Lawrence Hotel Fire
On January 8, 2021, a tragic fire at 71-89 E. San Fernando Street caused extensive damage to the former Lawrence Hotel, a historic building constructed in 1893 and one of the oldest surviving commercial buildings in downtown San Jose. Originally known as the Toccoa Block, it was designed by noted architect Frank Lobdell, whose credits also include the landmark Beckwith Building in Los Gatos. Over the course of its 127-year history, the Toccoa Block/Lawrence Hotel has been home to scores of beloved local businesses, and the building is an anchor presence in the Downtown Commercial Historic District.
Given the building’s unquestionable architectural and historic significance, its prominent location within the San Jose Downtown Commercial Historic District, its listing in both the National Register of Historic Places and California Register of Historical Resources, and its eligibility for Candidate City Landmark Status, every effort must be made to preserve the building’s surviving historic fabric and to reconstruct damaged elements of the facade as part of any approved redevelopment of the site.