Facilities By Design Helps Move Sonoma County Archives from Wildfire Path

Sep 7, 2021: The Sonoma County Library has decided to move the historical records known as the Sonoma County Archives, currently housed in Los Guilicos, to a facility on Westwind Blvd. This transition was done in an effort to keep them out of, what is becoming, a frequent wildfire path.

This is a temporary arrangement and gives some time to the Sonoma County Library and the County to develop a long-term solution for safe storage of the archives.

The Sonoma County Library describes the archives as “a treasure trove of invaluable records”. The archives are a record of important events dating back to the mid-1800s when Sonoma County was formed.

These records have multiple owners including the County of Sonoma and the Sonoma County Library. The archives also include an array of government business records and other important legal documents.

Built in the 1950s, the Los Guilicos facility proved to be in the path of wildfire after barely escaping harm from the Nuns and Glass fires.

The warehouse is home to 40,000+ historic photographs, deeds & mortgages, adoption records from 1927 to 1945, and business licenses & hospital records between 1930s and 1940s.

Facilities By Design was lucky enough to be trusted with helping the County facilitate the move through logistical support, materials space planning, requests for proposals on move services of the delicate inventory and creating a support structure to streamline the moving process, along with on-site move management. The chance to work alongside such important and historical county documents was a challenge that our team was able to take pleasure in completing.

The Sonoma County Library and the County will share the cost of relocation. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors has approved an allocation of $140,000 that will be used to meet lease costs for the first two years.

The Sonoma County Library Commission has approved an allocation of $137,000 to meet expenses related to packaging, moving, and inventorying the records in addition to reconfiguring the new facility.

The general public won’t be able to access the records until October. Once the relocation is complete and the records are properly shelved, researchers, and historians will be able to access these records by appointment.

Many citizen groups, that have been urging authorities to relocate the records to a safe location for a long time and have welcomed the move as “the first step toward preserving one of Sonoma County’s most important archival collections”.  

Facilities By Design provides renowned commercial design services to Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. We have mastered the art and science of combining aesthetic and functionality while being the go-to partner for both commercial & government agencies. To make an appointment, call us at (707) 580-1362.