“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Napa in Napa County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Semorile Building


Semorile Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, February 21, 2009
1. Semorile Building Marker
The restoration plaque below the main marker reads "Faithfully restored by Shanty's Properties. Joseph A. Boivin, Architect".
Inscription. Built by Bartolomeo Semorile and designed by Napa architect Luther M. Turton as an outstanding example of Victorian commercial architecture.

The Semorile family came to Napa in 1869 and started their grocery business just east of this site. Early in 1889 they established a new store and residence in this building, remaining until their retirement in 1924.

Plaque placed by Sam Brannan Chapter No. 1004 of E Clampus Vitus, July 28, 1984
Erected 1984 by Sam Brannan Chapter No. 1004, E Clampus Vitus.
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
Location. 38° 17.956′ N, 122° 17.11′ W. Marker is in Napa, California, in Napa County. Marker is on First Street near Main Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 975 First Street, Napa CA 94559, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Winship Building 1888 (here, next to this marker); Oberon Saloon (within shouting distance of this marker); Napa - Birthplace of the Loudspeaker and the Magnavox Corp. (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line);
Semorile Building (1888) image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, February 21, 2009
2. Semorile Building (1888)
The building now houses a wine bar, The Bounty Hunter, as well as law offices.
Napa's China Town / Shuck Chan (about 300 feet away); Napa Courthouse Flag Staff (about 500 feet away); Native Sons Hall (about 600 feet away); Pfeiffer Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Napa Valley Railroad (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Napa.
More about this marker. Marker is to the immediate right of the right door.
Regarding Semorile Building. The Semorile Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
Also see . . .
1. The Bounty Hunter Wine Bar. The wine bar's website. Has no history of the building, however. (Submitted on February 26, 2009.) 

2. The Prolific Mr. Turton. The Napa Valley Register's article (4/25/2008) on architect Luther Turton (1862-1925), who designed many of Napa's landmark buildings, including this one. (Submitted on February 26, 2009.) 

3. It's Tough to Tell a Turton. A San Francisco Chronicle article by Dave Weinstein (6/7/2003) on the works of Luther Turton in Napa. (Submitted on February 26, 2009.) 
Additional comments.
1. The Semorile Building
The Semorile Building was built for Bartolomeo Semorile and is an outstanding example of Victorian commercial architecture. The local architect was Luther M. Turton and this building was one of his first commercial commissions. The façade is in the commercial Italianate Style and is highly individualistic. It remains today virtually unchanged from the date it was built. At the age of eight, Bartolomeo Semorile first came to California from Italy during the Gold Rush as a cabin boy on this father’s ship. In 1854 they returned with the rest of the family and settled in Hornitos, Mariposa County, where the father opened a grocery store. In 1869 Bartolomeo and his wife moved to Napa and opened a grocery store just east of the Semorile Building. This structure was destroyed by fire in July 1888 and it was then that Bartolomeo announced his plans for a new building. Work was begun in August and completed sometime after the first of the New Year. It was then that the family moved in and maintained their grocery store on the ground floor and the family residence on the second floor. They lived in the building until their retirement in 1924 when they moved to Piedmont, California.
Loren Wilson XNGH #10--1984

Robert Campbell was the noble Grand Humbug when this plaque was placed. Plaque wording by Loren A. Wilson.
    — Submitted April 15, 2012, by Loren Wilson of Sebastopol, California.

Categories. Industry & CommerceNotable Buildings
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 26, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 1,002 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 26, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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