Small town Sonoma – it’s about people
I can’t help but respond to the Jan. 7 opinion piece, “A sense of place,” by Will Shonbrun of the Springs. I have viewed plans of the proposed hotel and almost the entire first floor is dedicated to parking, and the rest is a two-story hotel with less rooms than the Best Western next door. This project appears to be much smaller than the Fairmont located right in Mr. Shonbrun’s backyard. You will be pleased to know that Mr. Anderson is constantly revising his plans to reflect the sentiments of the community.
Change is inevitable and communities evolve. As a child, I lived in the Springs and there have been many changes. Gone is the Boyes Theater, the roller rink and our swimming pool with therapeutic waters. Gone is the Sonoma Mission Inn, consumed by the Fairmont and expanded.
There were no fundraisers in those days, or philanthropists to save these ailing properties. On the eastside of Boyes, there was a large contingency of Italians where we could expect dinners and parties on the weekends. In Sonoma, the picturesque Bank of America building was demolished and where did we go for a great banana split? Simmons Pharmacy. All memories now.
But for all the memories of times past, we have gained just as many new wonderful community members. It is s nice to see neighbors coming together at the Tuesday night farmers market, or families enjoying our local cuisine at food truck Friday at Sebastiani.
We have several buildings on the square that have been preserved through the efforts of the Sonoma League for Historic Preservation and donations from Sonomans.
I see the proposed hotel as positive to our community. I am grateful a family from our community is proposing to build the hotel. I am confident the hotel will offer events for locals that will enrich our community and create memories.
Sonoma is a small town and will remain a small town, but its popularity has outgrown its square footage. In my mind, it’s the people that make a community rich, not the buildings.
Paese che vai, usanza che trovi.