The Landmarks Commission, supported by Permit Sonoma staff, designates historic landmarks, reviews development proposals involving historic properties, and administers an historic resources preservation program.
One example of an historic resource is the residence at Benjamin Ranch, located in Bennett Valley. This building was constructed in 1884 and designated a County Landmark in 1979. Historically the property was used as a farm and ranch, growing many different corps and raising a variety of stock.
Benjamin Ranch was selected as a historical resource based on the fact that it embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, region, or method of construction. The 1884 Italianate house and tank house is a very unusual house, possibly the only house of its type in Sonoma County, and has apparently changed very little. It is historically significant as a highly unusual rural Italianate residence in Sonoma County that retains excellent integrity.
Benjamin Ranch house is unusual for the fact that it is largely intact, with the exception of some minor porch alterations, including the addition of a handicap ramp on the north porch. It is also unusual in that the house has an integral tank house. This tank house is not only rare for the fact that it appears to have been attached to the main house from an early date, but it also is an unusual design, with battered walls and an octagonal enclosure for the water tank.
Permit Sonoma’s website contains more information on Sonoma County’s Historic Resources.