Empress Theatre

Renovation Community: Saving Our History

America is a relatively young country.  And like most youngsters, didn’t really appreciate its history or cultural icons until much later in life.  In our youthful zeal, much of our history was bulldozed in the name of progress.  Only recently has this mistake begun to be realized and the national attention begun to focus on preservation and creative reuse of historic structures.

And Vallejo was no exception to this phenomenon, razing 24 blocks of the City’s historic downtown in 1967.  Lost in this calamity were a Carnegie Library, a Women’s Building designed by famed architect Julia Morgan, and the very hill where the first Capitol of California once stood, as well as many other beautiful turn-of-the-century buildings.

Luckily for us, and all of Vallejo, the Empress Theatre was spared this same fate.  She stands today renovated and ready to serve as Vallejo’s Center for Art and Entertainment on into her second century, thanks to the foresight of a long line of visionaries.  

We believe that the true renaissance of Vallejo’s downtown lies in its beautiful historic resources and not despite them.  What began as a series of terrible decisions that forever harmed a struggling downtown is now beginning to be undone by the resuscitation of one its most important remaining jewels – the beautiful Empress Theatre.  And by the hard work and dedication of many others who have believed in the need to preserve our history and restore the glory of Vallejo’s—and the Nation’s—important architectural heritage.

Below you’ll find resources and information to help you along the path to architectural preservation—and some stunning examples of those who cared enough to save what was important.


Theater Renovation & History


Vallejo Preservation Resources


California Preservation Resources


National Preservation Resources


Restoration Venders & Artisans