16. Gilbert Building

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    The taller building to the right of that is the Gilbert building, named for Dr. Kramer M. Gilbert, a photo of whom is on the last page of your guidebook.  Dr. Gilbert came to Chandler in 1913 and set up his practice in a tent.  For years he was Chandler’s only physician.  In 1918, he purchased this lot with the financial assistance of John H. Dobson.  The following year, Gilbert’s permanent office, the building you see today, was constructed at a cost of $8,000.  Doctors offices would have been somewhat of a novelty at the time, since most doctors worked out of their house or traveled to the patient’s own home.  The construction of the Gilbert building, however, may have been necessary, as it coincided with the outbreak of the 1918 Flu Epidemic.  This building was hailed by the Chandler Arizonan as “one of the finest buildings of its kind in the Salt River Valley” and it housed the offices of Gilbert, a realtor named Crenshaw, and Dr. W.G. Barackman, a dentist.  The rear of the second floor contained an apartment that has housed various occupants through the years and is presently a real estate office.  Dr. Gilbert was in practice here for over thirty years.  After Dr. Gilbert moved out, George C. Mann & Co. operated the “Dads and Lads Store” in the building, selling men’s apparel.  Dads & Lads was a great place to buy clothes.  In 1949, a leather jacket cost just $16.50, and ties were two for a dollar.


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