Mission Sonoma

Owned and operated by California State Parks since 1926, California’s most northern Mission, San Francisco de Solano, is part of the 36-acre Sonoma State Historic Park. The Sonoma Mission serves as a museum of California and Spanish Mission history as well as a gallery. As part of CyArk’s El Camino Real project, State Parks has partnered with CyArk and local provider, 3D Virtual Design Technology Inc, to digitally preserve the existent convent (main hall) and chapel, much which was rebuilt in 1913.

Utilizing the latest in reality capture technologies, such as 3D laser scanning and high definition photography, Mission San Francisco de Solano will be digitally preserved before further alteration or destruction occurs. The project will not only create a digital and comprehensive record of the site, but will also aid in the cost-effective conservation and management of the Park.

To date, the mission does not possess a complete set of floor plans. With the help of CyArk and local provider, 3D Virtual Design Technology Inc., Mission San Francisco de Solano will move to the forefront of preservation and conservation technology.

CyArk, State Parks and the Community

As part of CyArk’s El Camino Real project, State Parks has partnered with CyArk and 3D Virtual Design Technology Inc., to digitally preserve the existent convento and chapel. Partnering with local tech companies allows CyArk to continue to produce and manage engineering-grade data at very low costs. Thanks to the generosity of 3dvdt’s donated services, we have been able to reduce the cost of the Mission Sonoma project to $15,000. Any additional funds raised will go towards further developing free interpretive and educational content based on the data collected.

Students from Sonoma High School’s Engineering Design Technology department will be onsite for the scan in late August and we continue to explore possibilities for bringing this project further into local classrooms. As with all El Camino Real projects, the data from Mission Sonoma will also be developed into educational content for free use by the 450,000 fourth graders who learn about the California Mission system annually.

Continuing Threats

Mission Sonoma at Risk

Photo Courtesy of the Library of Congress

It is a small miracle that Mission Sonoma has survived to this day. Through centuries of decay and restoration, the Mission has persisted.

Today, the Mission still faces the same environmental dangers it always has. The El Camino Real stretches along the active San Andreas Fault line. Several original structures have already been lost to earthquakes while many remain seismically unstable. The destruction of this mission would not only mean the loss of a fantastic physical resource, but also the destruction of a significant article of California, Native American, Spanish and Mexican history.

Become a Supporter

Make a difference by supporting the preservation of Mission San Francisco de Solano. Individuals, businesses and foundations can support CyArk and Mission Sonoma by making a donation or raising awareness. Spread the word of CyArk’s cause: follow us on social media, link to us on your website or blog, utilize CyArk lesson plans in your classroom, or suggest them to your child’s teacher, or volunteer to peer review our content. Whatever your interest, you can make a difference. Help us ensure that mission Sonoma will have a place in CyArk’s digital Archive alongside other world heritage treasures.

Mission Sonoma Donate

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