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Bakersfield Register of Historic Places

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Kern County Chamber of Commerce/Kern County Museum Building


3801 Chester Avenue

The building housed the Kern County Chamber of Commerce and was used for the Kern County Fair Exhibits when the fair was on the site. The Exhibition Hall displayed a mix of history and products highlighting commodities produced in Kern County such as oil and agriculture, and the promotions celebrating them. In 1941, the Kern County Museum was established by ordinance to be a “museum of history, science, art, and similar objects for the County of Kern.” The building is one of the best surviving examples of the work of a local architect, Charles H. Biggar. Drawings for the building were prepared in 1927 and emphasized the design and detailing of reinforced concrete structures, while elevating stylistic and compositional sense to an advanced level beyond that of merely a functional building. Findings for the significance of the building may be considered around three determinations: The cultural historical significance of the campus, particularly in the relation to the advancement of Kern County in Southern California; the site significance overall; and the architectural significance of what can be stylistically termed as a beaux arts revival influence mission style edifice.

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