Structure Type: built works - dwellings -public accommodations - hotels

Designers: Beck, Thomas, Building Contractor (firm); Thomas Beck (building contractor)

Dates: constructed 1871

3 stories

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418 Main Street
Downtown, Watsonville, CA 95076

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The Mansion House occupied 418-424 Main Street.


Completed in 1871, this Mansion House Hotel replaced the Pacific Exchange Hotel erected in 1856 on the northeast corner of Main and East Beach Streets in Watsonville, CA. Mateo and M.N. Lettunich purchased the hotel in 1906, and developed a plan to replace the Mansion House with a modern office building; they decided to move the Second Empire Style hotel 110 feet to the northwest, where it continued in use until the 1920s. After the Depression, the building became a low-cost lodging spot, and gradually came to be seen as an example of urban blight in Downtown Watsonville. Authorities ticketed it for demolition in 1968, but preservationists fought to retain it. A local business, Hoffman & Associates, purchased the building just before it was to be razed in 1978, and adaptively reused it.

Building History

Irish-born building contractor and architect Thomas Beck (1829-1910) designed the Second Empire Mansion Hotel. The rarity of a wood-frame, Second-Empire Style, commercial block surviving into the 21st century on a main business street cannot be overstated.

National Register of Historic Places: 83001242 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 20974