Sacramento's Endangered, Lost, & Saved Historic Places
If you have a historic building you are concerned might be demolished, please contact Preservation Sacramento so we can review any proposed projects that may impact the resource.
- Most Endangered -
Carriage Houses (Endangered)
In March 2015 Mayor Kevin Johnson outlined a vision of adding 10,000 residential units to the Central City (roughly confined to American River (north), Sacramento River (west), Highway 50 (south), and Business 80 (east)) within 10 years. Over the course of 2015 and 2016 there has been a slate of new developments including new high rises, infill on empty lots, adaptive reuse of historic buildings, and demolition of existing buildings and replacement with new structures. In an effort to maximize space many people have started looking to alleyways. Historically alleys were an integral component of the urban landscape with residential units and carriage houses. Carriage houses in essence are the modern equivalent of garages today. However these buildings had unique features that catered to the primary mode of transportation, horse drawn carriages or just horseback. The buildings in many ways mimic their rural equivalent, the horse barn. They feature a hay hook and door. The hook was attached to wood beam extending out from the building. Hay would be delivered to the building and hoisted from the street into the carriage house. The horses and carriage were located on the first floor with the hay stored above.
Over the past year there have been several proposed alley developments that include demolition and replacement of historic era carriage houses in favor of modern buildings that combine garage and residential units into one. Preservation Sacramento understands the sustained need for more residential units and support the adaptive reuse of existing carriage houses. Preservation Sacramento has actively opposed demolition of these historic properties, most recently regarding 2508 Capitol Avenue Carriage House Project, which involves the demolition a a historic resource carriage barn within the Capitol Mansions Historic District. Read our comment letter here.
1616, 1620, and 1624 21st Street (Endangered)
Despite their significant amount of deferred maintenance, these resources appear eligible for listing as a historic district on both the Sacramento Register and the CRHR as contributing resources to the Winn Park Historic District. In August 2016, the owners of these buildings asked the Preservation Director to make a preliminary determination of eligibility. A historic consultant concluded the resources were not eligible as landmarks on their own; however, a group of building tenants approached Preservation Sacramento and asked for a second opinion. Preservation Sacramento prepared a historic resources survey and concluded the resources were likely eligible as a historic district. A determination of eligibility is the first step in the demolition and development process. Preservation Sacramento is continuing to monitor the status of this block.
New Helvetia Housing Complex (Endangered)
New Helvetia Low Income Housing Complex was constructed by several of Sacramento's most prominent local architects. The housing complex is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The complex is being threatened by developers who plan to demolish the complex. This will likely result in displacement of the low income residents who now live in the complex, but will also result in the loss of an entire historic district. There are opportunities to achieve the project objective of increasing density on the site without demolishing these important buildings.
Southern Pacific Shops Historic District (Endangered)
The Southern Pacific Locomotive Shops Historic District has been tied up in the cleanup and redevelopment of the former Southern Pacific Railyards area. While private land developers struggle over financing, the City installs streets and utilities, Southern Pacific cleans up hazardous soil, the Shops themselves continue to deteriorate. Little effort has been made to stabilize these important buildings. As the western terminus of the Transcontinental Railroad, Sacramento's Southern Pacific Shops district contains some of the most historically significant buildings in the City. It is important the public and private players involved in the redevelopment of the Railyards commit to rehabilitation and re-use of the Shops Historic District.
Sacramento Community Center Theater (Endangered)
The Community Center Theater (CTT) is one of Sacramento's true Burtalist monuments. The CTT along with County Center are two of the disappearing civic buildings from the architectural era known for its bunker-like concrete, and inward looking facades. This architecture has not gained a wide popular following but it signifies an important moment in the growth of cities in the United States and throughout the world.
In October, 2016, the city council approved $83 million to fund a major renovation of the building. Preservation Sacramento will actively participate in the environmental review process and advocate for preservation of the resource's character defining features.
Capitol Towers (Endangered)
Lost: Capitol Towers Historic District On July 14, 2015 the Sacramento City Council approved the Sacramento Commons Project. This project includes demolition of the Capitol Towers Historic District. This decision shows the short-sightedness of our city leaders is truly astounding. The destruction of Sacramento’s sacred places must stop! Please JOIN Preservation Sacramento to make sure our leaders understand that Sacramento’s historic places is what makes it a unique and charming place to call home. Sacramento’s historic resources must be protected as the city grows.
The Marshall Hotel (Endangered)
On Wednesday, February 18, 2015 the Preservation Commission reluctantly approved the Hyatt Hotel Project. This project will demolish all of the Historic Marshall Hotel except two facades, and construct a new Hyatt Hotel where the Marshall stood for over 100-years. This form of development is known as "facadism" among preservationists and is generally not endorsed as historic preservation.Please click HERE to read the Draft Environmental Impact Report and Technical Studies for the Hyatt Hotel Project.
M5Arts has initiated the Art Hotel Project to celebrate the remaining days of the Jade Hotel. Preservation Sacramento is working in conjunction with other local history nonprofits to present a unique walking tour of Sacramento's musical, social, and architectural history. This exhibit will look inside the lobby of the Marshall Hotel, an architectural landmark that will be radically altered by the forthcoming demolition of the majority of the building. Please visit our West End Jazz Walking Tours and History Display to learn more.
- Lost -
Ice Blocks (Lost)
On November 7, 2015, after years of sitting vacant, a devastating fire destroyed the heart of the Heller Pacific Ice Blocks Redevelopment and Historic Restoration Project. The loss of this amazing historic building was truly a blow to the preservation community who had advocated for its reuse for so many years.
- Saved -
Heilbron House (Saved)
In early 2017 the State of California Department of General Services issued a Notice of Preparation to construct one or several buildings on a lot which includes the Heilbron House on the northwest corner of the property. The project described the construction of a new building at block bounded by 7th and 8th Streets and O and P Streets, and would result in relocation or demolition of the historic Heilbron House. After a considerable effort by Preservation Sacramento, our members, and other community leaders, the final project includes restoration of the mansion in-place. Preservation Sacramento continues to monitor this project closely, but considers this a win for Sacramento's historic places.
The Hart House (Saved)
After years of neglect Housing and Dangerous Buildings has posted the home at 2131 H Street as an unsafe structure. This action was likely to begin a process that would have resulted in this beautiful landmark structure being demolished.
Throughout 2014 and 2015, Preservation Sacramento lead a sustained campaign to demand City Leaders use the regulatory tools at their disposal to require the wealthy owners of this beautiful landmark stabilize the structure before it was lost. In late 2015, the family decided to stabilize and restore the building, saving it from the wrecking ball. Please contact your city council member and demand that other historic buildings are not threatened with demolition because of neglect by their owners. Ask our leaders to update the Sacramento Preservation Ordinance to deal with Demolition-By-Neglect.
Sacramento News and Review published THIS article about this home in 2012.
While cities like L.A. and San Fransisco have strong provisions in place for dealing with building’s like the Hart Mansion, the City of Sacramento has yet to incorporate an effective process into the city code. Please contact Steve Hansen, Council District 4 and demand this issue be dealt with immediately.
The City of Sacramento relies on Housing and Dangerous Buildings staff to enforce City and State mandated codes relating to residential and commercial structures that are dangerous, substandard, blighted, or vacant. This system is not appropriate for historic buildings because it deals with the building too late for it to be saved.
Building owners are legally required to maintain their property to the standards set forth in the City Housing and Dangerous Building Codes.