c.1928 1

The Fairlawn Hotel or The Fairlawn was a hotel and residence hotel on Fruitvale Ave. at Galindo. It first opened c.1907, owned by Marie (Mary) Louise Mazzero (Zappettini). It went under a number of different names, including the Graystone Hotel, the Fruitvale Hotel, and the Fruitvale Residence Club. The building was later home to the Grace Joy Lodge, 3,6 a unlicensed home for people with mental illnesses. More recently it was La Placita, a food-related business "incubator." The name has finally come full circle and it is an apartment building called Fairlawn Residence.

The first ads for the hotel appear in 1907. 5 According to a 1910 article about a fire at the hotel, it was built to the specifications of Mrs. Zappettini for approximately $20,000. It was constructed with cement blocks created on site for the building. 4 Galindo Street was originally called Bellevue Street.

1907 ad 51912 Sanborn excerpt

The parents of stage and screen actor Kathleen Chalfant ran the Fruitvale Residence Club for a time, and she grew up there. 2

Grace Joy Lodge

The building was purchased by Grace Mangrobang and her husband Francisco Mangrobang in 1982. They divorced in 1997, and Grace’s attorney said Francisco took a saboteur’s approach to dividing the assets. “[Francisco] took the position that if she was going to divorce him he wanted all their properties to go down the drain.” Francisco died soon after the divorce and Grace became the sole proprietor. 6

It was a frequent source of neighborhood complaints for erratic behavior by the residents. When the city finally launched an investigation in 2002, the fire department logged 23 code violations and the building department found another 18. Among other problems, the building was overcrowded; various spaces from an office to supply closets had been converted into sleeping spaces. In 2001 and 2002, the California Department of Social Services concluded that Mangrobang was operating a residential care facility in violation of state law. Finally the facility was closed down in early 2004. 6


Years Events Notes
1907 opens as Fairlawn Hotel 5
1910 fire damages building 4
1923 new management ref
1931 new management ref
1933 Graystone Hotel ref
1948 Fruitvale Hotel ref
1953 Fruitvale Residence Club ref
1973 Fruitvale Residence Club ref
1982(?)-2004 Grace Joy House 3,6
2008-2009(?) converted to La Placita ref

Links and References

  1. ohrphoto.oaklandhotels.021 Oakland History Center
  2. PUBLIC LIVES; Giving Voice to Last Words From the Holocaust New York Times November 28, 2003
  3. Locals protest Fruitvale rooming house Oakland Tribune December 9, 2005
  4. Woman Saves 40 Guests in Hotel Fire Oakland Tribune May 5, 1910 (p2)
  5. ad Oakland Tribune July 18, 1907
  6. The Hell that Grace Built East Bay Express March 10, 2004