PASTO can be found in the Babbitt Buildings along East Aspen Avenue in historic downtown Flagstaff, Arizona. A plaque once affixed to the building reads:
In 1907, David Babbitt built a one-story office building with four bays here, the southwest corner of San Francisco and Aspen streets. The Flagstaff Post Office was located here from 1907 – 1917, followed by The First National Bank. The building was a successful venture, so the Babbitts constructed another building similar to the first in appearance, but a few feet higher, in 1911. The second building adjoined the first and ran west to the alley. Behind the building is a courtyard from which tall trees grow.
Both buildings are constructed of tuff, compressed volcanic ash, which came from a pit in East Flagstaff. Since they were constructed, both buildings have been occupied by a number of Flagstaff businesses.
Babbitt Buildings Timeline
1900 - The Grand Canyon Hotel was on that site until 1905, when it burned down.
1907 - The first four bays were built. First Bay: 1907 - Flagstaff’s second Post Office.
1917 - First National Bank
Fourth Bay: Western Union Telegraph and Cable until the 1960s
1982 Café 19
1987 PASTO (entrance)
1911 - Second building built a few feet higher First Bay Previously Marlar Pharmacy
1987 - PASTO (dining room)
Last Bay Previously Flagstaff Electric Theater
The historic plaque is inaccurate with regard to the materials used to construct what is now PASTO. The main dining room east wall was built with large rectangular blocks of Moenkopi sandstone quarried near Flagstaff. The sandstone quarry, located approximately one mile east of historic downtown Flagstaff was operated from 1888-1935.
The sandstone is from the early to middle Triassic Period, approximately 200 M years old. The landscape of N. Arizona at that time was covered by broad rivers or mud flats and periodically inundated by shallow seas. The brick in the main dining room was made at a brick factory located near what is now the public library, just west of the restaurant.
Thanks to Jim Babbitt for sharing photos and his vast knowledge of Flagstaff history.