ADELPHIAN CLUB: Downstairs club rooms (totally gutted as of October 2010 - staircase and door/doorway: GONE)
Photos taken February 2006. One recent Saturday evening, while passing by the Adelphian Club building at Central and Walnut, I noticed construction equipment outside. I entered the front room and was horrified to find complete destruction of the interior. The beautiful, ancient redwood paneling and wide door frames have been torn out and replaced with sheetrock and smaller doorways. The massive fireplace mantel has been altered and painted white. Other fixtures and woodwork are missing, including a small staircase and decorative newel post. I did not see the upstairs or auditorium, but fear that the built-in bookcases with leaded-glass doors, the wainscoting with plate rails and other charming architectural features are endangered or already gone. The fate of the discarded wood and fixtures is unknown; I hope it was all saved for a possible future restoration or architectural salvage, but I am doubtful that anyone who would do such damage to a lovely old building would care about that. Even if some kind of renovation was needed, was it really necessary to rip out the wood paneling and other details?
The Mission-Revival building, designed by W.H. Willcox, was constructed in 1908 for the Adelphians, a local womens’ club that was founded in 1897. Designated by the City of Alameda as a historical monument, the structure has remained in its stunning original condition for approximately 102 years--until now. I don’t know whose decision it was to remodel (which, in this case, is a polite word for 'destroy') the interior, but they have absolutely no respect for architectural beauty or Alameda’s history. SHAME ON THEM.