Historic Petaluma farmhouse may get new life

As one of the last farmhouses on Petaluma's east side, the Hansen House likely will soon enjoy the respect that comes with officially becoming a local historic landmark.

The City Council is the last stop on a fitful journey toward that designation for the 1906 house on McDowell Boulevard near Sunrise Parkway. The council is expected to vote on the item at tonight's 7 p.m. meeting.

The house, built by Danish immigrants Hans and Anna Marie Hansen, is the planned centerpiece of a 34-residence rental-home subdivision being built by Santa Rosa developer Hugh Futrell.

Unlike other developers who have eyed the site before him, Futrell included the rehabilitation of the home in his plans. The planning commission unanimously approved his North McDowell Commons project.

The Hansens built the modest farmhouse for their family on what was then a quiet rural road on the outskirts of Petaluma. Today, it sits neglected on two acres, boarded up and enclosed behind a chain link fence, surrounded by newer houses, a mobile home park and grassy vacant land.

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