The No Tell (Allen) Hotel – What Goes Around, Comes Around

Gee, Molly. You Didn't Think We Would Remember, Did You?
Gee, Molly. You Didn't Think We Would Remember, Did You?

Almost twenty years ago Fullerton made its first significant foray into the quagmire of affordable housing, acquiring the the Allen Hotel and turning it over to a fellow named Jose Zapeda. Mr. Zapeda’s job was to accept a huge subsidy to “renovate” the original building and build a new addition. Apartments were to be low income.

The total taxpayer payout exceeded one million dollars – a tidy sum, to be sure – over $70,000 per unit, in fact. Cynics claimed that the exorbitant subsidy was just a way to buy down the quickly escalating affordable housing spending requirement of Redevelopment law that the City had ignored for years.

The usual suspects were on board. Perhaps the most comical (and racially charged) comment came from then City councilmember Molly McClanahan who bragged: “we’re giving them one of their own” as if Mr. Zapeda, because he was Mexican American, was more qualified to build and run a low income housing project – inhabited by – Mexicans!  Molly also proclaimed that she liked the simplicity of the proposal, as if a stucco box with flush vinyl windows and stick-on brink lintels over the windows was somehow virtuous.

Allen Hotel - The Once and Present Tenement

The replacement of the original fenestration with plastic windows, and the transom glass with fake leaded lights (grid glued on the back!)  just showed that historic preservation was being used as a pretext for the big subsidy. With the passing of the years it’s truly hard to see how this eyesore has avoided targeting by Redevelopment as blight – since it was blighted from the moment its “designer” put pencil to paper.

8 Replies to “The No Tell (Allen) Hotel – What Goes Around, Comes Around”

  1. These are pictures that speak (volumes) for themselves.

    It’s funny, in a sick way, how twenty years have changed absolutely nothing!

  2. admin, thank you for your courage to expose the reverse racism that motivated the politically correct, jimmy carter spin-offs that dominated our city’s council. there still exists remnants of Molly McClanahan in our city council. They are identified by their Fullerton Observer endorsements.

  3. Almost 20 years old? That addition is going to be historic pretty soon. Let’s put a plaque on it!

  4. This site has already noted the architectural deficiencies at FJC. Now this, plus all the other horrors you’ve documented. There appears to be a least common denominator: Molly McClanahan – who went from the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency to NOCCCD and seems to have taker her taste for horrible architecture with her.

  5. I like the ankle-twisting skateboard ramps in the front. If you can’t injure yourself walking into a building, what’s the point?

  6. Alex (#4), you may be onto something there. There’s no doubt that Molly has left her dithering, bird-brained mark on Fullerton. She hasn’t yet got enough credit. We may have to fix that.

  7. What a shame. To think public monies built these ugly, nondescript and forgettable buildings. I guess there’s a taste level here that frankly –I don’t understand.

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