Hotel Fresno restoration crews finding art among the architecture

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Inside Hotel Fresno, pieces of history are coming back to life as the building is restored.

Crews have discovered what local artist "Maroot" called one of his greatest works.

"It was covered with graffiti and tagging and just bad maintenance where people didn't know what to do with it, so parts of it got painted over, so that's being restored now. A great artist/historian who's taking off the pieces that don't belong so we'll be able to see it in its natural glory," said Don Simmons, Historic Preservation Commission.

Simmons is in awe of this building that's more than a century old, and the restoration of its ornate features.

"The tile work in the main lobby, the cornice work around the outside and here in the lobby area, maintaining the fireplace and the carvings around the fireplace. This building is full of character-defining features," Simmons said.

The tile will be cleaned and replaced in some areas.

Throughout the building, moldings are being re-fabricated into metal due to the Valley's intense heat.

Windows are being replaced with a historic look, but modern function.

In the future, Councilmember Miguel Arias says Hotel Fresno will be home to 79 units, as well as commercial and retail spaces.

"My understanding is that we're going to have all the floors and residential areas hopefully complete by the summer, it will keep us on pace to complete the hotel in this year 2020," said Arias.

It's being financed by private, public, and federal funds to pay for the 27 million dollars in renovations.

Hotel Fresno was built in the early 1900s and is on the local and state registers of historical resources.

It's the small details, historians say are essential to preserve.

From the tiles to the fireplace, leaders hope piece by piece to restore Hotel Fresno for generations to come.
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