West Coast Biennial is BACK! This year marks the fourth Biennial at Turtle Bay Exploration Park. This art competition and exhibition is the brainchild of Mary and John Harper. Mary is our former Education Manager and John, a long time instructor at Shasta College, is a former Curator of Art at the Redding Museum of Art and History. They wanted to restart a tradition and oh boy did they!
The Redding Museum held an annual art competition and exhibition associated with the Art and Craft Faire for many years. The move to the new museum building in 2002 put that contest on hold until we could figure out a way to organize it in the new space. Mary formed The Friends of the Arts at Turtle Bay from the existing Arts Council and set about turning this dream into a reality. We had a small “logistics” run with the Find Your Walden in Redding photo contest in 2010.
The contest and exhibition are biennial, meaning they happen every other year. Artists must be from California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska and pieces must have been made in the previous three years and can’t have been previously shown at Turtle Bay. It is juried by a new outside juror each time. Past jurors include Santa Rosa-based artist, instructor, and curator Bob Nugent; the Crocker Museum’s Associate Director and Chief Curator, Scott Shields; the Portland Art Museum’s Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art, Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson; and this year’s juror Michael Duncan, an art critic and independent curator based in Los Angeles.
Jurors choose the entries that will be included in the exhibition from digital images. All of the artist information is withheld during this process to prevent prejudice. The juror then visits Turtle Bay and sees the chosen pieces in person to determine the prizewinners and to give a juror’s talk open to the public for free. Michael Duncan spoke on the Bay Area artist Bruce Conner. You can see a video of that talk here.
The exhibition always opens the night of Redding’s Cultural Cruise, a long-standing, free, city wide event that falls on the last Friday every January. West Coast Biennial usually brings in a larger than usual cruising crowd to Turtle Bay that night. About 375 people saw the 2017 Biennial on opening night. The following day, local artist Lura Wilhelm, who has a piece in the exhibition, gave a painting demonstration. Oh yeah, and we have a winner. Best in Show goes to Gina Herrera for her piece Rocking the Future. You will just have to come in and see it!
Are you an artist working in California, Oregon, Washington, or Alaska? Keep an eye out for the next contest announcement in August 2018!
What would you choose if you were given the opportunity to look through Turtle Bay’s Permanent Collection for an object to exhibit; a vintage coffee grinder or a hundred-year-old typewriter perhaps? Or are you more of a beaded evening bag sort of person? Would you choose something you already know or something you want to learn more about?
This is exactly what we asked the Turtle Bay staff to do for the next glass case exhibition in the main gallery. (We usually call this display space the “basket case” for a number of reasons.) Normally only the Collections and Exhibitions staff and volunteers access the Collections Facility, but we wanted to find out what would happen if everyone was given a chance to run wild (with gloves on – of course) among the museum’s 35,000 objects.
Staff were given object handling training and some parameters. The object has to fit in the case, can’t have been exhibited in the past year, and can’t be a work of art – for reasons that will become clear next fall (cue evil Curatrix laugh). After ruling out these objects people were given the choice of doing a targeted search by using our database or to “go shopping” in the aisles, or any combination of the above.
Once an object is chosen, the staff member is given all of the information we have about it. From there, everyone was left to write about their choice in whatever style they want, from deep research to an essay about the choice itself, or both – as long as it fits on a single sheet of 8.5” x 11” paper in a readable font size. (See, I really am looking out for you.)
Some people have very specific reasons for their choice; say a passion for Disney or a special connection with another country. Others have had an appealing or intriguing object catch their eye. People have been coming over and searching in groups and it has been great way to get to know each other better. How else would we know that the Curator of Animal Programs and the Curator of Collections and Exhibits share a passion of old technology? You should see us in the typewriter section. Seriously, it’s embarrassing.
So far the most common things we’ve heard are “Wow, there’s so much stuff!” and (my favorite) “It’s so organized!” If it weren’t, we’d never find anything!
I am really looking forward to seeing how this comes together and to seeing how all of you react to it. Do you think you can predict what our Guest Services team or the Retail Manager chose? What about the Creative Services Officer or our animal trainers? What does the Horticulture Manager have in common with one of our baristas? You’ll just have to come see us January 27 for the Cultural Cruise to find out. Can’t make the Cruise? The Staff Picks exhibition will be up until April 30, 2017.
The Vault is Always Open!
Curatrix Julia (It’s official now – I have my Snoopy Plate.)
November 15 was the kick off meeting for the This Place Matters coalition in Redding. Turtle Bay was in attendance and we decided this was the perfect time to launch a new program we have been thinking about for a while. People love maps and aerial and historic photos. We are often asked questions about buildings, businesses, and neighborhoods. Sometimes we know the answer and sometimes we don’t.
We have photos of homes that no longer exist, of whole blocks that have been forever altered by redevelopment, and of neighborhoods that bear witness to a developer’s dream realized. Old, new, or somewhere in between, these are the places we live. The places we love. It’s time to put all this information together for easy public access.
Like our Famous Families project, this will be an on-going, additive endeavor. Working with the Shasta Historical Society, the City of Redding Planning Department, and YOU we want to discover and share the stories of the neighborhoods of Redding and the surrounding area. We hope this will grow to encompass other local communities.
When we talk about local history, we tend to focus on the oldest possible stuff, which is great, but we don’t want to ignore more recent history. It doesn’t have to be “antique” to be interesting.
Do you have a neighborhood story? We want to hear it! Do you have neighborhood photos to share? We want to borrow them! We will scan your images, give you back your originals with a digital copy, and credit you whenever we use them. Let us know via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
While we are known for bringing in exhibitions such as Titanic: The Exhibition, A T-rex Named Sue, and Art of the Brick, or the upcoming Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns, and Mermaids from the American Museum of Natural History, much of what we do focuses on our region and happens in collaboration with local organizations and people.
Right now, we are creating Rooted in this Land: Growing Food in Shasta County. This exhibition bubbled to the surface while we were discussing Shasta County’s first post-European-contact industries. Trappers came through the area, but they did not settle and start communities. The mining and timber industries were both vitally important to our early and on-going local economy, but they did not come first. That honor goes to ranching and farming.
Euro-American settlers, such as Shasta County’s first non-native resident, P.B. Reading, came here to settle on the land and to use that land to produce food. The property the Museum sits on was part of Reading’s original land grant.
This land use was at odds with the Native American tribes who already lived here and it has permanently altered the landscape and environment in unanticipated ways. It has also provided food to millions and livelihoods to many thousands of people, some of them in multi-generational family businesses.
From historic cattle drives to modern Internet auctions and from sun-dried prunes and walnuts to organic wild rice and strawberries, things have changed over the years, but agriculture is still a big business in our region and it is part of our culture. So help us celebrate it!
The exhibition will run from January 21 – April 30, 2017. If you have an idea or a local story you want to share or equipment to display, please email me (email@example.com) or give us a call at 530-242-3191. The sooner the better!
Things are heating up on the campaign trail as candidates go head to head in anticipation of the national, state, and local November elections. In this age of TV ads, instant news, social media, web sites, and the ability to contribute electronically to the candidate of your choice, we take a step back to remember other means of campaigning. Some of these, like the handy lapel pin or poster, have not changed over the years. Others, such as campaign cards, seem a little less familiar. The ballot bag is a tried and true method of getting the votes back to be counted.
Take a break from the digital onslaught and enjoy some of the campaign and election artifacts from Turtle Bay’s collection. (And no, it did not escape my notice that you are on our website reading this blog electronically!)
Nothing shows support like wearing a t-shirt for your candidate.
2000.2.3 Gift of Lupe & Carl Arness
Posters and yard signs are also popular. This was from the 1988 special election to save the Shasta County Library. It worked!
1989.26.1 Gift of Howard & Marion Adams
Campaigns are not without controversy. Jesse Carter didn’t have a website, he had a typewriter.
1992.7.7 Gift of Clay McClain
Ballot bags from local elections. Clearly those cards worked and W. O. Blodgett won an election for County Clerk at least once!
As most of the people reading the Turtle Bay blogs are already aware, we are currently building the Sheraton Redding at Sundial Bridge. During this process we have received a lot of calls from artists and artisans who wanted us to use their artwork or products in the hotel. This was not, however, Turtle Bay’s decision to make. A team of interior designers working within the Sheraton brand framework made all of those selections.
Turtle Bay was given the opportunity to guide the process of commissioning a signature piece of art for the hotel lobby–a task we were very happy to take on. I am very pleased to announce that an artist has been selected and is already hard at work on the project.
People have asked me how we arrived at our choice. Like all public art commissions, it was a process. The first thing we did was put together a committee of Turtle Bay staff and community partners with expertise in public art and interior design. Our Creative Services Officer, Miki’ala Catalfano, Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Cristy Kidd, and I (your fearless Curatrix) were joined by Debra Lucero, Director of the Shasta and Butte County Art Councils, John Harper, artist and Shasta College art instructor, and Eve Berg Pugh, artist and interior designer.
We knew we wanted a unique piece that represented our location and the Turtle Bay mission and vision, as well as design ethos of Starwood, Sheraton’s parent company. We also wanted the piece to be visually pleasing and accessible to hotel guests of every background and not to clash with its surroundings (as there is plenty of room for challenging and provocative art in the museum’s art gallery). But we also did not want something that was simply part of the décor. It had to be inspiring.
The committee reviewed the lobby floor plans and 3D renderings in order to familiarize ourselves with the space. Then we took a close look at the interior design choices, including the artwork that had already been chosen for the rest of the lobby and the other public spaces. This gave us a framework for our vision.
We began looking at images of large-scale pieces in the types of media we thought would work for the space. Pintrest was a useful tool for sharing ideas with the committee and other interested parties.
We knew we wanted the artist to have a Northern California connection. After we agreed on the type of feeling we were trying to achieve, John and Debra began showing us works from specific artists and we started to narrow down the field. They made a lot of calls and sent a lot of emails soliciting interest from the artists we thought would fit the project.
Once we had a pool of artists who thought they might like to work on the project, we took a closer look at their work and their availability, as well as their fees. Unfortunately, the budget for the piece is not unlimited. We selected four artists, two working alone and one wife and husband team, to submit proposals for the commission.
The artists, who all have strong Northern California connections, were Frank LaPena, Lucinda and Dan Kasser, and Bob Nugent. We hosted a group meeting where we discussed the project in depth, toured the site of the then un-built lobby, and had a spirited lunch at the Thai Cafe. After this face-to-face meeting we knew we had an amazing and diverse group from which to make our selection, and that the final choice would not be an easy one. The artists joked that they were going to get together and make a single proposal.
Armed with the hotel plans and style guides from Starwood, the artists went back to their studios to come up with their proposals. In May, we regrouped and the artists submitted their proposals to the committee and a representative from Azul, the company that will be managing the hotel for Turtle Bay. Azul works directly with Starwood, which had the ultimate decision-making power based upon the committee’s recommendations.
After this intense process, Starwood chose Bob Nugent to create the signature piece for the hotel lobby. Bob has an extensive background in public art, including hotels, and we are very excited to see what he comes up with.
They might not have received this commission, but we are already making plans to work with Frank LaPena, who had a solo show in out Art Gallery in 2003, and the Kassers on future projects in and around the museum.
In celebration of our rapidly growing hotel, the current Spotlight on Northstate History in the Museum features the former hotels of Redding. This is the two dimensional version for those of you who cannot make it down here to see it in person – complete with artifacts and a map.
When the railroad arrived in Redding in 1872 a need for accommodations quickly arose in the new town. Hotels immediately began springing up near the new depot. Of all the hotels that have come and gone, four of the oldest that remain today are the Lorenz, The Empire Hotel building (now the Empire Recovery Center), the Hotel Redding building on Market Street and the Western Hotel building at the corner of Yuba and Oregon streets, west of the Post Office. None of these buildings serve their original purpose. Current motels and hotels are not included here.
The hotels list below is by no means complete, as information and photos are often scarce, but it gives us a picture of which early hotels have come and gone since 1872, and what is there now.
Many of these hotels were residence accommodations where people lived full time, or for weeks at a time while they were “In town.” Others catered to business and pleasure travelers.
According to an article in the 1976 Covered Wagon, “The first Depot Hotel was built in 1872 by the California & Oregon Railroad as a dining, drinking, and eating establishment for its passengers. A second Depot Hotel, considered first class, was built in 1885 at the present site of the Redding Amtrak Station. It was built when Redding was the end of the railroad and a busy place, but by 1900 it had become outmoded and unnecessary. With the Lorenz being built so near the Depot, the owners chose to tear it down. Mr. W.J. Gillespie, the manager, and his clerk went over to the Lorenz and brought with him several pieces of old lobby furniture from the Depot. The caption on an undated photo of this hotel from a newspaper article states ”old Southern Pacific Hotel stood on the lot of the present train depot.”
The Paragon Hotel was built in 1883 by George Groves, a native of England, who came to Redding 1878. In 1887 he built the Del Monte Hotel. It burned some time after 1903
The Stump Ranch Hotel was erected in October 1873 by William Thompson on the west side of Market Street between Butte & Tehama streets. Later proprietors were Frank & Carrie Thompson. It was the headquarters for the Redding & Copper City Stage Line. It was later named the Tremont Hotel.
Castle Hotel, Redding Restaurant and Lodging House, A. S. Castle prop was a very early hotel. An article in the Redding Independent Aug 1881 chronicles a fire that broke out on California Street between Tehama and Butte and in less than two hours consumed 11 businesses among them the A. Castle Hotel with a loss $5000 and no insurance.
In 1885 Harriet Major opened the Major Hotel on Market Street opposite the post office. An article in the Redding Free Press June 20, 1885 states “She was well-known throughout Shasta County as a splendid housekeeper and she knows what good accommodations consist of”.
The California Hotel was built by Frank Miller and was situated upstairs from the Oasis Café, and next door to the Ohio Café. As the buildings in the area grew old, the neighborhood declined into a little “skid row” and the building was torn down in 1962. In the opinion of Mabel Frisbie it could possibly have been Redding’s oldest brick building, “predating the one Mr. Bush built”. It is uncertain if there is truth to this claim.
The Del Monte Hotel was built in about 1887 by Mr. and Mrs. George Groves, who had also built the Paragon Hotel. It was located on the hill just south of the Court House where the jail is today. The Women’s Improvement Club was organized there in 1902. It housed many permanent residents who wished for a homelike and quiet place to live. There was always a waiting list for rooms, especially young men who wanted to rent apartments away from the noise of downtown. A well on the property produced more water than was needed, (10,000 gallons per hour) so Mr. Groves laid pipes to the business center of Redding. In 1934, Orr Chenoweth remarked that, “George Groves was a landscape gardener of considerable ability and the Del Monte grounds were a beautiful private park.” It was torn down in 1960.
The Idanha Hotel at the southeast corner of Pine and Yuba Streets was built in the 1880s, destroyed by fire in 1913, later rebuilt, then torn down in 1963. It was a large wooden building with a covered porch across the entire front. The Idanha was home to many local bachelors and the boarding house for Benton Ranch harvest crews. On winter evenings they would play cards in the tiny lobby in the corner of the building and in the summer they would move their chairs outside onto the sidewalk to keep cool. At one time it was operated by Mrs. Kathlerine (Kate) Lean who had a popular boarding house connected with it. Meals were 22 cents each. Later her daughter, Clara Rise, ran it for many years and did all the work herself.
The Redding Hotel was built in 1872 by Stewart and Gray, the former soon retiring and Gray continuing the business until August 1873, when Barney Conroy took charge and it was known as the Conroy Hotel. It included a bar, large fireproof wine cellar, and was also the location of the stage office that provided daily service to all points north and east. It stood on the site of the present post office. A photo from the 1917 Memorial Day parade shows the name Hotel Redding on one sign, and Hotel Reading on another! But it is not to be confused with the newer Hotel Redding on Market Street. This hotel burned to the ground in 1917.
The Temple Hotel was built by the Redding Masonic Lodge, completed in 1894 and lasted until 1964. It was located at the corner of Tehama and Market Streets and had 100 rooms and one bathroom. In the early days most people bathed once a week, so on Saturday the rush was on. The first floor housed the offices, lobby, dining room and kitchen and general operation of the hotel. The second floor was divided into rooms. About half of the 3rd and 4th floors were reserved for the use of the Masons with the rest serving as hotel rooms. Mr. and Mrs. Henry Clineschmidt managed the building. In 1906 the Masonic Building Association sold the hotel to the Clineschmidts and their family managed it for 3 generations. [Covered Wagon 1970]
It was a brick Gothic revival building four stories high, making it the tallest building north of Sacramento. At one time the hotel sent an omnibus driven by two handsome gray horses to meet each train as it arrived in order to attract and carry passengers to the hotel.
In the early 1900’s waitresses received $20 a month plus room and board while the head cook was paid $56. The kitchen staff killed, cleaned, and plucked its own chickens which were sold live to the hotel for $3.75 per dozen. Butter brought by Herman Giessner from Cassel was 50 cents per pound.
The Western Hotel is on Oregon Street west of the railroad tracks near the present day Post Office at the southwest corner of Oregon and Yuba streets. The building was originally three stories, but some time after 1917 a fire burned the third floor, which was removed. Today there are businesses at street level and small apartments on the second floor.
The Golden Eagle Hotel, built at the southeast corner of California & Yuba Streets in 1888, boasted 100 rooms. It was supposed to be named the Hotel Gronwoldt but when dishes were ordered and unpacked the new service was marked Golden Eagle. The Grondwoldts gave up, kept the crockery, and it became the Golden Eagle Hotel. At the time, California Street was mostly rocks, hills and hollows. In summer the streets were inches deep in dust and almost impassible with mud in winter.
Mabel Frisbie sometimes stayed at the Golden Eagle before 1900 when her family came to town from French Gulch. Her uncle, John Lowdon, was the manager at the time. She remembers there was a large lobby on the street floor which served as a meeting place for people who came to town from the country. The restrooms off the lobby were a great convenience.
The Golden Eagle was consumed by a fire of unknown origin on Sept 22, 1962. At least one person died and damage was estimated at over $500,000. It had been one of Redding’s finest convention, dining, and rooming establishments.
The Lorenz Hotel site was originally a large pond full of mosquitoes reaching north to Placer Street along the tracks. Freight wagons were often mired in the bog. Then Susan Lorenz chose the site hoping to catch the trade of people coming in on the trains. Working with pick, shovel, and wheelbarrows, the area was excavated until solid ground was reached and on this ground Mrs. Lorenz built the four-story building. It is the third oldest brick building in the city that is still standing. The first is the Odd Fellows Hall and second the old Bank of America building on the northeast corner of Market & Butte streets. The sandstone blocks at the front of the Lorenz Hotel were cut at Sand Flats a few miles north of Redding and installed by William J. Masterson of the Redding Marble Works. The building was completed and opened in 1902, although Judge Eaton said when the hotel was new the numbers “1901” were high up on the front of the building.
In the beginning there were 44 rooms on each floor, 132 rooms in all and not all had private bathrooms. By 1987 there were 26 rooms on each floor and generally one bathroom to be shared between 2 sleeping rooms.
In 1903 the Shasta High graduating class held their graduation dance at the Lorenz Hotel. At the time the streets were still dirt and mud and travel was by horse and buggy. A fire in 1937 necessitated many repairs including the addition of an elevator.
The Lorenz is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Hotel Redding, at 1748 Market Street, was built in 1927 on the site of the first two-story house built in Redding in 1872 by Chauncey Bush. It is a three-story concrete and terra cotta Mission Revival building and featured a rooftop swimming pool when built. It became part of the Market Street revitalization and demonstration block in the late 1990s. Today the building is residential.
Newspaper article July 10, 1935:
You often hear of a race between the stork and an ambulance but seldom one where the stork leaves the ambulance at the post. Early this morning a son was born to Mr. and Mrs. William J. Morrison at the Hotel Redding with only a few moments warning. The ambulance, however, caught up, and did double duty in transporting mother and son to the Dozler sanitarium.
The Columbus Hotel was built by Domenico Mazzoni who came to America in 1890, eventually coming to Shasta County. He saved his money and sometime before 1908 acquired enough to go into the hotel business with a friend. He built the Columbus Hotel on California Street atthe later site of the Empire Hotel.
The Empire Hotel in Redding (there was also an Empire Hotel in Shasta) was built in 1918 at 1233 California St. on the previous site of the Columbus Hotel which had been destroyed by fire. It was partially made with large bricks, 9” x 13” x 6” thick from the Balaklala smelter smokestack at Coram. Today the building houses the Empire Recovery Center.
Hotel Casa Blanca was built in 1950 on a 5 acre lot half that was a mile north of Redding on US 99 on north Market Street. It boasted having “50 Ultra Modern Motel Air-Conditioned Units, each with private telephone, fully carpeted, Beauty Rest-equipped, and serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails.” It was torn down about 2002 and the property is now owned by the McConnell Foundation.
Photos exist of several other area hotels but no further information has been found. They are Hotel Central, 1353 Butte St. (at the corner of Market & Butte), Yuba Hotel at 1423 Yuba, and the City Hotel on Market St in 1872.