New story for old building: The Bakersfield Californian features law firm’s move

July 29, 2015 | 10:00 am

Bakersfield oldest personal injury law firm has officially moved into its new home that is just as storied in Kern County as Chain | Cohn | Stiles.

On Monday, the 80-year-old Chain | Cohn | Stiles moved into 1731 Chester Avenue, on the southwest corner of Chester Avenue and 18th Street. The Bakersfield Californian, in a Sunday feature story, wrote about the law firm’s move and the history of the firm’s new home.

“It’s an old two-story — no one can say precisely how old, but old,” the article states. “Most recently a Goodwill store, the structure has been home to a succession of banks for most of its long life. But it will have yet another use Monday: Chain Cohn Stiles officially puts out its shingle after a six-month, seven-figure renovation that has brought energy and commotion to a downtown corner quiet and forlorn since 2012.”

What remains of the history of the 1930s-era building are three bank vaults, one with a working ventilator, an incinerator, and a demarcation of the structure, designed by noted Bakersfield architect Charles H. Biggar.

To read the complete article, including a timeline of the history of the new Chain | Cohn | Stiles building and pictures from history, click here.

Today, Chain | Cohn | Stiles is operating personal injury and workers’ compensation* practice in a new, (old) building — its fifth home, all of which have been in downtown Bakersfield. Founder Morris Chain opened his firm’s doors in 1934 in the Haberfelde Building. Later, the firm moved to the Sill Building, which is across the street from the new building on Chester Avenue. After 20 years at its M Street home starting in 1970, the firm spent the last 25 years in the Bank of America building.

Now, Chain | Cohn | Stiles is part of the continuing evolution of Bakersfield’s commercial and historical core. As senior partner Matt Clark said: “We like to think that, in some small part, we’re going to contribute to the ongoing revitalization of downtown Bakersfield.” The law firm’s partners — managing partner David Cohn, senior partner and workers’ compensation attorney James Yoro and Matt Clark — purchased the building last fall.

The building also includes better parking for clients and more office space, all while staying rooted in downtown Bakersfield.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles recently unveiled new videos aimed to inform Kern County residents of the move. The 30-second commercial is airing now throughout Kern County.

To watch the video, in English or in Spanish, click here.




CCS plans move into historical downtown Bakersfield building

October 13, 2014 | 10:47 am

Last week, Bakersfield personal injury law firm Chain | Cohn | Stiles completed the purchase of its next home — a two-story building in the heart of downtown Bakersfield.

As has been highlighted in local media reports this past week, the law firm is proud to be part of a continued revitalization of historical downtown Bakersfield.

This weekend, The Bakersfield Californian featured an article on the front page of Sunday’s newspaper discussing the “continuing evolution of Bakersfield’s commercial and historical core,” in particular the investment pouring into the intersection of Chester Avenue and 18th Street.

The four buildings on the intersection are in the process of being occupied, or increasing efforts to have them occupied in the near future, The Californian reported.

“Taken together, these and other changes at the intersection could signal a return to basics for an area trying to reinvent itself to bring more people back to downtown,” according to The Californian.

CCS attorney and partner Matt Clark told The Californian he optimistic and the future of the area, and is part of the reason the firm purchased the 33,000-square-foot building and a small parking lot to the west of the building. The firm will also install parking in the alleyway south of the building for clients, many of whom have been disabled by some kind of injury. The article reads:

Matt Clark, a partner at the firm that has existed downtown for its entire 80-year history, said leaving the area was never a serious option, considering its central location and proximity to courthouses.

But another factor in the decision to vacate the nearby Bank of America building was a perception that downtown is “on a real upswing,” Clark said.

“We like to think that, in some small part, we’re going to contribute to the ongoing revitalization of downtown Bakersfield,” he said.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles has been part of downtown Bakersfield for its entire 80-year history. The southwest corner of the intersection where CCS’ new home will next sit has been home to other historical buildings. The Kern Valley Bank was established in 1874 on the grounds as the first bank incorporated in Kern County. Goodwill Industries pulled out of the building three years ago. 

Chain | Cohn | Stiles will occupy the ground floor and lease out the upper level after it completes improvements to the building’s interior and exterior. For CCS clients, the new location will include better parking and more office space, while still remaining easily accessible in the heart of downtown Bakersfield.

Stay tuned for more information on CCS’ planned move into the building at 1731 Chester Avenue.