Ontario has a long and storied history and it’s about time more people knew.
Ontario Heritage has gotten the ball rolling. Its begun an historic plaque program designed to let people know about the history around them. The first plaque is in place and on the Paul Williams Gallery building on Transit Street. It honors local entrepreneur Charles Frankish, who along with the Chaffey brothers, helped mold the city.
The location once was the main post office when it was established in 1926. Paul Revere Williams was the architect. It represents what the group hopes will be the first of many to come including ones at the Holt Boulevard post office and the Beverly Hotel.
“We first started an historic plaque program a few years ago. It takes a long time to raise the money. But it goes along with purpose of Ontario Heritage which is to preserve, protect and promote the historical environment of the city,” said Petrina Delman, long-time resident and president of Ontario Heritage.
Commonly called the Frankish building, it houses the Charlemagne Apartments, which were part of its original design. It consists of 32 residential units, 16 on each floor. At the time they were built, they were considered “high-class” with disappearing Murphy beds, gas heaters, telephones and hardwood floors with rents ranging from $12.50 to $30 per month, Delman said. The building also has an elevator.
San Bernardino County renovated/restored it. “It’s awesome that the county cared about an historic building in Ontario,” she said. “Ontario Heritage considers the Frankish building to be very significant.”
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