Downtown Napa was a different place in the early 1970s before the city’s urban renewal program swung into high gear and the county cleared a swath of land south of Third Street for its new government/courts complex.
It was older, less prosperous, without tourists.
The city commissioned photos of the “before,” including aerial shots that capture a riverfront almost unidentifiable to someone who knows only today’s landscape.
The Napa River was boxed in with stores and warehouses, reflecting the city’s origins as a river town where commerce centered on the waterway. And Soscol Avenue, a major north-south arterial today, stopped at the river.
So much has changed in less than 50 years. Imagine what is to come.
-- Kevin Courtney, Napa Valley Register city editor