Downtown Historic District

Benicia's Downtown is the historic and cultural heart of the City. Settlement in the Downtown area began soon after the town was platted in 1847. Streets were laid in a rectangular grid that extended into the water. Growth intensified when the State Capitol was briefly located in Benicia from 1853–1854. Through the remainder of the 19th century, development spread north from the waterfront, concentrated along two ridges of land that ran south from the highlands to the Strait. Recognizing the importance of Benicia’s historic Downtown, the City  established its first historic district in 1969 and subsequently expanded the  district and adopted the Downtown Historic Conservation Plan in 1990.  The district was created to preserve historic buildings and promote the historic quality of the area. Major points of interest include the third State Capital of California and the western terminus of the Transcontinental Railroad. Benicia’s Downtown Historic District is a community gathering place that attracts tourists and local residents to its historic sites, scenic shoreline, shops and restaurants, farmers’ market, and special events.

Downtown Historic District Map