I did this small article to dedicate this gem of architecture to the mission days of California. Even though this was created during the early 20th century this mission revival style represents California’s past and a symbol in the central valley. So let us begin the history.
Design & Purpose
“The Lodi Mission Arch, designed by architect E B. Brown, was built in 1907, the year after Lodi became an incorporated city. The purpose of the Arch was to provide a formal, fancy entrance to the grounds of the Tokay Carnival, the first Lodi Grape Festival.”
Construction & Preservation
“The 40-foot high Arch cost about $500 to build. It aged over the years and was reconstructed in 1956 after being declared a safety hazard. The threat of demolition inspired a group of Lodians to raise funds for the Arch’s restoration, and the structure today rests on a foundation of reinforced concrete, although the original timbers are still intact behind the plaster.
The Arch looks much the same today as it did when first built. The most notable difference is a California Bear now rests atop the structure, facing north. Early records indicate the bear was placed on the Arch about 1910, but it faced south at that time.
The bear, originally made of papier-mache, was rebuilt in the 1940s and was coated with plaster. The bear was turned north to face our Capitol City of Sacramento after the 1956 remodeling job.
A National & State Historic Landmark
On September 10, 1981, a formal ceremony was held in which the National Register of Historic Places and the State Office of Historic Preservation dedicated the Arch as
California Registered Historical Landmark 931. The three-foot bronze plaque notes that
the Arch served as an entrance into Lodi and a symbol of agricultural and commercial growth.
Essentially unaltered since construction, the structure is one of few remaining mission revival ceremonial arches left within California.
On June 14, 2001, the Lodi Arch Bear was rededicated after being restored and given a 23-karat, gold-leaf finish.”
It was in the middle of downtown and can be easily recognize, but the train tracks and station on the other side made it less appealing. It took out the imagination of a bygone era of California missions. Anyway, Mom wants to see more shops and sights around the area so after visiting this main spot, we went to the other stores in the city of Lodi.
Here is the link for more information: