The hotel has a long and colorful history. Originally built as a bar and restaurant with 16 hotel rooms upstairs, the building was boarded up and abandoned in the 1970s; then given a new life and restored to its original condition in the early '80s. Stepping into the Liberty Hotel is like stepping back into time, circa 1900.
The Liberty Hotel was built in 1922, when coal mining and fishing were the major industries in Pittsburg. In 1942, when Pittsburg became a major disembarkation point for troops headed to the Pacific Theater in WWII, and camp Stoneman dominated the area, the Liberty became the hottest nightspot in town for military personal awaiting their assignments. At war's end, as camp Stoneman gradually reduced activities in the '50s and '60s and commerce moved toward Concord and Walnut Creek, Pittsburg lost its status as the major shopping destination in the area.
As a result, the Liberty lost its patronage, as did the rest of the city of Pittsburg. The Liberty closed its doors in the '70s and was eventually abandoned and boarded up. After the city attempted to condemn the Liberty, Gordon Fisk came to its rescue.
A wealthy investor with a penchant for restoring landmark buildings, Fisk convinced the city to allow him to breathe new life into the empty and decaying edifice, and set out to restore the building to its original condition.
Fisk had his work cut out for him. When the building was abandoned and neglected, it was picked over like a Christmas turkey and much of its priceless detailing was lost. Undeterred, Fisk had the building stripped to its bare walls - and the restoration began.
In his search for period pieces, Fisk found two bars from similar-period hotels: the back bar from Colorado and the front bar from Sonora. Many architectural features were reproduced using old photos. Even the wallpaper, which was no longer available, was custom-made at great expense. The restaurant and bar were lovingly restored and the hotel rooms on the second floor were converted to offices.
Photo Courtesy of Gerald Burhz
The dining room of the Liberty Hotel has been meticulously restored to its early 20th Century glory. The landmark edifice, built in 1922, is being sold.
The restoration was completed in 1983. Unfortunately, Fisk suffered a heart attack and did not live long after the project's completion. His legacy, however, lives on in a beautifully restored building. The restaurant is now open Tuesday through Sunday evenings for dinner; Friday for lunch; and Sunday for brunch.
- Contributed by Gerald Buhrz