Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses - apartment houses

Designers: Wolfe and Higgins, Archtiects (firm); Frank Delos Wolfe (architect)

Dates: constructed 1924-1925

1 story

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1500 Wharf Road
Capitola, CA 95010

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San Jose developer Henry J. Roth erected the The Venetian Court Apartments, a complex of 24 small building units clustered in four main groups. Roth turned to the successful San Jose architectural firm of Wolfe and Higgins to design the 24 units. The new resort complex responded to increasing numbers of automobile tourists in the seaside town, numbers enhanced by the completion of the Glenwood Highway (today California Highway 17) in 1923, connecting the Santa Clara Valley with the Santa Cruz coastal region.

Building History

Capitola transitioned from being a seacoast fishing town to a tourist center by the mid-1920s. The site where the Venetial Court Apartments were built was formerly occupied by small, wood-frame houses owned by fishermen. The cluster of wooden shanties was featured in Paramount Pictures silent movie, "The Testing Block," (1920), starring William S. Hart and Eva Novak. It was shot in town in 03/1920, and the shanties were removed shortly after shooting was completed.

Developer Henry J. Roth of San Jose purchased the land on which the Venetian Court Apartments were built from H. Alien Rispin, an oilman who himself bought a great deal of Capitola land in 1919.

National Register of Historic Places (Listed 1987-04-02): 87000574 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 23355