A new life is about to begin for one of Oceanside’s oldest buildings, a brick structure on Pier View Way that opened as a hardware store in 1888, the same year the city was incorporated.
Now known as the Schuyler Building for its original owner, John Schuyler, the hardware store once sold tools and supplies essential to the rapidly growing region. It later served as a grocery store and a boarding house, among other uses. For the past 30 years or longer, it had a laundry on the first floor and the upper floors were mostly vacant and used for storage.
Now the new owner, Tom Aldrich, plans to open a restaurant on the first floor, a 10-room boutique hotel on the second and third floors, and a public outdoor bar on the roof, with views of the surrounding city and the Pacific Ocean a few blocks away.
“Maybe we’ll call it The 1888 Hotel,” Aldrich said. “We want to keep with the historical aspect of it, if we can.”
He’s already gutted the interior of the building and stripped away the stucco that was applied to the brick exterior in the 1930s. That revealed the original signs painted high up on the walls to advertise “Hardware, Stoves, Crockery and Bicycles,” and another one for “Rooms.” On the eastern side facing the alley, they uncovered a smaller sign that says “Contreras and Gelpi, cash grocers.”
“The significance of this building is that it’s been many things,” said Oceanside historian John Daley, who sometimes leads walking tours of notable downtown sites.
“It’s adjusted to the times,” Daley said. “There’s nothing more appealing than for it to be a boutique hotel in today’s world.”
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