MODELING: The Bodega Avenue French Laundry

Every now and then I come across an interesting building to just calls out to be modeled.  One such structure is laundry once located at 570 Bodega Avenue in Petaluma, CA.  I suspect the vintage signage caught my eye initially.  The building featured a false front design with gabled roof behind.  It was sheathed with shiplap siding.

There was a feasibility study performed by Page and Turnbull in 2014 to determine if it could preserved as a historical landmark for the city.   Sadly, the study concluded that it was too far gone to  be saved.  However that does not mean a model couldn’t be built reflecting what it might have looked like when it was a laundry.

This view shows details of the west elevation of the structure.

At this point the roof had collapsed along the east elevation.

This photogr

This photograph was taken during the 2014 study.  At this point it looks like a good candidate for a supply of shiplap for Chip and Joanna Gaines.

The back wall showing the rear entrance and a boarded up window.


The east wall is essentially gone.  One can speculate that there were likely windows

The first step is to construct a simple drawing and possibly a cardboard mockup to get a sense of what the building will look like when completed.

I plan to use styrene for the basic material.   I saw a painting weathering technique shown by Vallejo acrylics on how to create the appearance of an old wooden structure.  It looks like the way to go to get the effect desired.   My objective to depict the appearance in the mid-1950s.

Model and Photos are from a Vallejo brochure explaining this technique

Final appearance of the weathered plastic using Vallejo acrylics.

Stay tuned for the next chapter in the laundry build.


4 thoughts on “MODELING: The Bodega Avenue French Laundry

  1. Wow! When we lived there we used to go by it at least 4 time a month. We probably went to Tomales Bay twice a month (passed by it coming and going). Sad part is, zero recollection of the building. Probably didn’t look anything like what you’re showing in the photo. Why do i say that, because I’m talking about 1960 to 1963. Yeah. I do remember Beasley’s Beanery though. Shoot the name alone makes it deserving of a model. Oh yeah, we became good friends with the folks that owned the Marshall Hotel at Tomales Bay (long since burned down). It was right along the old North Pacific Coast r-o-w. Thanks for sharing, fond memories of Petaluma.

  2. Could you please give a bit more explanation on your technique for making such a convincing old wood effect?

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