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Throwback Thursday: How Napa looked in the early 1970s

Throwback Thursday: How Napa looked in the early 1970s

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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 

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