Down in the basement storage room of Hotel Julian, rummaging through some old boxes, having been instructed by Dawn and Eve to conduct an inventory, I discovered a set of blueprints. I unrolled them on a dust covered desk. The old paper crinkled and popped and cracked a bit. The blueprints appeared to be remodeling plans from the late 1940’s, when to the building was added first floor retail space and large apartments leased long term were converted to smaller rooms for hotel use. The war years produced housing shortages around the port, quonset huts sprouted on empty parcels of land, and existing structures in the area were leveraged where possible for additional living space. The blueprints I stumbled across showed that the current Hotel Julian had not changed much since that late 1940’s renovation. The building occupied a small square block, and consisted of six floors (including the basement and rooftop). In the basement were three separate living space rooms with beds. One of these Dawn lived in, and Eve lived in another. The third was used as a day room for work breaks and lunches and housed a sickbed space for employees that fell ill or got hurt on the job. The basement also included a boiler and maintenance room (the upstairs rooms were heated by steam through a plumbing system using cast iron radiators), a laundry room, and the storage room. The first floor was used for retail space (current occupants as described in Episode 20 of this document). The other floors seemed today consistent with what I saw in the blueprints from the 1940’s: office, the bunkroom, and 4 day or hourly rooms on the 2nd floor (totalling 17 beds – 12 cots in the bunkroom, one single bed in each of the day or hour rooms, and one queen bed in the bedroom adjacent the office, where Julian lived); 12 size double bed rooms let weekly on the third floor (where I was still living week to week); and 8 monthly let rooms on the 4th floor, each with a queen size bed. There were no beds on the rooftop. Thus Hotel Julian contained 40 beds requiring daily housekeeping attention.
is episode 29 of
a Novel in Progress
in Serial Format at The Coming of the Toads.
(Click link for continuous, one page view of all episodes.)