I don't claim to be a great photographer, and these shots don't excite me overall as "suitable for framing," but they give a decent impression of the core of Santa Rosa.
Santa Rosa is a sprawling satellite of San Francisco about one hour directly north. It is the County Seat of Sonoma County (although the county government has decamped from downtown proper to a screamingly boring, but very efficient "campus" with plenty of parking in the suburbs). Because it was in some ways a regional center for the entire North Coast (the local newspaper, The Press Register, is an amazingly consistent voice supportiung lumbering, factory farming, and real estate development), the downtown is quite large, with several mid-rise office buildings of generally poor architectural quality (concrete, anyone?)
Still, the downtown commerical core, Fourth Street, is quite pleasant, with plenty of trees and nice, if dated street furniture. The largest regional mall terminates the main street. Surrounding the core are pockets and fragments of quite fantastic older homes, although the neighborhoods are not as intact as, for example, nearbyPetaluma or Napa.
On to the photo tour!
First, we visit Fourth Street proper. The City has pretty maintained a nice street wall, there are lots of trees, a few sidewalk cafes, and a range of businesses. We aren't talking Union Square here, but there could be worse. Because of lighting, I didn't photograph a couple of the real landmark buildings, but
Empire Tower: A great midrise!
The Mall is right downtown.
Across the Freeway (101) is a curious enclave of older buildings centered around the train tracks. Unfortunately, the mall and the freeway separate rather brutally Railroad Square from downtown proper, but it remains a pleasant, artsy-bohemian enclave with some fantastic stone buildings.
Great Coffee House!
Fragments of the Past
Where did they get the money for such an elaborate construction of stone walls, neon-tube lit bridges, multiple layers? Wow. Too bad the creek itself is so ugly
Next Up: Some fine neighborhoods in (under-rated) Oakland.