2001 HERITAGE AWARD RECIPIENT
Redlands Area Historical Society
Redlands-Highlands Fruit Exchange Building
Richard Beall & Laura Askildsen-Beall, owners
130 W. Vine Street
The Redlands-Highlands Fruit Exchange Building, on the northeast corner of Vine and Eureka Streets, was built in late 1926, and faces historic Smiley Library. The Fruit Exchange was a very important element in the area’s Citrus Industry, and was part of the now-famous Sunkist. The single-story, Spanish Eclectic structure is symmetrical, with a beautiful decorative arch over the doorway and a flat roof combined with Spanish tile. Since its closing in the mid-1970′s, the building has been occupied by attorney James A. Smith, and now houses Beall Financial and Insurance Services, Inc.
Built in 1926 to house the offices of the Redlands-Highlands Fruit Exchange, this Spanish Eclectic structure is a wonderfully preserved example of that period. The Exchange was a very important part of the area’s citrus industry, providing a marketing and distribution tie for Redlands fruit. It was a member of the California Fruit Growers Exchange, better known as Sunkist.
The building was designed by architect deWitt Mitcham of San Bernardino, and built by A.E. Taylor and Sons. It was constructed specifically with the Exchange in mind, and several special features were included. Of the then modern conveniences, including electronically controlled gas and hot air furnace, water heater, incinerator, and a private telephone exchange. The most was the laboratory for the testing of the fruit. In the foyer are mailboxes for individuals and fruit associations, which, amazingly, are still in tact, and a beautiful beamed ceiling.
In the Board Room are several small closets for growers to change and hang clothing. In 1936, a permit for a small, one-room addition on the east wall was filed with the City and later built by builder Gordon Donald. The building was vacated by the Exchange in 1973 and sold to attorney Jim Smith. Mr. Smith later sold the building to Richard Beall, and now houses Beall Financial and Insurance Services, Inc.
The building, which has had only three occupants since its construction, is remarkably well preserved and a fantastic example of good stewardship on the part of the Redlands-Highlands Fruit Exchange, attorney Jim Smith, and current owner Richard Beall.
The Redlands Area Historical Society applauds Mr. Beall for maintaining the historical integrity of this beautiful structure.
Researched and written by Nathan D. Gonzales.