This Then & Now blog should be called the “Now & Then” blog. Why? The current building of Fourth Street was built in the 1930s (way back Then for some Petalumans). It is still there Now, 80 years later. This Spanish Colonial Revival and Spanish Gothic style structure was designed by James Wetmore and Louis Simon. Although it was funded by the Keyes-Elliot Act in 1926, it was not completed until 1933. It became the new location for postal services in Petaluma. The former Post Office building on Main Street, built in 1926, was Petaluma’s second Post Office and the building is still there today, and houses the 24 Hour Fitness. (Photo courtersy of the Sonoma County Library.)

What most Petalumans of today do not know is, what building was located at Fourth & D Streets prior to the 1930’s.

(Photographs courtesy of the Petaluma Historical Museum & Library)

This beautiful two-story residence, with its unusual stone fence was built by John A. McNear in 1867. The property faves 150 feet on D Street and 200 feet on Fourth Street. The blocks of basalt and lava were moved from the nearby hills and set on end withy smaller rocks used as fillers. The lawn was embellished with spruce, cypress, and palm tress; plus shrubbery, which enhanced the beauty of the house. An ink drawing of the McNear home by Petaluma artist, Richard Shell, was the brochure cover for the Heritage Homes tour of 1984.

Stay tuned for more “Then & Now” blogs about historic Petaluma buildings.