Detail of first story, Dawson Warehouse No. 1: Pre-cast concrete ornaments
(From The Building Review, Vol. XXII, No. 6, Plate 76, Dec. 1922)

Mostly Lost

Title of Installation:

The H. S. Dawson Storage Warehouses

Materials Used:

Ferro-concrete construction with inserted, handmade tiles

General Description:

There were two or more H. S. Dawson Company "Fireproof Storage Warehouses" in Stockton, California which were built around 1917. The architect was Glenn Allen, and the buildings were constructed of ferro-concrete in the California Egyptian Revival style.

"The exterior of the building is finished in Atlas white cement stucco. The panels around the doorway are in special hand-made burned tile, while the window panels and other ornaments are of pre-cast concrete, decorated in polychrome. The frieze is of dull glazed tiles. The decorations are in the brilliant colors used by the ancient Egyptians. ...[The pre-cast] ornaments were made in glue molds. ...The polychrome decoration was applied after they were in place. ...The colors...have the appearance of mat glazed terra cotta. ...The tiles were set in recessed panels before the finish was applied to the surface of the building." (Concrete, July 1921, pp. 27-28)

(Although the tiles used here were probably ceramic or terra cotta tiles, polychrome concrete tiles were manufactured and extensively used in California, the South and the Southwest in this era. See Arts & Crafts Era Concrete Projects, Pedro J. Lemos and Reta A. Lemos, Schiffer Publishing Co., Atglen, PA, 2007)

Year Created:

About 1917

Does Installation Still Exist?

At least part of one warehouse still exists (see photos below), but most of the original ornamentation has been lost.

If Not, What Happened?

Location of Installation:

One of the warehouses may have been located at:

1610 N. Broadway Ave.

Stockton, CA 95205

And another at:

7851 Longe Street
Stockton, CA 95206

Additional Information, Websites, Citations:

Some of the older photos were found in The Ferro-Concrete Style: Reinforced Concrete in Modern Architecture by Francis S. Onderdonk, Jr. (Architectural Book Publishing Co., Inc., New York, NY, 1928), which is a free download from,+Stockton,+concrete&hl=en&sa=X&ei=XNpDT9O4Jo6G0QHo-aWwBw&ved=0CEgQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Dawson%20Storage%2C%20Stockton%2C%20concrete&f=false.

The current (2008) photos are used with the permission of Debra Jane Seltzer, and were taken from her Roadside Architecture website ( and

Submitted by and Year:

Submitted by Michael Padwee (tileback101'at'; February 2012.

Warehouse #2
(From The Building Review, Vol. XXII, No. 6, Plates 74 & 75, Dec. 1922)

Window ornamentation, c. 1928, Warehouse #2
(The Ferro-Concrete Style, p. 82)

Warehouse #1

The same window in 2008
The embedded tilework and pre-cast concrete ornaments have been painted white, and the fenestration has been changed.