Palace Art & Office Supply exterior.
The shuttered storefront of Palace Art & Office Supply, which is leaving downtown Santa Cruz after 71 years and consolidating operations in Capitola.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
COVID Economy

‘One last Christmas season’: Months after saying goodbye to Santa Cruz, Palace Arts to leave Capitola

Eight months after the downtown Santa Cruz location closed, the art and office supply store’s Capitola location follows suit marking the end of an era. Palace Art & Office Supply first opened in 1949 after owner Col. Frank Trowbridge purchased the property, formerly known as Palace Stationers.

There’s a thread of calamity attached to the pandemic. And when that thread is pulled, bad news follows.

After more than seven decades, Palace Art & Supply is saying farewell. The Santa Cruz landmark will close its Capitola location in March 2022 after the store’s lease expires. The announcement comes just eight months after Palace announced the closure of its downtown Santa Cruz location due to the lack of foot traffic caused by pandemic restrictions.

“We are looking forward to one last Christmas season,” Director of Operations Mark Rispaud said in a statement. “We want to celebrate the time we have spent in this community as we make this shift.”

The legacy of Palace Art is the footprint it has left in Santa Cruzans’ imagination. From artists and curious creatives to teachers and virtuosos, the wide array of customers that have come through the store over the decades have all found inspiration inside.

The Palace Stationery in downtown Santa Cruz in 1949.
The Palace Stationery in downtown Santa Cruz in 1949. Col. Frank Trowbridge purchased the property in 1949 and transformed the businesses into Palace Art & Office Supply. The downtown location closed in Jan. 2021. The store’s Capitola location is scheduled to close in March 2022.
(Courtesy of Palace Art & Office Supply )

With the Capitola store closing, that artisan marking is officially erased. However, Palace will carry on with its commercial business.

Palace’s parent company, Palace Business Solutions, located at 2606 Chanticleer Ave., will continue operations. The company plans to take aim at expanding the commercial footprint of the business outside the central coast, according to a press release.

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“While the store has long been the face of the Palace brand within the local community, Palace Business Solutions has outperformed the retail division for years — building on its contracts with government agencies, school districts, and offices throughout the Central Coast and Silicon Valley,” the company said via statement.

Palace Art & Office Supply first opened in 1949 after owner Col. Frank Trowbridge purchased the property, formerly known as Palace Stationers.

Palace Art & Office Supply is located at 1501-K 41st Avenue. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.