Big Shoe Repair - Shoe-shaped Building
Passersby on Bakersfield's main drag do a double take at Big Shoe Repair, a building shaped like shoe. Or at least, what a shoe looked like when it was built in 1947 - a white low-top with a black lace and a thick orthopedic heel.
The 30-ft. long, 20-ft. high plaster and wood frame construction started as Deschwanden's Shoe Repair shop.
After 1992, when the owner died and it no longer operated as a shoe repair shop, you could still see piles of unclaimed shoes through the windows. The instep was damaged when a car collided with it in 1997, but the intrusion was repaired. The Deschwanden family put the shoe and an adjacent house on the market in early 2000, and it was open for business -- as a shoe repair shop, natch! -- in 2003.
It's now called Big Shoe Repair.
Though only a one-story shoe, it offers as its main virtue a quick photo opportunity, a surgical "park, hop out, CLICK, hop in, move on" for those on the go. And while there are at least two other shoe dwellings in the United States, this is the only one with a shoe lace, a 50-ft. long black rope.