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Our Community Focus

Walnut Creek Launches New Walking Tour

Dec 04, 2015 09:43AM ● By Jennifer Neys

Walnut Creek visitors and residents can explore the city’s vibrant public art collection and fascinating 165-year heritage through Walk Walnut Creek, a new, self-guided, cellphone-based walking tour.  Created by the Walnut Creek Historical Society, the Bedford Gallery Staff, Walnut Creek Arts Commissioners and volunteers, Walk Walnut Creek tells the stories that shaped the city over its 165 years at 60 heritage sites and describes more than 30 works of public art through an immersive, self-guided audio tour. For the complete WC Heritage Walk List, click on the PDF below. 

Walk Walnut Creek, with sites spread over about four square blocks in the downtown area, allows visitors and residents to tour the city at their own pace, visiting as many or as few sites as their schedules allow. The 100 numbers are sites and the 200 numbers are family stories. Each site is marked with prominent signage that includes a telephone number to access tour site information via standard cellphone. Visitors simply call 925-322-6427 via cell phone or visit with a web-enabled cellphone or tablet to get started.

The public art tour includes (delete such art works as) the Veterans Memorial, Lost in the Mail, Hand of Peace, and other works. Heritage sites tell the stories of Botelho’s Island (now Broadway Plaza), the Nuthouse (now Lesher Center for the Arts), and much more. Walnut Creek community members recorded the narrations.

“Walnut Creek’s centennial celebrations of its incorporation as a city in 2014 generated an extraordinary amount of interest in the city’s roots, heritage and our public art. That inspired us to bring all the pieces together in one cohesive, fascinating, and informative tour,” said Karen Majors, president of the Walnut Creek Historical Society.

Volunteers spent months selecting photos and researching facts about Walnut Creek’s heritage sites and drafting information on the artworks into a series of cohesive stories that reflect the city’s careful development. Businesses, individuals, families, and community groups were invited to support the Heritage Walk and become part of Walnut Creek’s heritage legacy as Patron Sponsors in the Adopt a Heritage Site program. The cost to Adopt a Heritage Site was $500.