Created By: City of Watsonville
Built in 1914
This building was built during a period of economic growth that resulted from the rapid expansion of the apple industry.
The Lettunich Building was designed by William H. Weeks who designed at least fifty-three commercial buildings and ninety-one residences in Watsonville in a variety of architectural styles. About half of these buildings survive.
Then called a "skyscraper", the structure was built of steel and reinforced concrete with twenty-seven offices on the three upper floors which were reached by electric elevator. Built in a record six months, the new Lettunich Building boasted electricity, steam heat and water throughout as well as the celebrated Cutter Patent Mail Chute. The exterior of the building, of concrete and enameled terra cotta, featured an ornament over the entrance made of fruits of the Pájaro Valley.
Banking had its beginning in the building with the Fruit Growers National Bank as a tenant in 1919. Fruit Growers sold to Liberty Bank in 1927 and that in turn became the Bank of Italy which later became the Bank of America. Bank of America remained until 1969 when it was relocated to Main and Fifth Streets. The Lettunich Building remains a central part of downtown Watsonville.
Many people don't know that the Mansion House use to stand at the corner of Beach St. & Main St. where this building now stands and moved just down main street to make room for the Lettunich Building
This point of interest is part of the tour: Watsonville - Celebrating 15o Years!