Categorized | local

downtown hole

Wandering around downtown, you never know what you’ll discover.

two backhoes

For instance, I spotted this hole in the ground downtown. At the corner of L St. & Tuolumne. Two backhoes and a bobcat sit resting after the destruction. They’re going to have to dig their way out.


What was a building is now sculptural piles of broken concrete and twisted rebar.

sculpture 2

I’d rather write about construction and what new designs are in store for Fresno.


This was the site of the Cornerstone Youth Center. I’m not sure if it was being used recently. Cornerstone Church is one of the largest property owners in Downtown Fresno. While I don’t know much of the facts, I offer these visuals to explore. Meanwhile I’ll try to find out if Cornerstone still owns the site and plans to develop a new building, or if they sold it to another party that will develop it.

birds eye

This is what used to be here. Not really an architectural gem, so I’m not sad to see it go.

View Larger Map

Demolition is a complicated concept for me. On one hand the process is somewhat beautiful to me. The is also the creative aspect of imagining what might go in its place. On the other hand, knowing Fresno development, the site may sit vacant for years, another missing tooth in Downtown’s smile.

What do you think should go in this building’s place? What functions should it have? How tall should it be?

This post was written by:

kiel - who has written 140 posts on archop.

Kiel Schmidt is founder and curator of archop

Contact the author

6 Responses to “downtown hole”

  1. hilary says:

    i read in the paper yesterday that this would be the site of a 5 story mixed-use building. the snippet did not mention the name of the developer.

  2. kiel says:

    Hilary, do you have a link. I haven’t seen anything in my news feed and the Fresno Bee website is impossible to find old news.

  3. Don Simmons says:

    The plans for the new building came to the HPC over a year ago, since this lot is adjacent to the Hershey Home, one of the oldest in the Cultural Arts District and on the register. The plan is for Cornerstone to build a multi-story (5 or 6) mixed use building, w’ housing and commercial space (one is designated as a coffee shop)–the Cultural Arts board liked the plan, the HPC liked the plan, and the owners of the Hershey house were satisfied with the plan, with some modifications to the landscaping.

    Take a look at the full length of San Joaquin, too– it’s interesting how many buildings on this one small street have been demolished, are slated for demo (for the new library project–if that ever gets funded) and by other developers (or, which buildings are being demo’d by neglect). Something about “cumulative effect…” in CEQUA raises alarm for me.

  4. james says:

    I’m not voicing opposition to the development, but didn’t Cornerstone make the news a year or two back for financial woes? It seems like they were close to having to close the doors, if I’m remembering correctly.
    If so, that doesn’t offer much hope for a new development anytime soon.

  5. Joe Moore says:

    Take a look at L Street. That entire block is a surface parking lot expect for that one home! Cue the “we need more parking downtown” chorus…

  6. Miguel says:

    “Not really an architectural gem, so I’m not sad to see it go.”

    The building that was demolished was a fine example of Moderne/International style architecture in Fresno. Dismissing it as not architecturally significant just underscores the fact that another piece of Fresno modern architecture bit the dust.


Leave a Reply