After spending years trying to save one of the last three original buildings of historic Little Manila in Stockton, Calif., the Little Manila Foundation saw the Mariposa Hotel go to auction on Sept. 12—with no takers.
"No one has bought the building yet, and there are no current potential buyers," says Dillon Delvo, co-founder of the foundation. "Stockton has had a record number of foreclosures this year."
Completed in 1922, the 31-room Renaissance revival hotel served as a meeting place for Filipino laborers, who used the building as headquarters for labor strikes of the 1930s and 40s.
The Little Manila Foundation partnered with the Filipino American National Historic Society (FANHS) to raise money and obtain state grants to purchase the building. Without those grants, they were unable to obtain ownership of the Mariposa.
"The timing and planning was off, and the financial package sort of fell out," says Mel Lagasco, the society's national museum coordinator and national trustee. After their partnership in the project dissolved, and the Mariposa went to auction.
Although plans for the building have stalled, the Little Manila Foundation plans to use its time to work on getting organized.
"When the opportunity arises again, we can partake in the ownership of these buildings as a stronger organization with the same passion but with more professionalism that these buildings truly deserve," Delvo says.
In 2003, the National Trust added the Mariposa Hotel, the Rizal Social Club, and the Emerald Restaurant to its list of America's 11 Most Endangered Places.
- Leah Webster for Preservation Online