National Trust for Historic Preservation - Click here to return to the Home Page

National Trust Historic Sites
Historic Artists' Homes & Studios
11 Most Endangered Places
Restore America
Lowe's Preservation Fund
Legal Advocacy & Tools
Issues and Initiatives
Chain Drugstores
Historic Houses of Worship
Historic Schools
Smart Growth
Case Studies
Barn Again
Save America's Treasures
The Trust in Your State
Site Map
Contact Us


Issues and Initiatives

Historic Neighborhood Schools Success Story
Santa Rosa High School
Santa Rosa, CA

horizontal line
Santa Rosa High School Lobby

Part of an ensemble of brick Gothic Revival buildings designed by architect W.H. Weeks in the 1920s, Santa Rosa High School demonstrates a high level of detailing and craftsmanship. While the school’s exterior has remained intact, earlier renovations stripped much of the interior detail and historic character. Recently, utilizing historic photographs, original plans and paint analysis, the school’s newest renovation included every effort to restore (and sometimes recreate) original ornamental details, finishes and colors. Coffered ceilings, carefully detailed woodwork, and new display cases now grace the main entry, showcasing the history and heritage of Santa Rosa’s oldest high school. In the evening, the activity of the refurbished auditorium glows through the reopened windows, signaling that the historic school is again a vibrant and active place.

Making Financial Sense through Restoration and Reuse
Recognized as a community landmark, residents and the school board elected to restore and maintain Santa Rosa High School for continued use, while retaining its historic integrity. Architecturally, the buildings’ style and level of detail would have not been feasible to replicate in new construction. The restoration and modernization of the buildings at Santa Rosa High School was performed for approximately $110 per square foot. To have constructed new buildings in similar materials, without the level of detail in the existing structures, would have more than doubled the costs of the modernization and restoration.

Santa Rosa High School  main entrance
Santa Rosa High School main entrance

Improving Educational Quality
A magnet school for visual and performing arts, Santa Rosa High School’s restoration and modernization updated the school for contemporary teaching needs, including information technology infrastructure and increased space via a new, historically sensitive addition. Although local symphony and choral groups consider the school’s 1,000-seat auditorium the most acoustically perfect hall in the region, the condition of the hall deteriorated in recent years. It has now regained its place as a major community facility and cornerstone of the high school’s performing arts programs. The school’s historic nature reflects the community’s continuing commitment to learning and carries a sense of pride among students and staff.

Revitalizing the Local Community
Santa Rosa High School is a landmark in the community, recognized for its unique architecture by residents and visitors alike. Architects worked with the local Cultural Heritage Board in planning the campus’ modernization and restoration. From the onset of this project, the community expressed a commitment to maintain the prestige and identity of the historic campus and its landmark status. Through the renovation, the school contributes more to the aesthetic and cultural quality of Santa Rosa, benefiting residents and students alike.


For more information on Santa Rosa High School’s restoration, please contact:
Stephen J. Nuich, Architect/Associate
TLCD Architecture
111 Santa Rosa Avenue, Suite 300
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
707-525-5600 or



© 2006 National Trust for Historic Preservation. All rights reserved.  Terms of Use | Privacy Statement