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| Downtown Historic Sites|
| ||This illuminated welcoming sign was erected on Main Street near Cypress Street in 1923. It had 115 small electric lights. |
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First National Bank of Walnut Creek as it looked in 1921 (left) and today. Built in 1913 by Robert Noble Burgess, the building eventually housed the Bank of America from 1929 until it left in 1947.
| ||The Walnut Creek Meat Market was built in 1910 by Fred Lawrence, who ran the butcher shop with his brothers, Joe and Harry. The Lawrence family continued the business until 1986, when it moved it to Alamo. Today the building is occupied by Sasa. |
Main Street in 1880 (above) showed Harlan's Livery Stable and the Rogers Hotel along the dirt roadway. Today, that space is occupied by the Broadway Pointe stores and the Bank of America clocktower.
| ||Walnut Creek's first fire station was built on Bonanza Street in 1926 and closed in 1965. It was the first station in the Central Fire District (today's Contra Costa Fire Protection District). Today, the building is occupied by Havana. |
| ||The El Rey Theatre was opened July 17, 1937 on Main Street near Civic Drive. The theater was razed in December 1983. |
| ||Walnut Creek's first movie theater was the Ramona, opened in 1920 next to the Contra Costa Courier newspaper office on Main Street. The theater was later named the Walnut Creek Theater in 1932, but returned to its original name when it reopened in the 1940s. It was razed in 1957 to allow the extension of Cypress Street. |
Bonanza Street as it looked in 1968 (above) and in 2002 (right). The Fuller O'Brien Paint store on the right was reopened as the Festival Cinema on May 29, 1969.
The Festival Cinema was a five-screen moviehouse that was eventually closed on Aug. 31, 2001. Today, the site is occupied by McCovey's restaurant.
The Nut Bowl Fountain in 1947 at Main and Lincoln.
Today, the building is home to Opa! restaurant 1532 No. Main Street.
Joe Silveira built the brick Valley Mercantile building at Main and Cypress streets in 1916.
| ||Dr. Claude Leech and his wife, Eva, took up residence in this two-story house on Main Street in 1901. Dr. Leech was the town doctor from 1897 until his death in 1934. Mrs. Leech was the first woman to sit on the Walnut Creek City Council, from 1931 to 1934. The 1873 house was relocated a few yards north in 1993 to be turned into a restaurant. Today, Modern China restaurant occupies the building. |
| ||The southwest corner of Main and Mt. Diablo Boulevard as it looked around 1947. There was an Associated Gas Station there, along with the Cottage Kitchen restaurant and Club Diablo. Today, the corner is occupied by Tiffany & Co., The Apple Store, and Pottery Barn Kids. |
| ||In 1880, the same corner was occupied by the Oak Saloon. The small barns on the left were the blacksmith shop of Michael Kirsch, whose two-story home sits in the background. |
| ||The last surviving church from the 19th century is St. Paul's Mission Chapel, seen here in the 1920s when it stood on School Street (today known as Locust Street). Built in 1889 by Cornelius Waite, the redwood chapel was moved in 1950 to its present site at St. Paul's Episcopal Church on Trinity Avenue. |
A former walnut warehouse (above) was converted by the City into a playhouse in 1967 and used until 1988, when it was razed to make room for the Regional Center for the Arts.
Opened on Oct. 4, 1990, the Regional Center was inaugurated with a gala show starring Bob Hope and Joel Grey. It was renamed for the late Contra Costa Times publisher Dean Lesher in 1995.
| ||The oldest photograph of Walnut Creek, taken around 1872, shows the Sherburne Brothers' store (built around 1862) at the corner of Main and Mt. Diablo Boulevard. The building today is occupied by La Fogata Mexican Restaurant. |
| ||Walnut Creek's first library was opened in October 1916 on the northwest corner of Main Street at Civic Drive. Built with a $2,500 Carnegie Foundation grant, the 1,500-square-foot library served the community until 1961. |
| ||Walnut Creek's first financial institution, the San Ramon Valley Bank, was built in 1908 at the southeast corner of Main and Duncan. The bank left the building after a few years, and the building saw many different uses as an office and retail store before being razed in 1998. |
| ||Southern Pacific Railroad built this train station in 1891 when it began passenger service through Walnut Creek. The depot was used until 1941, and was relocated in 1972 to allow for the extension of Broadway. Today, the building is the home of Vic Stewart's Famous for Steaks at 850 South Broadway. || |