Bakersfield Historical Buildings Tour, Bakersfield

Bakersfield Historical Buildings Tour (Self Guided), Bakersfield

Many buildings in Bakersfield were damaged during the earthquake of 1952. Fortunately, many of them have since been carefully restored and preserved. Take this tour to explore Bakersfield's past by visiting some the city's buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places or as Historic Sites in Kern County.
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Bakersfield Historical Buildings Tour Map

Guide Name: Bakersfield Historical Buildings Tour
Guide Location: USA » Bakersfield (See other walking tours in Bakersfield)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Author: Sandra
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Fox Theater
  • Jastro Building
  • Women's Club
  • Masonic Building
  • Post Office Building
  • Padre Hotel
  • Bakersfield Californian Building
  • Kress Building
  • First Baptist Church
Fox Theater

1) Fox Theater (must see)

The Fox Theater is located at 2001 H Street in Downtown Bakersfield, California. The theater, which opened on Christmas Day, 1930 is the performing arts hub, and hosts a variety of performing talent, ranging from ballets to contemporary pop and rock acts.

The Fox Theater in Bakersfield, California opened with the feature film Just Imagine, a sci-fi film set 50 years in the future. The 1930s were a strong period for the Fox Theater. The silver screen featured the latest "talkie" pictures, and the stage was graced by numerous acts including Bakersfield native Metropolitan Opera baritone Lawrence Tibbett (1933); world-renowned soprano Kirsten Flagstad (1939); the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra (1939); and the classic pianist Arthur Rubinstein (1940). Because of the Fox Theater's Type I construction of poured concrete over steel, the theater withstood the 1952 earthquake which shook Bakersfield and leveled many buildings throughout the city.

Today, the Fox Theater is the heart of Downtown Bakersfield's arts and entertainment district. The theater is home to FLICS, Bakersfield's foreign film program which runs fall through spring yearly, showcasing the best foreign film of the past year. The Fox Theater also sees a variety of music stars including Cyndi Lauper, Olivia Newton John, and Switchfoot. The Theater also hosts numerous local dance recitals, as well as performing arts events such as Russian ballet.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Jastro Building

2) Jastro Building

The Jastro Building, also known as the Standard Oil Building, is a historic office building in Bakersfield, California. The structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 22, 1983.

The Jastro Building is a two-story structure in downtown Bakersfield, California. Built in the late-Second Renaissance Revival architecture style, it was constructed in two sections in 1917 and 1921, the latter added a 10,000 square feet (930 m2) wing. The first floor is designed in a "C" shape, with an indentation at the rear of the building. The second floor has an "H" shape design with an indented porch over the front, south-facing facade of the building; the main entrance is located on the first floor below the porch. The structure has a flat roof with boxed cornice bracketed parapet. The windows are vertical, 2-sash casement windows with transom. The second story center porch windows have molded arches with frieze.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Women's Club

3) Women's Club

This elegant and richly decorated building in the heart of downtown Bakersfield was constructed in 1921. It was designed by architect Charles Howatt Biggar in the Colonial Revival style. The Women's Club features an embayed portico entrance with Ionic columns, as well as white cornices set against the red brick of the main structure. The Woman's Club was founded in 1896 to encourage women to participate in literature, art, and the sciences. The building had some small alterations made to it after the 1952 earthquake, but it is recognized as a historical and architectural landmark.
Masonic Building

4) Masonic Building

The Freemasons established a chapter in Bakersfield in 1862. The Masonic Temple, located at 1920 18th Street, was built in 1923 by Carl Werner in the Renaissance Revival style. The building has many imposing rooms, an auditorium, and a conference room that can be rented for special events.
Post Office Building

5) Post Office Building

The Post Office Building, located on the corner of G Street, was built in 1925 and was designed by the well-known American architect James A. Wetmore. It is a simple structure made of brick and reinforced concrete that features decorative arched embayments. The Post Office Building has been recognized as Bakersfield’s official federal government center for many years.
Padre Hotel

6) Padre Hotel

This grand multi-story hotel is located on the corner of H Street and 18th Street. It was designed by John M. Cooperin in the Spanish Colonial Revival style and was completed in 1928. It was later renovated and refurnished by an ambitious group of investors to serve as a boutique hotel.
Bakersfield Californian Building

7) Bakersfield Californian Building

The Bakersfield Californian Building is a historic office building in Bakersfield, California. The structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 10, 1983. It was built for and is currently occupied by the newspaper, The Bakersfield Californian.

The Bakersfield Californian Building consists of two structures, both faced with reddish-brown bricks and with a primary facade facing east. Originally, the four-story main building was rectangular in shape, but over time additions made it L-shaped. A detached, 900 square feet (84 m2) rectangular structure, designed as a women's rest facility, is located at the northeast corner of the larger one. Exterior brick pilasters on the secondary sides cover the structural steel. The main entry on the eastern facade consists of seven wide granite steps which lead to polished brass double glass doors. The entry is divided into three sections by columns, each features a large, rectangular opening. The two side sections hold large, multipaned windows and heraldic shields above, one with the name of the architect. The center section, framed by Corinthian columns includes the main door along with a multipaned transom. The parapet above the sections is inscribed with "The Bakersfield Californian"; a later renovation placed a new inscription, using a new font, in front of the original inscription.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Kress Building

8) Kress Building

The Kress Building is situated in downtown Bakersfield, facing 19th Street and K Street. It was built in 1931 out of reinforced steel and brick. The designer of this splendid Art Deco building was American architect Edward Sibbert. It originally housed the Kress Department Store but now serves as an office building.
First Baptist Church

9) First Baptist Church

The First Baptist Church, also known as the Bell Towers, is a historic church complex presently used as an office building in Bakersfield, California. The structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 2, 1979.

Constructed in 1931, the structure was built of reinforced concrete, with the outside finish, simulating brick, created by a poured cast. Red, Spanish tile shingles cover the roof. A prominent, 70 foot (21 meter) bell tower stands in the center of the south facade, forming part of what was the vestibule and narthex of the church. The south side of the church also features large white oak doors with decorative arches above them. Blind arches and mullions rise to the roof level, giving the structure its Romaneque character. A single story arcade joins the wings of the building and surrounds a landscaped courtyard.

The southwest side of the complex is the original fellowship hall, built in a Mission Revival style. The structure is characterized by lofty arched windows on its west side; on its south side is a large arched window, originally a door, flanked by smaller arched windows.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

Walking Tours in Bakersfield, California

Create Your Own Walk in Bakersfield

Create Your Own Walk in Bakersfield

Creating your own self-guided walk in Bakersfield is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Bakersfield Introduction Walking Tour

Bakersfield Introduction Walking Tour

Colonel Thomas Baker established the city now known as Bakersfield in 1863. His small original settlement has developed into one of the largest cities in California. There are many notable landmarks in downtown Bakersfield that highlight the cultural and historic significance of the city. Take this self-guided tour to get acquainted with the beautiful monuments, parks, and cultural venues spread...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles