Petaluma has several districts of historical importance, as designated by the National Register of Historic Places or by the Petaluma City Council.
Petaluma Historic Districts
Historic Commercial District
The Petaluma Historic Commercial District encompasses much of Downtown Petaluma and includes 96 contributing buildings on approximately 23 acres of land. The district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.
The district represents the development of commerce in the City from the mid-nineteenth century to the end of World War II. It also provides a diverse and well-designed collection of commercial buildings, the architecture of which is unmatched in Sonoma County. The district today still retains a high degree of architectural integrity, and building improvements have maintained an association to the historic period.
A Street Historic District
The “A” Street Historic District is located south and east of downtown and is comprised of residential and other properties. The district contains an eclectic mix of residences, offices, churches, and apartments nearly all built before 1925, illustrating a cross-section of architectural history over the 65-year period of the neighborhood’s development from 1860 to 1925. Nearly all buildings are intact examples of their various architectural styles from that time period, including several transitional combinations.
Katherine Rinehart, local historian, writes about the warehouse district, “River and rail access made this an ideal location for feed mills, warehouses, and manufacturers. This neighborhood also includes a mixture of historic bungalows that housed the employees of these businesses as well a modern residential properties.“
The Oakhill-Brewster Historic District is a locally-designated architectural preservation district located north and west of Downtown. The district encompasses one of the earliest residential neighborhoods in Petaluma, northwest of Downtown, representing a great diversity of architectural styles from the 1850s through the 1980s. The District includes a mix of elaborate homes, mansions, and more modest homes, with most block faces showing excellent continuity of period, form, and scale.