First the nickel history of the hotel.
Opened in 1928 as the grand hotel and tallest building in downtown Bakersfield, the Padre changed hands in 1954 and was acquired by Milton "Spartacus" Miller. Quite the colorful character, Miller became embroiled in a fight with the city over fire safety, and placed a phony missle on the hotel's roof allegedly aimed at city hall. After 1966, the city mandated that rooms from the third floor and above could not be sold to guests though the bar remained open. From reading snippets of history to write this post, the Padre Hotel bar was the center of alt-Bakersfield.
Miller died in 1999, but not before a deathbed marriage that led to the hotel's ownership being tied up in litigation until 2001. A failed attempt to condo-ize the Padre led to its being acquired in 2008 by Eat.Drink.Sleep of San Diego. Eat.Drink.Sleep poured money and effort into reviving the Padre to what it is now.
In addition to the rooms themselves, the hotel has five different ways you can leave money behind
|Keith with the luncheonette behind|
|Is it 2011 or 1961?|
Density by design
I love multi-unit structures of the first half of the twentieth century where it seemed as much effort went into designing buildings occupied by ordinary people as into those of the wealthy.
In the couple of blocks between downtown Bakersfield and the Westchester neighborhood are two outstanding and meticulously maintained examples.
One is a take on the New England cottage style and the other on Santa Barbara mission style. Both are designed around a central courtyard feature.