the newspaper in 1897, and he changed its name from The Daily Californian to The Bakersfield Californian in 1907.

Façade of the Bakersfield Californian Building as it stands today. Photo taken December 2020.

Post-Earthquake alterations made to reinforce the exterior walls. Photo taken approx. 1952-53 by an unknown photographer, Southeast view.

Architect Charles Biggar, originally from Illinois, worked on many well-known buildings in the Bakersfield area, such as the The First Baptist Church and the Kern County Chamber of Commerce.