Downtown Redding's Lorenz Hotel
By Brandi Barnett
That Red HotelFebruary 2007
By D. James O'Brien
I’m sure many of you have driven through old downtown and seen the red monolith that is the Lorenz Hotel. No matter the season, the crimson sheen of its bricks and majesty of its construction draws your eyes to this unique piece of architecture amid the buildings of Redding.
In 1902, a group of women with a mind to beautify downtown Redding organized a Women’s Improvement Club.Through their perseverance and effort, a grant of $10,000 was given for the creation of a Redding Library. Then in 1904, the club, in conjunction with the Lorenz estate, saw to the maintenance and production of the Redding Library, Lorenz Hotel and a civic auditorium site. Though the library was later demolished, the hotel continues to stand in old downtown to this very day.
Situated across from the old mall, it is a relic of the glory that was downtown Redding. Its back lawn is home to Marketfest each summer – an event that draws people from across the North State to enjoy a small farmer’s market and folk music. It is the home for many businesses, including Déjà Vu, a cozy breakfast restaurant that has an adjoining coffee shop. Déjà Vu is a stop for many Redding locals looking for wonderful service and some of the best omelets in town. Even on a dreary winter Sunday, you will find a bustling crowd willing to wait in the coffee shop portion of the restaurant for a seat.
More than a business epicenter, it serves as living quarters for some of the most unique folks in town: a boxer, war heroes and others that live quietly among their memories. Despite the renovations that are currently underway in the old downtown, the Lorenz Hotel is a reminder of a forgotten period in Redding history.