National Register of Historic Places in Sonoma County, California

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National Register #95000354
Petaluma Historic Commercial District
Along Petaluma Boulevard between B and Prospect Streets

The Petaluma Historic Commercial District is comprised of 174 acres containing 63 buildings and one object of historic significance.

The Petaluma Historic Commercial District represents the development of commerce in the city from the mid-nineteenth century to the end of the Second World War. It also provides a diverse and well designed collection of commercial buildings, the architectural importance of which is unmatched in Sonoma County. Although the district has changed its appearance somewhat since 1945, it retains a high degree of architectural integrity and maintains its associations to the historic period.

Commercial activity in the downtown area began even before the founding of the town in 1852. In the half-century before that, the area passed from the control of the Petaluma Indians to that of the Sonoma Mission. It then became the subject of conflicting land grants. After the start of the Gold Rush, a few white settlers trickled in, drawn by the access that the Petaluma River provided to markets in San Francisco. By the end of 1851 the number of new inhabitants grew large enough to warrant laying out the town. A plat was drawn up in 1852, and residents began erecting woodframe buildings, both residential and commercial. By the end of the year the town had three hotels, several stores and a number of warehouses. Petaluma and its commercial district grew rapidly in the 1850s.

Petaluma and its commercial district grew rapidly in the 1850s. The town became the main shipping point for the surrounding agricultural region, which specialized in grains and dairy products. San Francisco, reached by steamship in five hours, provided a ready market for all that the area produced. Petaluma's port became one of the busiest in the state. The local population grew to about 1,500 by the end of the decade. Stores began to specialize; a bank, a newspaper office, and several fraternal halls appeared. Some new buildings were of stone or brick construction and gave the district a more substantial and permanent appearance. The town, which had grown to be the largest in Sonoma county, incorporated in 1858.

Excerpted from the NRHP nomination.

Name Year Address Remarks Sort Address Sort Name
Commercial Building191513 Petaluma Boulevard SouthBuilt in 1915 with addition in 1925.Petaluma S 0013Commercial Building
Commercial Buildings1870313-315 B StreetConglomeration of one- and two-story wood-frame structures built between 1870 and 1920. Street B 0313Commercial Buildings
Commercial Building19039-11 Petaluma Boulevard NorthPetaluma N 0009Commercial Building
McNear Building191115-19 Petaluma Boulevard NorthPetaluma N 0015McNear Building
McNear Building188621-23 Petaluma Boulevard NorthHigh Victorian Italianate commercial building with cast iron fronts at both street faces.Petaluma N 0021McNear Building
Commercial Building187629-39 Petaluma Boulevard NorthMission Revival building built in 1876 and emodeled in 1911.Petaluma N 0029Commercial Building
Commercial Building191510-46 Kentucky StreetKentucky 0010Commercial Building
Commercial Building188243-49 Petaluma Boulevard NorthPetaluma N 0043Commercial Building
(W.C.T.U. Fountain1891Petaluma Boulevard North and Western AvenuePetaluma N 0099(W.C.T.U. Fountain
Great Petaluma Mill18546 Petaluma Boulevard NorthCollection of three large warehouses built between 1854 and 1903. Restored and adapted in 1979.Petaluma N 0006Great Petaluma Mill
Old Post Offfice192016 Petaluma Boulevard NorthDesigned by Brainerd Jones.Petaluma N 0016Old Post Offfice
Maclay Building191834 Petaluma Boulevard NorthPetaluma N 0034Maclay Building
American Trust Building1926101 Petaluma Boulevard NorthArchitects were Hyman & Appleton of San Francisco.Petaluma N 0101American Trust Building
Odd Fellows Hall1871107-113 Petaluma Boulevard NorthSecond Empire building designed by J.B. Brooche. A nearly identical addition, with a flat roof behind the mansard, was added on the north in 1926.Petaluma N 0107Odd Fellows Hall
Phoenix Block1920145 Petaluma Boulevard NorthPetaluma N 0145Phoenix Block
Gazette Building1880155-157 Petaluma Boulevard NorthPetaluma N 0155Gazette Building
Sonoma County Bank1926199 Petaluma Boulevard NorthPetaluma N 0199Sonoma County Bank
Commercial Building1880108 Petaluma Boulevard NorthOriginal detailing disappeared in a c1940 remodeling.Petaluma N 0108Commercial Building
Commercial Building1870114 Petaluma Boulevard NorthPetaluma N 0114Commercial Building
Commercial Building1860120 Petaluma Boulevard NorthPetaluma N 0120Commercial Building
Steiger Building1885132 Petaluma Boulevard NorthIncluding the building i9n the rear.Petaluma N 0132Steiger Building
Commercial Building1886134 Petaluma Boulevard NorthPetaluma N 0134Commercial Building
Commercial Building1880136 Petaluma Boulevard NorthPetaluma N 0136Commercial Building
Commercial Building1910150 Petaluma Boulevard NorthPetaluma N 0150Commercial Building
Commercial Building1875156-166 Petaluma Boulevard NorthPetaluma N 0156Commercial Building
Wickersham Building1910170 Petaluma Boulevard NorthSimplified version of Second Renaissance Revival style.Petaluma N 0170Wickersham Building
Commercial Building1870208 Petaluma Boulevard NorthItalianate one-story brick commercial building with a cast- iron front, stone foundation, concrete block west side wall, bracketed false-front cornice, and slender pilasters.Petaluma N 0208Commercial Building
Commercial Building1885221A-B Water StreetWater 0221Commercial Building
Commercial Building1915246-252 Petaluma Boulevard NorthPetaluma N 0246Commercial Building
Commercial Building1920250 Water StreetWater 0250Commercial Building
Commercial Building1910256 Petaluma Boulevard NorthPetaluma N 0256Commercial Building
Commercial Building1910260 Water StreetWater 0260Commercial Building
Commercial Building1918264 Petaluma Boulevard NorthPetaluma N 0264Commercial Building
Commercial Building1925300-304 Petaluma Boulevard NorthPetaluma N 0300Commercial Building
Mutual Relief Building188525 Western AvenueWestern 0025Mutual Relief Building
Commercial Building188519 Western AvenueWestern 0019Commercial Building
Commercial Building188115 Western AvenueWestern 0015Commercial Building
Linch Building189010 Western AvenueWestern 0010Linch Building
Prince Building191024 Western AvenueWestern 0024Prince Building
Schluckebier Trust Building191519-25 Kentucky StreetKentucky 0019Schluckebier Trust Building
Commercial Building1938101 Kentucky StreetStreamline moderne.Kentucky 0101Commercial Building
Commercial Building1900111-113Kentucky StreetKentucky 0111Commercial Building
Gervasoni Building1900117-121 Kentucky StreetKentucky 0117Gervasoni Building
Peoples Building1900127 Kentucky StreetKentucky 0127Peoples Building
Schluckebier & Gwinn Building1895133 Kentucky StreetSecond Renaissance Revival details on front elevation: ornamented parapet, dentiled cornice, paneled frieze, pilasters, and arched windows and doorway.Kentucky 0133Schluckebier & Gwinn Building
Commercial Building1910137 Kentucky StreetKentucky 0137Commercial Building
Opera House1870145 Kentucky StreetThis 1870 brick two-story commercial building was remodeled by architect Brainerd Jones in 1901.Kentucky 0145Opera House
Gwinn Building1910159 Kentucky StreetKentucky 0159Gwinn Building
Herold Building - Canepa Block1899161 Kentucky StreetKentucky 0161Herold Building - Canepa Block
Commercial Building1915108 Kentucky StreetKentucky 0108Commercial Building
Commercial Building1915126-130 Kentucky StreetKentucky 0126Commercial Building
Commercial Building192525 Washington StreetWashington 0025Commercial Building
Commercial Building192533 Washington StreetWashington 0033Commercial Building
Hotel Petaluma1923100 Washington StreetWashington 0100Hotel Petaluma
Commercial Building1925120 Washington StreetWashington 0120Commercial Building
Commercial Building1925122-124 Washington StreetWashington 0122Commercial Building
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