AKA: Haberfelde, George, Office Building, Downtown, Bakersfield, CA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings; built works - commercial buildings - stores

Designers: Biggar, Charles Howatt, Architect (firm); Charles Howatt Biggar (architect)

Dates: constructed 1925-1926

5 stories, total floor area: 72,577 sq. ft.

1706 Chester Avenue
Downtown, Bakersfield, CA 93301

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An alternate address was 1412 17th Street.

Building History

German-born businessman George Carl Haberfelde, (1871-1962), purchased a Ford automobile dealership in Bakersfield, CA, in 1913, from Mary Lively Brundage, (1850-1931), the widow of Judge Benjamin Brundage (1834-1911), and built it into a very successful enterprise, that, under another name, Jim Burke Ford, still existed in 2020. He also served as the city’s mayor between 1923 and 1925. Interestingly, while he was mayor, Haberfelde departed on a world tour in 01/1924 with his daughter, Clarisse, in which he would visit Asia, first, and then journey to Europe, returning across the Atlantic. (See“Haberfelde Expects Passport Tomorrow,” Bakersfield Californian, 01/16/1924, p. 7.)

On his return, he commissioned architect Charles Howatt Biggar (1882-1946) of Bakersfield to design this ambitious office and retail building on the corner of 17th Street and Chester Avenue in the central business district.

John Sarad and Tom Carosella purchased the Haberfelde Building in 1993. At that time, 13 small businesses operated in first-floor storefronts, many struggling to compete with local malls (See Marylee Shrider, Bakersfield.com, “Revisiting an old landmark,” published 02/10/2006, accessed 05/12/2020.) The Haberfelde Building was sold in 03/2017.

Building Notes

The Western Pipe and Steel Company of California had an office in Room #553 of the Haberfelde Building in 1943. (See Bakersfield, California, City Directory, 1943, p. 416.)

PCAD id: 17095