Darling Hotel wins prestigious preservation award
The Darling Hotel will receive a prestigious Preservation Design Award for Rehabilitation at the 38th Annual California Preservation Awards. The winning projects and teams will be officially recognized at in-person and online events at a free public ceremony in October 2021.
The four-story building was constructed in 1935 as an extension of the original county courthouse built in the 1880s. The modern 22,300-square-foot structure is considered a gem of New Brunswick’s public works law. Deal with its “Art Deco facade and its monumental presence”. The building housed the County Board of Supervisors, Treasury, Auditor, Appraiser, and procurement departments until 1952 when it became the interim courthouse after the original was damaged by an earthquake with an epicenter in Tehachapi.
When the current courthouse was built in 1958, the building was used for various purposes, but had been vacant since 2008 before the Darling opened in June 2020. The exterior facades have been carefully restored and a perfectly designed stair tower was the only exterior addition required. Original interior fittings and details have been meticulously preserved and, if lost, have been reproduced innovatively reusing other original construction components and using modern building techniques.
“This project aimed to respectfully revitalize an important but forgotten piece of Visalia’s vibrant history with a strategy to celebrate existing elements at all scales, while honestly rehabilitating the building for modern purposes,” the judges wrote in their project description.
The hotel’s rooftop restaurant and lounge has a fork-farmhouse feel with seasonal dishes and drinks that have a local flavor dominating the menu, a nod to the region’s agricultural heritage, and is also operated by local restaurateurs, as part of its commitment to the community. ‘The Elderwood’ is named to honor the owner’s family, celebrates the existing building by showcasing the concrete negative of the Art Deco frieze on the main facade as a dramatic backdrop for its bar. Project manager Matt Ainley, whose family ranch is located in the unincorporated area north of Woodlake, also noted the names in tribute to the hardworking and salty nature of the residents of Tulare County.
“A vibrant, generational story of family and community spills over to all facets of the building, making The Darling Hotel a tangible promise to continue this story for generations to come,” the judges wrote.
The jury selected 20 winners this year, each highlighting innovative approaches to preservation: restoring the shine of classic Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, creating housing for low-income people and community spaces in a former funeral home, matching pets with people in a San Francisco animal shelter in a rehabilitated 1893 warehouse, and mapping projects and books that bring historic California architecture to life .
The annual California Preservation Awards recognize significant achievements in architecture, history, design and engineering, and showcase the personalities and patrons who make it all possible. The California Preservation Foundation Board of Trustees congratulates the teams behind each winning project and thanks them for their significant contributions to preservation. Photographs, a map of sites, sponsors and additional information on all of the prestigious winning projects are available at californiapreservation.org/awards.
Since 1983, more than 500 projects have been awarded a prestigious Preservation Design Award. The winning projects are selected by a jury made up of leading professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering, planning and history, as well as renowned architecture critics and journalists. The jury selects projects that have significantly advanced the goals of the profession, consistent with the mission of the California Preservation Foundation.
The California Preservation Foundation (CPF) exists to ensure that the rich diversity of California’s historic resources are identified, protected and celebrated for its history and for its valuable role in California’s economy, environment and quality of life. . Incorporated in 1978, CPF has grown from a small group of advocates to a statewide network of over 20,000 members and supporters. CPF delivers educational programming to a global audience through online and in-person events, responds to hundreds of requests for assistance each year, and is at the forefront of preservation advocacy, from the Legislature of the state to city halls of California.