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A Brief History of Fresno's Spiral Garage



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When city leaders approved the spiral garage 51 years ago, they hoped it would strengthen the Fulton Mall, which had been closed to auto traffic just a few years prior.
The city initially approved building the garage in February 1968. The minutes of the meeting estimated the minimum cost to build the garage would be $2.2 million.

Construction Costs in Today’s Dollars

According to the CPI Inflation Calculator, that would equate to $16.1 million in December 2018 dollars.

Image of the 1968 Fresno city council minutes discussing Spiral Garage construction.

Leased to Gottschalks

The city leased the space to the Gottschalks department store after its construction. It was next door to the original Gottschalks anchor store built in 1914 and expanded in 1948. According to city documents, the retailer called it quits in downtown Fresno, ultimately vacating the building by 1988. Gottschalks was just one of many retailers that abandoned downtown Fresno for shopping centers elsewhere in the city.
The company went bankrupt in 2009.
In the intervening years, a flea market operated in the building before being evicted by the city in 2011 because of unsafe conditions. The city floated many ideas over what to do with the space, including operating it as a public market.
In December 2018, the city sold both the garage and the building to Club One Casino for $1.7 million.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email