Martinez Historical Society

Walking Tour of Martinez


origcityOld Martinez City Hall

Main Street Plaza Parking Lot (

The city's first hotel, the Hotel de Steward, owned by a black ships cook was built on this site in 1850, and it stood on Ward Street facing Estudillo Street. In 1852, the property was sold to Josiah Sturgis who renamed the hotel, the Alhambra Hotel. Sturgis continued to operate the hotel until his death in 1897. Several years later the city purchased the property and the hotel was demolished in 1912 for a new city hall. The Ward Street side of the building was used as a firehouse. cityhallplaza02

The property became parking lot #1 after the City Hall building was demolished in 1956. Landscaping and a fountain were added to the front of the parking lot to create a plaza in 1981. Realignment of the creek and redesign of the plaza to stop downtown flooding was completed in 2000.