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Crystal Ice House

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112 E. Walnut Avenue
1910: Brick Commercial

Crystal Ice HouseBuilt by W. R. Davis for $20,000 in 1910, this building is probably the fourth oldest remaining brick structure in Fullerton today. Known as the Fullerton Ice Company when first started, the business played a major role in the growth of Fullerton as a regional rail center for agricultural products from northern Orange County. The ice plant once provided block ice to keep perishables cool for transport to regional markets as well as serve local residents’ needs. With the advent of refrigerator cars and electric refrigerators for the home, the need for this service dwindled after 1945.

The building is a good representative example of the “brick commercial” or “brick vernacular” style of architecture common during the 1880s to late 1920s. Although somewhat nondescript in appearance, the building does have pleasing proportions and reflects authentic turn-of-the-century detailing for the windows, parapet on the north side, and variation of brick courses to achieve decoration, relief or trim. The wood platform and shed roof on the front side is an original feature.

The building was used for ice making until 1986. The last business, the Crystal Ice Company, remained in operation by providing ice deliveries to local restaurants, hospitals and supermarkets. In the late 1980s the building was completely rehabilitated. The brick construction was restored and strengthened to conform to acceptable standards for seismic safety, and the property was improved to accommodate other commercial uses. A church is the current use of this building.

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