BUILDING A DREAM
It could be said that no single Healdsburg resident has had more of a say in how our city looks than local architect Alan B. Cohen.
The New Jersey native has been the architect for more than a dozen new buildings and renovations within four blocks of the Healdsburg Plaza, including Barndiva, the Seghesio/SingleThread building, and the Olivetto building that now houses Gallo corporate offices near the 7-Eleven. He also conceived the design concept for the Cerri Building, the structure just west of Little Saint that will eventually be converted into a public market pavilion.
“I’ve been lucky enough to be involved with some of the best and most exciting projects in this city over the last decade,” Alan said. “Not only is it an honor, but it’s also really fun and fulfilling to be able to shape the way things look around here.”
Alan, who moved to Healdsburg in 1988, also has been involved in Mill District from the beginning; he has worked for our parent company Replay Destinations as an advisor for the better part of five years. (He also previously served on the Healdsburg Planning Commission for 13 years.)
Alan’s approach to architecture is simple—clean and modern lines, lots of open space. This is what characterizes his office and home on Center Street next to Spoke Folk Cyclery. It’s also the signature characteristic of the home he and his wife Manok are building out at Sea Ranch (show above and below).
Manok, who has been in Healdsburg since 1994, is a creative genius in her own right.
She specializes in paintings and sculptures; while most of her acrylic work depicts landscapes and nature, and more recently the French native has spent time creating sculptures out of wire.
The duo said they inspire each other, offering feedback and motivation as they go about their work. Manok’s painting has prompted Alan to pick up a brush. Another constant source of inspiration: Their two grandchildren, who live in Healdsburg with Manok’s daughter and son-in-law.
The Sea Ranch house represents the first time Alan and Manok have worked together; so far they have collaborated on everything from architectural layout to interior design.
They are expecting their new house to be finished in the spring of 2022, and are excited to spend time out on the Sonoma County coast. That said, Alan and Manok Cohen still plan to spend most of their time in Healdsburg.
“This city is a great place to be,” said Alan. “Both of us are honored to call it home.”