Grass Valley: Revitalizing the historic downtown

NOWHERE IS THE THEME “what’s old is new again” more prevalent than in Grass Valley, the Gold Rush town nestled in the foothills.

The Center for the Arts and historic Holbrooke Hotel are undergoing major renovations. Another historic building, the Nevada County Bank Building, is being transformed into a retail center, and new businesses are opening or being planned, ranging from Cake for baked goods to Creektown Cottages for lodging.

The Center’s $4.3 million renovation project is well underway and a much – anticipated reopening is set for late fall. The building — home to a car dealership going back to the ‘40s — is being transformed into one of the region’s premier performing arts centers.

It will include seating for up to 492 patrons, a state-of-the art sound system, a welcoming lobby with expanded bar and concessions, ADA-accessible box office and front entrance and expanded art gallery space.

“Most significantly, the revitalized Center will allow us to deepen our impact on our city and community through the transformative power of the arts,” according to The Center’s management team.

The project coincides with Grass Valley being named one of the state-designated Cultural Districts, along with Truckee and Nevada City.

“As well as for its arts, the district is known for its expanding vineyards, wineries, and tasting rooms and a trail network of outstanding natural beauty,” according to the California Arts Council. “Here the state’s past, present and future merge into one destination.”

The lodging in Grass Valley is being upgraded. The Gold Miners Inn and Grass Valley Courtyard Suites are leaders among the lodging choices — with both offering deluxe accommodations — but others are being added to the mix.

Work continues to revamp the Holbrooke, one of California’s oldest hotels. It is an extensive and detailed remodeling effort. Even the hotel room’s clawfoot bathtubs are getting refurbished.

The longtime locals who are remodeling the Nevada County Bank Building, Lore Reynolds-Hamilton and her husband, Craig, also are planning to open Creektown Cottages.

No detail is too small, including stocking the rentals with custom wine glasses for wine tasting. The six vacation rentals are located at 126 Bank St. in the historic downtown. Bookings are expected to begin later this summer.

Bridgeport Bridge
At South Yuba River State Park in Penn Valley, the historic covered wooden bridge built in 1862 is being restored. Once the project is completed, expected in the fall of 2020, it will be 18 inches higher with new shingles, sidings, floor planking, interior trusses and steel tension rods.

(Photo: Daggett Architect)

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