In her book, Images of Petaluma – A History in Architecture (2005), Katherine Rinehart states, “A city’s character is often defined by its architecture, especially its public buildings which reflect the values and taste of the community.” An early City Hall was built on Fourth Street (next to what was then A Street) in 1886.

Adair Heig, in her History of Petaluma – A California River Town (1982) wrote, “This wonderful old Victorian once housed the courts, the city council chambers, all of the city administration offices, the library, the city prison, and the fire department. An even earlier city hall, court house and jail were located next door, where today (1982) you see a rare 1925 prefabricated iron gas station, once Petaluma’s bus depot.”


Eventually, this ornate stone building was demolished and replaced in 1955 with a fifteen space parking lot. Now, the A Street Parking Lot (2013) has many more parking spaces (some are reserved) between 4th & 5th Streets. Notice how the tree has grown up over the years. Stay tuned for more “Then & Now” photographs.