Old Main Street Building to Come Alive Again

One of Pleasanton's landmark turn-of-the-century buildings, the old H. Arendt building, located at 450 Main Street, has been purchased by Joe Callahan of Callahan-Pentz, one of the co-developers of Hacienda Business Park. The new plans call for preserving the building's historic exterior, while modernizing the interior to make it suitable for professional and retail space.

According to Joe Callahan, "We feel that we have a major investment in Pleasanton's future. We are very interested in the economic viability and historic character of the city's downtown area. Frankly, I’m delighted and very pleased to see this vacant building resume its rightful place as a focal point in the downtown business community."

Plans for the modernization of the 12,400 square foot, two story building include upgrading the structure to provide for earthquake and fire safety, and new electrical, plumbing and air conditioning systems. The building's Italianate brick exterior will be cleaned, repaired and sealed. "We will go over every brick and re-mason all the individual joints," explained Callahan. A two-tier turn-of-the-century style covered gallery will be added along the south side of the building. The south side of the building will also include a new paved parking area. In keeping with the work done to date at Hacienda, extensive landscaping, featuring trees, flowers and climbing plants will adorn the gallery's trellises. Additional trees will be planted along the building's Neal Street side to the north.

450 Main Street was built around 1898 for the H. Arendt & Co., a general merchant and supplier of feed, lumber and farm implements. According to Ann Doss, Curator of the Amador-Livermore Valley Historical Society, "Arendt's was the general store in town. They carried everything, and the local saying used to go, 'If you couldn't find it at Arendt's, you didn't want it’," Doss said.

As the business grew, the building's size was doubled when extra warehouse space was added around 1903. A small building to house Pleasanton’s first post office was added on the south side a few years later. Today that building is a barbershop; it will be renovated with the rest of the building and continue to be used as a barbershop.

H. Arendt & Company went out of business during the depression years, and 450 Main Street was vacant until it was bought by Beuford H. Hall in 1941 for a feed, seed and hardware store. Hall operated the business until he retired in 1973. The building was rented to a furniture store for a time, but has been vacant for several years.

The 450 Main Street building will be the third such historic site that Callahan has rescued from a wreckers ball and rehabilitated.

Through the sale of the building to Callahan, the Hall family has found a way to transfer an important asset of Pleasanton's heritage to a man who will breathe new life into the old structure and preserve it for the future.

To see a reproduction of the original article and edition of Pleasanton Pathways, visit: April 2, 1984 Pathways.

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