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Historic Railroad Square

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An Overview of Historic Railroad Square

Nestled in the heart of Santa Rosa, California, Historic Railroad Square is a vibrant neighborhood rich in heritage. Its inclusion on the NRHP (National Register of Historic Places), which it has held since 1979, emphasizes the area's architectural and cultural significance. The neighborhood brims with buildings dating back to the late 1800s, with structures constructed by skilled Italian stonemasons that miraculously withstood the 1906 earthquake. These architectural jewels, juxtaposed with contemporary amenities, create a unique blend of old and new, giving the district an undeniable charm.

Historic Railroad Square has evolved into a pulsating hub of activity, offering a bustling atmosphere filled with international dining options, shopping centers, theater, and more. Largely influenced by the railroad's arrival in the late 1870s, the district preserves its turn-of-the-century aesthetics with exposed brick walls and inviting storefronts. Its family-friendly environment, easy accessibility, and central location make it an attractive community for both residents and tourists.

Key Attractions in the Historic Railroad Square Neighborhood

  • Northwestern Pacific Railroad Depot: This historic depot, now a Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) train stop, is the focal point of the district. Its history, design, and function make it a landmark in the neighborhood.
  • Depot Park: Offering open spaces for recreation, this park provides easy access to the area's rail facilities, enhancing the district's connectivity.
  • California Welcome Center: Situated in the train depot, this visitor center assists tourists with maps and advice, facilitating the exploration of Sonoma County's wine region.
  • Antique Shops: Scattered throughout the neighborhood, antique shops present a treasure trove of vintage finds, connecting shoppers with the area's history.
  • International Dining and Wineries: With a plethora of global cuisine options and local wineries, the district is a food and wine lover's paradise.

Statistics for Historic Railroad Square

  • Historic Significance: The neighborhood has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979, underlining its historical importance.
  • Building Age: Structures in the district were built between 1888 and 1923, showcasing a wide array of architectural styles from this period.
  • Earthquake Resistance: The buildings, erected by Italian stonemasons, have survived severe earthquakes, demonstrating their robust construction.
  • Commercial Activity: The district is home to various industries, shops, eateries, and entertainment venues, indicating its vibrant economy.
  • Transportation: The district is served by SMART, suggesting excellent connectivity with Sonoma County and beyond.

Frequently Asked Questions About Historic Railroad Square

  • Is Historic Railroad Square family-friendly?

Yes, the neighborhood offers a variety of family-friendly activities, dining, and shopping options. It's a perfect place for families to explore and enjoy.

  • How accessible is Historic Railroad Square?

The neighborhood is well-connected and easily accessible via SMART, enhancing convenience for visitors and locals alike.

  • What architectural style characterizes the buildings in Historic Railroad Square?

The buildings showcase late 1800s architectural styles, characterized by brick constructions crafted by Italian stonemasons.

  • What kind of dining options are available in Historic Railroad Square?

The neighborhood offers a broad spectrum of international cuisine and local wineries, catering to diverse gastronomical preferences.

  • Are there any notable historic sites in Historic Railroad Square?

Yes, the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Depot and other historic stone buildings like Western Hotel and La Rose Hotel stand as testaments to the area's rich past.


Steeped in history and bustling with activity, Historic Railroad Square is a jewel in Santa Rosa's crown. It presents a unique combination of heritage and modernity, resonating with history buffs, food enthusiasts, and shoppers. If an unfortunate accident occurs during your exploration, MVP Accident Attorneys, with their strong commitment to justice, are ready to provide the support and legal assistance you need.


brett sachs2
Brett Sachs

Brett S. Sachs graduated from Michigan State University College of Law with Cum Laude Honors. While attending Michigan State, Brett was awarded for his service in the Michigan State University College of Law Civil Rights Clinic, where he represented prisoners of the Michigan Department of Corrections from injustices brought upon them. Learn more.

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