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Exterior Building Work

The exterior materials used for the building were of the highest quality material that were also largely produced in the locally with clays that are indigenous to the region.

Like most civic or commercially important buildings of the period, masonry and terra cotta was the preferred material for the noble exterior finish synonymous with quality. Gladding McBean, of Lincoln, CA produced the terra cotta architectural details. Gladding McBean & Co. terra cotta was known intricate detailed architectural ornamentation for buildings not only in the Sacramento region and west coast, but throughout the world.

The brick masonry was stamped by the manufacture and research found a report that documented the brick also produced locally by Cannon and Company,  a family owned business in the Ben Ali Neighborhood, now in north Sacramento. Cannon & Co. provided brick for many surviving structures such as the Benicia City Hall, the 926 J Life Insurance Building (now the Citizen Hotel) and the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco. Sacramento’s Freemont and Newton-Booth schools are also clad in the company’s brick.

Cannon Co. brick was known for varying colors and glazing variation as was used at the depot.  The rich coloration of the masonry is produced by a palette of five subtle color variations of brick and careful detailing and the firing techniques of the day produced subtle color variations in the individual brick, adding to the richness of the surface.  The subtle detailing of the masonry goes as far as to reference the Southern Pacific logo of a sunset in the coloration of brick in the keystone above all of the large rectangular windows.

The prominent windows of the building were supplied by the Detroit Steel Products Company that in 1907, had been granted the exclusive right to fabricate well-known Fenestra steel window. The window system was known for the patented Fenestra joint which was an interlocking joint connection that was known for its attractive appearance, strength and economical use of steel which resulted in the highest ratio of glass to steel, conveying the most light possible for large window expanses.