A hillbilly theme park?
Not including the traffic, parking and scale problems of the recent Chateau Sonoma proposal, I am disappointed with the ersatz, low-rent look of the project. It would be better suited for the French products display at the 99-Cent store. I dread having it in my eyesight when downtown.
If the developers insist on mansards and gables (which I think is inappropriate for landmark Sonoma architecture) why not take a clue from the New Orleans French Quarter’s hotels and restaurants. Their inviting courtyards and visual incentives to draw guests are very pleasing and effective. Not so with the CS proposal.
The “in your face” billboard styling shows no depth or interesting features of the building. It gives me no reason to explore beyond the sidewalk cafe (overlooking only the increased Napa Street traffic).
I think the whole image, including the name, is hokey, tawdry and appears to be a cheap imitation of traditional architectural style, a sort of hillbilly theme park exhibit.
Even if the French theme is abandoned, in the same creative hands I can imagine “Sonoma Haus,” “My Sonoma Hacienda,” or maybe “Solvang Sonoma” coming forth. Why not?
With all the support from various special interests, I’m sure that the project will get approved. I do look forward to the “Irma la Douce” uniforms on the tasting room employees.