Located at one end of the mall at 1401 Fulton Street, the San Joaquin Light and Power Company building combines Rennaisance Revival with Dr. Frankenstein-like and bipolar electrical power towers. Designed by Fresno born architect Raymond Shaw, the building was completed in 1923.
There were at least several more big buildings that I couldn't take time to adequately photography, if those presented earlier are captured fairly. These buildings range mostly between the teens and twenties of the 20th century. I had a difficult time identifying them during late image sorting and background reading, but I believe these images are of the Helm building (1914), which is another rennaissance revival building facade designed by architect George Kelham.
The Legion of Valor is an association of those whose valor has been recognized by award of the Medal of Honor of the Navy, the Army, or the Air Force; or the Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, or Air Force Cross. Pretty heavy stuff considering that if you "only" have a Silver Star medal then you can't join this organization.
The museum itself has on display various items related to the different wars and conflicts our servicemen fought in. These include firearms, equipments, uniforms, medals, documents, posters, flags, murals, scale models, etc. Popular among school kids is the exhibit on the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Admission to the museum is free. The museum is manned by docents who are also veterans--great guys.
The Meux Home looks like it's from another era--the Victorian era to be exact. It was built by Dr. T.R. Meux, a Civil War veteran, for his family at a cost of $12,000, a princely sum in those days. It was placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and is now a museum.
It is open to the public Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Adult admission fee is $5.
Built by an eccentric Silician immigrant from the 1920s up till his death in 1946. it was originally simply an underground dwelling to escape the heat of Fresno's summers. However he soon found he could grow fruit trees below ground and later decided to develop a full blown resort out if his underground dwelling.
Fresno's only truly unique and must see sight.
This mostly outdoor museum is part science museum part botanical center. In addition there is a small museum building with limited hours. probably interesting for kids and worth a look if your in the neighborhood but not worth going out of your way for.
If you're visiting the Fresno area be sure to check out the Farm Market for some produce, ice cream, and wine. The Fresno State Farm Market is located on the Fresno State campus on the corner of Barstow and Chestnut. The Market's products are produced on campus by Fresno State's agricultural department. Produce depends on the season and can be anything from corn, peaches, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, grapes, etc.
Produce is seasonal but the Market has a number of other products for purchase such as nuts, raisins, jams, bbq sauce, salsa, ice cream toppings, and honey- just to name a few. The Farm Market has its own meat department with a variety of sausages, steak, and other meat cuts.
This brings me to the best part of this market- the wine and the ice cream. The dairy section consists of cheese, some of the freshest milk I have ever had, and some of the best ice cream I have ever had! I suggest picking up a pint or a brownie or cookie ice cream sandwich.
If you're looking for something a bit more refined pick up a few bottles of Fresno State Wine. That's right, Fresno State has their own Viticulture and Enology department; and the wine sold in the market was grown and produced by Fresno State students. The market features a variety of red, white, blush, and dessert wines. I suggest trying the Petite Sirah for a red and the Muscat for something sweet but they're all good!
Store hours vary depending on season. Fall/Winter hours are Mon-Fri 9am-6pm; Sat 9am-4pm; and Sun 11am-4pm.
Those are the only things I can think of to do in Fresno. Take 41 to Yosemite. It's only about an hour's drive. That's a plus. Outside of that, my impression of Fresno when I lived there years ago as a student was that it's a place of endless strip malls and chain restaurants populated by citizens who drive with their right turn signals blinking. I have friends and a brother who live there, and the place hasn't changed much over the years. Be sure to visit the Water Tower. It looks like - a water tower. Many towns have them. But in Fresno, it's a source of pride. Whatever floats one's boat. Shrug.
Amongst the interesting buildings in downtown Fresno is the Fresno City Hall, a very striking modern futuristic building completed in 1991. It was apparently very costly, but at least that shows, as the building is quite impressive and in interesting place to look around, affording interesting photographic opportunities.
The Forestiere Underground Gardens are a fascinating underground home and gardens which immigrant Baldassare Forestiere, finding that he had bought 80 acres of hardpan-covered land, dug underneath the hardpan from 1906-1946. He dug out numerous tunnels, rooms, and areas for gardens, trees, even a driveway and parking area, underneath the hardpan, using bricks of hardpan that he cut for arches, etc.
One may visit the place and take tours, offered apparently every half hour, although the website told us every 1 hour before we first went. The tours are fairly long and cover much ground, even though only a small portion of the system is still extant and open to visitors - parts were destroyed, filled in, etc., in the years after his death. This is arguably the most interesting place to visit in the entire San Joaquin Valley region of California.
One can see Forestiere's bedrooms, parlour, dining room, kitchen, gardens, and more. Most of the system is only one storey down, with the surface of the ground about 10 feet up, but he dug some areas down two or three storeys.
Often described as a little slice of the Bay Area in the middle of the Valley. Centered around the Historic Tower Theater(you'll know it when you see it). Good live local music, used book stores, used record stores, good restaurants, and a generally bohemian population.
Also on the Fulton Mall is the dramatic Pacific Southwest Building (1923) designed by Fresno architect R.F. Felchlin in the popular rennaisance revival style.
The Fresno Art museum is a small regional art museum with a small permanent collection. the biggest attraction are the changing temporary exhibits.
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