National Register of Historic Places in Sonoma County
September 10, 1976
On September 11, 2001, the Board of Supervisors of the County of Sonoma selected this site to commemorate the contributions of Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Their vision, dedication and perseverance made the Running Fence possible. This art project consisted of: 42 months of collaborative efforts with ranch property owner participation, 18 public hearings, 3 sessions of Superior Court, an environmental impact report and the temporary use of the hills, sky, and ocean.
Rising from the Pacific Ocean south of Bodega Bay the 18 foot high 24.5 mile long Running Fence ran west to east following the rolling hills of Marin and Sonoma counties to the Cotati ridge.
Watson School was built in 1856 and was used as a schoolhouse for over a century.
The Greek Revival building is typical of early California one-room schoolhouses: bell tower, double doors, balloon framing finished with shiplap redwood siding. The interior floor slopes down to a teacher's platform in front of the original slate blackboard.
Some Historic Schoolhouses in Northern California
An interpretive marker in Watson School Historic Park commemorates Running Fence, an installation art work by the French artists, Christo and Jeanne-Claude.
The fence was completed on September 10, 1976, and removed fouteen days later, leaving no visible trace. It was 24.5 miles in length and eighteen feet in height. It contained 2,050 panels of white nylon fabric hung from steel cables by means of 350,000 hooks. The cables were supported by 2,050 steel poles stuck into the ground and braced by steel guy wires anchored to the earth.
The fence crossed fourteen roads and fifty-nine private ranches.
Adapted from Wikipedia.