Event Photos

Rose clip artWelcome to the St. Rose Walking Tour

The City of Santa Rosa recognized the St. Rose neighborhood as the city’s first residential historic district in 1990. St. Rose was the first neighborhood to receive a historic designation by the city as it was deemed to be the historic neighborhood most likely to be lost due to the pressures of downtown development.

The boundaries for the historic district are Seventh and Sixth Streets near the Santa Rosa Plaza Shopping Center to the south, Lincoln Street to the north, Mendocino Avenue to the east, and Highway 101 to the west. (Green shaded area on map below.)

The district grew up around the St. Rose Church, a Gothic Revival stone structure built by local Italian stone masons in 1900.The neighborhood includes a unique cross section of Santa Rosa’s residential building types as well as a number of fine institutional and commercial buildings. The historic homes date from 1872 to the 1940’s.  Many of the homes, particularly the well-maintained bungalows along Lincoln Street, were built in the 1920’s for Santa Rosa’s small business owners such as bakers, druggists, and salesmen as well as firemen, auto mechanics, foremen, farmers and the City’s Treasurer.  In addition, the district includes seven of Santa Rosa’s grandest surviving nineteenth century homes.

Map of St. Rose Neighborhood

Map of St. Rose Neighborhood

 

1. ST. ROSE CHURCH

St. Rose Church

St. Rose Church

549 B STREET

Built in 1900 by local Italian stone masons, the St. Rose Church is the only example of a stone Gothic Revival-style church in Santa Rosa. It was constructed of rough-cut basalt which came from a local quarry owned by James and Mark McDonald. The pointed entry arches with narrow pointed-arched windows above give the church its distinctive Gothic character. Originally it had a tall steeple which has since been removed. While it has survived all earthquakes since it was built, it was closed to the public in the 1990’s as a safety precaution. From 2018-2019 it went through a major retrofit so that it could once again be used.Rose clip art

 

2. FRANK BERKA HOME

558 B Street - Frank Berka Home

558 B Street – Frank Berka Home

Frank Berka's Lumber Yard - circa 1883

Frank Berka’s Lumber Yard – circa 1883

558 B STREET

This two-story Queen Anne style home was built in 1890 by Frank Berka. Frank Berka was born in 1849 in Bohemia (now a part of the republic of Czechoslovakia). In 1861, his family immigrated to the United States. In 1882 he came to Santa Rosa and became employed in the office of the Korbel Brothers Lumber Company, where his elder brother, John Berka, worked. In 1885, Frank, who had acquired a thorough knowledge of the lumber business, took over the business and continued it for the next forty years, becoming one of the best-known men in the lumber trade in the area.

The Queen Anne style is characterized by an irregular steeply-pitched roof, patterned shingles, cutaway bay windows, and other variations in massing and finish which were intended to avoid a smooth-walled appearance. The facades are generally asymmetrical with partial or full width one-story porches. Fish scale shingles give this house a rich texture above the exterior siding.Rose clip art

 

Saturday Afternoon Club prior to later modifications.

Saturday Afternoon Club prior to later modifications.

1908 Groundbreaking for Saturday Afternoon Club

1908 Groundbreaking for Saturday Afternoon Club

3. SATURDAY AFTERNOON CLUB

430 TENTH STREET

This is the home from 1908 to the present of Santa Rosa’s very influential and progressive first women’s club. Originally built in the Craftsman-style in 1908, the building has been heavily altered on the exterior. The interior retains much of its original character.Rose clip art

 

600 B Street

600 B Street

576 B Street

576 B Street

4/5. THURLOW and HAMLIN MEDICAL BUILDINGS

576 B and 600 B STREET

The Thurlow Building (576 B Street) was constructed in 1940. The Hamlin Building (600 B Street) was constructed in 1938. Dr.  Hamlin was one of the best-known physicians and surgeons in Sonoma County.  Dr. Alfred A. Thurlow, was president of the Sonoma County Medical Society and focused on obstetrics and the treatment diseases of women and children in his practice.

Both these buildings were designed by Santa Rosa’s first architect who went on to establish himself as the city’s favored architect for commercial buildings. They are both examples of Commercial Art Deco buildings. The Exposition des Arts Decoratifs held in Paris in 1925 supplied the impetus for this style which emphasized modernity and a rectilinear pattern of exterior ornamentation. Very few examples of this important architectural style exist in Santa Rosa.Rose clip art

 

Con Shea

Con Shea

 

625 B Street - Shea House

625 B Street – Shea House

6. SHEA-TROWBRIDGE HOUSE

625 B STREET

This Stick/Eastlake residence was built by Cornelius (Con) Shea in 1888 as a summer home. Con Shea, drove cattle from Texas to the silver mines in Idaho before moving to California in 1857 and becoming one of California’s first pioneers. He became one of Santa Rosa’s largest property holders, owning several business blocks in the downtown area.

In the 1950’s, the house is said to have been purchased for $1 by Bob Trowbridge and moved from 537 Mendocino Avenue to its present location to prevent its demolition. Characteristics of the Stick style include a steeply pitched gabled roof with cross gables, decorative trusses at the gable ends, overhanging eaves, and wood exterior cladding interrupted by patterns of horizontal, vertical, or diagonal boards (stickwork) raised from the wall surfaces for emphasis. Eastlake detailing refers to three-dimensional ornamentation produced by lathe and chisel and typified by turned spindles and carved brackets.Rose clip art

 

Lincoln Street Bungalow

Lincoln Street Bungalow

7. LINCOLN STREET BUNGALOWS

The two dozen small bungalows on Lincoln Street are outstanding examples of variations within the California Bungalow style. This is a unique example of an intact residential streetscape of homes built between 1915 and 1925.

Influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement, bungalow architecture emphasizes a horizontal link between the house and the land around it. The use of natural, local materials, and colors also reinforce this home-earth relationship. Bungalow exteriors tend to be wood shingle, horizontal siding, or stucco exteriors, as well as brick or stone exterior chimneys and a partial-width front porch.

A few of these bungalows have been remodeled to add a second story, but the majority remain unmodified.

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708 Morgan Street

708 Morgan Street

8.  MORGAN STREET

700 Block

This outstanding group of homes was built primarily between 1894- 1905 confirming all survived the 1906 earthquake.  Homes at 730, 722, and 708 Morgan Street are all examples of the Queen Anne Cottage style. Queen Anne architecture is notable for its ornamental excesses, and is also commonly referred to as Victorian style. Spindlework, fish scale siding, and decorative treatments are often seen on every possible surface. The basic shape is two-story with a hipped roof and one or two lower cross-gables, though many are simpler cross- or front-gabled houses. One-story homes in this style are call Cottages.

The house at 750 Morgan Street is built in the Colonial Revival style. This style is characterized by an accented entry door, usually with a decorative pediment. Doors usually have top and side windows known as fanlights or sidelights. The front façade is often symmetrical with pairs of double-hung sash windows flanking a central entry side dormer, all combined in a balanced composition.Rose clip art

 

 

The former General Hospital building.

The former General Hospital building.

9. GENERAL HOSPITAL

476 A Street

Santa Rosa’s General Hospital opened in 1922. Described as a bungalow-type hospital, it had 75 rooms, 50 beds for patients, four surgical, three X-ray, and two delivery rooms.  The hospital was first established at a home on Fourth Street in 1917. When the owner of the house returned and needed to reside in it again, the first bungalow-style unit of the current hospital was built at its present location on A Street. During its first decade of operation, it was the largest general medical facility in Sonoma County. Patients no longer had to make do with doctor’s office surgeries and babies born-at-home. In 1950, the Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital was completed. Although it had been intended as a replacement for the General Hospital, the older hospital remained in use for another 34 years as an alternative hospital. It closed as a hospital in 1984 and is currently be used as a shelter for homeless families
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Sonoma County Museum

Sonoma County Museum

10. MUSEUM/POST OFFICE

425 Seventh Street

*ON NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES*

Now the home of the Sonoma County Museum,  this Neo-Classical Revival building, constructed in 1909, was designed by U.S. Treasury Department  architect  James  Know Taylor.   One of twelve federal buildings Taylor designed for California (all now on the National Register), it was the first federal building built in a rural area.

Designed in the Roman Renaissance Revival style with a Spanish tile roof, 2-foot thick limestone walls, solid granite steps, and a lobby floor of marble terrazzo it was an impressive addition to the city’s downtown area and construction as a mark of faith in the future after the 1906 earthquake.

After narrowly avoiding demolition during Santa Rosa’s urban renewal of the downtown area in the 1970’s, it was relocated here in 1979. The 10,000-square foot, 1,700-ton building began its 750-foot journey to its new location using a network of steel beams and rollers – a method believed used by the pyramid builders over 45 centuries ago.  The building was moved just 25-40 feet a day ultimately taking 75 days to reach its final destination.

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541 A Street

541 A Street

 

11. CARPENTER GOTHIC HOMES

541 & 546 A Street

These Carpenter Gothic Revival residences are two of just a few remaining examples of this architectural style in Santa Rosa.  Both were built in the 1870’s making them some of the earliest homes built in downtown Santa Rosa.

Carpenter Gothic houses became common in North America in the late nineteenth century. These structures adapted Gothic elements such as pointed arches, steep gables, and towers to traditional American light-frame construction. These buildings were relatively unadorned, retaining only the basic elements of pointed-arch windows and steep gables

546 A Street has been remodeled but still displays its original Carpenter Gothic elements. It is another home that was saved by Augusta Metzger. (It was originally located at 5th and Davis Streets.)

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St. Rose School

St. Rose School

12. ST. ROSE SCHOOL

560 Ninth Street

This Spanish Colonial Revival school was built in 1931 and is a good example of adaptive reuse. The school was condemned in 1983 when the city determined it was not earthquake proof. It was restored by the parish in the 1990’s and is now used for offices and an event hall. The bell tower was replaced with a foam over steel version to make it safer should it fall in an earthquake.Rose clip art

 

 

Runyon/Metzger and Boyce Homes

Runyon/Metzger and Boyce Homes

Augusta Metzger

Augusta Metzger

13. RUNYAN-METZGER HOUSE

*ON NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES*

535 B Street

This Italianate residence was built in 1872 for pioneer capitalist Armstead Runyan. William Metzger, owner of the first brewery in the city, He bought the house from the Runyan estate. After his death, his wife Augusta had the foresight to save many magnificent homes that were threatened with demolition by commercial expansion by having them moved out of the path of destruction into the St. Rose neighborhood.

This house is on the National Register of Historic Places. Several other homes which Augusta had moved and preserved are deemed eligible for individual listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

The low-pitched roof has bracketed cornices and frieze detailing. The arched hooded windows and corner quoins are unusual features of the building. Augusta Metzger, multiple nineteenth century into the neighborhood to save them from demolition.

Dr. Boyce - circa 1880

Dr. Boyce – circa 1880

14. BOYCE-METZGER HOUSE

537 B Street

*ON NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES*

The two-story Italianate house was built in 1874 on Third Street for Dr. Boyce (Santa Rosa’s first physician) and moved to this site after purchasing it for 25 cents to save it from demolition in 1903 by Augusta Metzger. Dr. Boyce arrived in the area in 1851. In 1854, he settled in the town of Franklin which pre-dated Santa Rosa. Eventually, he moved his practice to downtown Santa Rosa. He assisted the county coroner’s office and was on the county health board. In 1889, he was elected President of the Sonoma County Medical Society. When he died in 1898 he was the longest living continuous resident of Santa Rosa.

The double-pedimented roof shows the influence of the earlier Greek Revival style which was popular from the 1830’s through the 180’s. Other notable feature are the bracketed cornice and frieze, and the corner wooden quoins which resemble stone blocks a and are characteristic of the Italian Renaissance style as translated into wooden buildings.

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Around The Neighborhood

Take a look at the homes in our neighborhood! Many of them are historic. Click on the “I' to find out the date built and the architectural style.