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Volunteers to Survey Mid-Century Modern Buildings in Sacramento

Over 1,000 properties built around the 1950s were selected to be surveyed for landmark eligibility by the City of Sacramento

May 24, 2017

More than 30 volunteers will be documenting modernist structures and properties throughout the city built in the mid-20th century as part of a historic resources survey. The information collected will support the preparation of a historic context statement to help understand the significance, if any, of these properties.

The survey will help streamline Community Development processes for identifying what properties are potential historic-cultural resources. Thus, saving the City and property owners any surprises or delays while also providing more predictability for property owners proposing development projects.

During and post World War II, like many cities across the United States, Sacramento experienced major new growth and development. This included a large expansion of suburban housing, commercial centers, religious and institutional buildings and schools. Over 48,000 parcels have been identified with structures potentially having been built in the 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s.

Volunteers will be hitting the streets of Sacramento to begin a summer of documenting modernist properties built between 1940 and 1970. This effort will be carried out using state-of-the-art technology, featuring the use of a smart phone app, which will send information directly to the Community Development Department’s Arc/GIS platform. Surveying a property will include recording details such as design style, number of floors, construction techniques, and taking photos for documentation.

The citywide Mid-Century Modern Historic Resources Survey and Historic Context Statement Project is made possible with the support of matching grant funding totaling over $66,000. Grant funding is provided by the California Office of Historic Preservation (OHP), which originates from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Fund, as well as funding matched by SacMod (Sacramento Modern), a local nonprofit classified as a 501(c)(3) that promotes, preserves, and protects modern art, architecture and design in the Sacramento region.

The survey and the Historic Context Statement will be finalized in September. The work is being coordinated by the City’s Preservation Director, Carson Anderson, with key leadership by SacMod. The local consultant team is headed by GEI Consultants, Inc. in partnership with Mead & Hunt. The study is scheduled to be completed in September.

The City’s Historic Preservation program officially began in 1975. The program’s primary objectives are to identify, protect, and assist in the preservation, rehabilitation, or adaptive reuse of the City’s historic and cultural resources, as well as promoting public awareness. Structures 50 years and older qualify for landmark listing in the City of Sacramento.


Contact: Kelli Trapani, Communications Coordinator, 916-808-4756