35 East Napa Street, Sonoma

The tenants of this commercial building at the southeast corner of Sonoma’s historic Plaza hired Alice to prepare a detailed HRE to determine the building’s potential historic character in anticipation of a major renovation. Though the building is within the boundaries of both the Sonoma Plaza National Historic Landmark and the Plaza National Register Historic District, it is not listed in either.

Adam Adler built the 1902 store on the site of an older building that was relocated to the other side of the Plaza to make way for the new structure. Gustave Henry Hotz and his two sons operated a general goods store out of the building for decades. Following Gustave’s death, the younger Hotzs took over the store and radically updated the façade in 1938, transforming it from Victorian to Spanish Colonial. The Hotzs sold the business in 1972, whereupon the new owners added a modern marquis and changed all of the windows.

Alice determined that the building no longer retains enough physical integrity to convey either its 1902 or 1938 iterations, and does not qualify as an historic resource under CEQA. However, because of the sensitive and highly visible location of the building, Alice did recommend that several features be retained: the wrought iron “G.H. Hotz” sign, the barrel tile, the shallow niche and iron balconet, the ribbon, the stonework and lunette windows on the east façade, and the decorative iron wall anchors on the east façade.