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A mansion perfectly preserved

When Rinaldo and Tressa Righetti purchased a piece of property at 1000 D Street in Petaluma back in 1927, the local newspaper declared, "There is not a finer site for a beautiful home in Sonoma County."

Righetti set about building a noble residence befitting both the address and his status as manager of the Petaluma branch of the Bank of America. He enlisted Warren Charles Perry, the dean of the College of Architecture at U.C. Berkeley, to design it, a Georgian-style Colonial reminiscent of a plantation mansion, complete with shutters, cedar shake shingles and columns.

Inside Petaluma's 'Finest Home'

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As the frame of the house went up in 1928, the Petaluma Argus-Courier predicted that it would be "one of this city's most elegant homes on one of the finest sites on the finest street."

But by 1962, when the widow Righetti was ready to downsize, the 4,719-square-foot, 11-room mansion with maid's quarters was something of a white elephant.

It was listed for sale as "Petaluma's finest home," and priced at $53,000, a princely sum at a time when the median U.S. home price was $17,200. The property taxes were a then-hefty $1,262 a year.


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