How can you miss something that is free to all? Since we’ve been walking around the downtown historic district, the next “familiar” spot may not be “strange” to many Petalumans. In fact, we asked you to visit this historic building in our last strangeness blog (#3). No pun intended, but it should “ring the bell” in your mind when you walk up the steps to the Petaluma Historical Library & Museum, and you step over …

Petaluma was honored when Andrew Carnegie built the Petaluma Library in 1904. Designed by Brainerd Jones, the building contains many architectural features. Adair Heig describes this elegant building in her book, History of Petaluma: A California River Town, as follows:

“It is constructed of sand-colored brick and locally quarried Roblar sandstone in the Neo-Classical Revival style, and built on a rise so that one must ascend broad steps to reach it, as one would ascend the Greek temple from which this design so clearly springs.

The two-story portico with its finely proportioned Corinthian columns extends the Greek theme and lends majesty to the front of the building. Notice, too, the fine fan-shaped windows on the upper story, the bull’s-eye windows above the double oak doors, and the exceptionally fine stone work throughout.

In the interior, the pine woodwork suggests solidity and richness. The center portions of the main floor is open to a stained glass dome on the ceiling.”

BTW, the Carnegie Library was closed for two years, and reopened in 1978 as Petaluma’s Historical Museum and Library. Much of the background information used in this “Strangeness of the Familiar” blog series was discovered in the Hoppy Hopkins Memorial Research Library on the Museum’s second floor.