The West End Neighborhood values its unique history. An important goal is to preserve the history and structures of this neighborhood jewel.
Preservation & History
The West End Neighborhood is a small, historic neighborhood located in downtown Santa Rosa. The homes are small, predominantly bungalows and Queen Anne cottages. There are two parks, De Meo Park and DeTurk Round Barn Park. The West End also contains industrial and commercial buildings such as the historic DeTurk Winery building, Western Farm, Stark’s Steakhouse (formerly Michele’s), Franco American Bakery and Chop’s Teen Club, teen center built on the site of Lena’s restaurant.
Part of the West End became a Preservation District in 1996. The historic district boundaries are West Sixth Street on the south, the railroad tracks on the east ,W. 9th on the north and Dutton Avenue to the West. This district is significant for its architecture as a large and reasonably intact 19th and early 20th century working-class residential district on the “wrong side of the tracks”… literally. It represents a good cross section of very modest residential architecture of the 1880s through the 1940s.
Historic Ethnic Neighborhood
It is also Santa Rosa’s only historic ethnic neighborhood. The first large Italian immigration occurred around 1885. The City’s 1892 block book shows about half Italian names in the district and by the 1920s documents show the proportion closer to 90%. It was also the home to several long-standing Italian businesses- Lena’s Restaurant and nightclub, Michele’s Restaurant and Franco American Bakery. Residents worked in many of the surrounding businesses such as the DeTurk Winery, California Packing Corporation, Santa Rosa Bottling Works and Santa Rosa Woolen Mills.
The West End Neighborhood Newsletter features stories on integral neighborhood names such as Bertolini, Michetti, Bastoni, DeTurk and Carniglia . “Classic Neighbors” are written by neighbors who research, interview and write these accounts. Photographs are also collected. All West End Neighborhood Newsletters have been archived at the Sonoma County History and Genealogy Library.
Cultural Heritage Board
Since the goal of a preservation district is to save a neighborhood’s architectural history, changes to buildings in the district might need to be reviewed by the City of Santa Rosa’s Cultural Heritage Board.