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Mid-Century Modern Survey and Context Statement

This past summer, 30-volunteers documented modernist structures and properties throughout the city built in the mid-20th century as part of a historic resources survey. Approximately 1,800 properties were identified and documented, and this provided support for the historic context statement.
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 as well as schools. Over 48,000 parcels have been identified with structures potentially having been built in the 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s. 

The reconnaissance survey was carried out using state-of-the-art smart phone technology to record the design features of structures, and drew upon archival research by the consultant and volunteers. -  in addition to archival research by the consultant the reconnaissance survey was further supported by extensive information provided by SacMod President Gretchen Steinberg reflecting years of careful research. Intensive evaluations were done on five properties, one of them including Gunther’s Ice Cream, built in 1949. Mid-Century Modern structures in Sacramento were often designed by well-known architects including Joseph Eichler, Stark Jozens & Nacht, Koblik & Fisher, Barovetto & Thomas, and Raymond Franceschi, among others.

The findings are included in a historic context statement which describes the broad patterns of history shaping Mid-Century Modern design in the city, highlights work of local and regional architects as well as builders who left important bodies of Mid- Century design work, and serves as public education tool for these often overlooked or discounted resources. the project will also support Community Development in determining what properties are potential historic-cultural resources

The citywide Mid-Century Modern Historic Resources Survey and Historic Context Statement Project was 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.


Document: Mid-Century Modern in the City of Sacramento Historic Context Statement and Survey Results

Cover of Mid-Century Modern Document