Franz Valley School, Calistoga

The owners of this repurposed schoolhouse hired Alice to research the history of the property to clarify its “character defining features” and assess its physical integrity in anticipation of a remodel.

The Franz Valley School was listed as “Sonoma County Landmark #71” in 1980 as the only surviving school in the Knight’s Valley/Franz Valley area of Napa County. The original structure was built in 1884 as a one-room school. It was significantly modified with four distinct additions: a  1910 “Work Room” off the northwest corner, a mid-20th c extension off of the northeast corner, a mid-20th c infill at the  northeast corner, and finally a 2008 addition off of the south.  Other modifications include the construction of decks off the west and south facades. By 2015, the original schoolhouse accounted for less than half of the usable space.

The structure survived the 1964 “Hanly Fire” that decimated the Franz Valley area; it did not survive the 2017 “Tubbs Fire.” Fortunately, the HRE provides a detailed text and photographic record of the lost resource.