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Los Robles sign makes way for Dick's Sporting Goods

  • Robert Bertolini, left, and Anselmo Hernandez, with Durling Concrete Sawing, work on removing the Los Robles Lodge sign, along Cleveland Avenue, in Santa Rosa on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

A tired yet towering piece of Sonoma County history came down Wednesday with demolition of the sign that for decades drew discriminating diners, dancers, drinkers and denizens of every conceivable banquet-hall assembly to the former Los Robles Lodge.

The sign was removed to make way for a new Dick's Sporting Goods store, which will be built outside Coddingtown Mall at the intersection of Cleveland and Edwards avenues.

Wreckers atop a cherry-picker tore away at the landmark sign that, along with two heritage oaks or robles, were all that remained of the restaurant, bar and 105-room motor lodge alongside Highway 101 just south of Coddingtown.

The sign went up in 1962, the year the late Claus Neumann and Tony Vicini opened the lodge and welcomed the public into its elegant dinner house.

All of the buildings were scraped away more than three years ago. The city has required the preservation of the pair of 150-year-old oaks that inspired Los Robles' name.

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