Sacramento Art Institute Projects : New Tech, Old Places

This past December, Board members Justin Wood and Zann Gates had the opportunity to represent Sacramento Modern for the Art Institute of California – Sacramento’s Special Topics class. The class, run by instructor Jay Truesdale, positioned SacMod as a hypothetical client. The students were asked to apply their artistic sensibilities and imagine ways in which newer technologies could help Sacramento Modern achieve some of its goals : preservation, awareness and education.

From an initial presentation with 5 teams, 3 remaining teams presented their work at the ZionVR gaming center in Sacramento. 

We would like to thank all of the students who put a great deal of thought and work into their proposals and projects, instructor Jay Truesdale, as well as special juror Laura Wood, and the AIA Central Valley for hosting the initial round of presentations.

The final 3 projects follow :

Team 1 [ Heaven Lee, Viviana Ponce ] presented a Passport concept with 3d printed stamps which resembled the sites listed in the “passport”. They suggested that SacMod could distribute passports to people to encourage them to visit businesses or locations that would stamp them. Completed passports would be rewarded with a prize. Sites Team 1 suggested: the County Courthouse, Capitol Towers, former Bank of America, and the former IBM Building.

Team 2 [ Reginald Lockett, Elizabeth Harris, Briana Arias ] presented a series of put-together 3d printed model kits. We could provide these kits as something we could sell, give away as perks or show at events. Put-together aspect meant to help builders understand the structure and construction of the buildings. Final models could be painted. Some interesting discussion about what kind of “instructions” would be provided for these kits; step-by-step, just a final illustration of it completed or nothing ( actual research of site would be needed to assemble?). Sites were EDD Building, Cal Expo Pavilion, Shepard Garden Center, Country Club Lanes and The Sacramento Zoo Entrance. 

Team 3 [ Aaron Holt ] presented a series of virtual vignettes intended to be viewed through a Virtual Reality headset. Sites include the West Wind Drive-in, Orbit Gas and the VIC’s/IGA Market building in South Land Park. Intention here was to provide an artistic interpretation of various locations; each one with a different sensibility and narrative that would unfold as you traveled through the space. Almost like time-traveling?

All ideas and work Copyright by their respective Authors

City of Sacramento Open Call : Ethel MacLeod Hart Interior Restoration Project

Entrance, Vintage Postcard

Ethel McLeod Hart Senior Center, 915 27th St, Sacramento, CA

Opened in 1961 and designed by Herbert Goodpastor, A.I.A, the Ethel Hart Senior Citizen’s Center located in Marshall Park “symbolize[d] the hopes and dreams of our senior citizens, City Government and a great number of citizens dedicated to the welfare and recreation of our elder population.”

The design was featured in Architectural Record in December of 1962. The “Social Center in a City Park” building was “designed in the round to be viewed from all directions in its block-square park.” It featured a large arc shaped club room that could be divided or expanded into larger or smaller rooms with a massive fieldstone fireplace at one end.

Finishes of stone and vertical fir siding were used both inside and out, with porcelain paneled facias. The central core of the building was a planted court open to the sky viewable thorough the safety glass corridor that surrounded it. There were two doors on either end of the court which one could traverse through upon large circular concrete pavers.

Interior Court, Vintage Postcard

Starting in 1990, and later, the Center was expanded and remodeled removing the center atrium and iconic fireplace, as well as painting and modifying a great many of the surfaces inside and out. However, the building remains a fine example of Mid-Century Modern Architecture and the City of Sacramento is now requesting proposals to restore some interior elements of the original building including:

  • Interior paint color 
  • Interior and exterior signage 
  • Lobby and common space furnishings 
  • Carpet 
  • Decorative accessories 
  • Recommendations for additional enhancements to reach project goal

Design professionals interested in consulting on this project should contact :

Rosanne Bernardy
Superintendent for Older Adult Services
RBernardy@cityofsacramento.org

The City is currently accepting proposals until the end of the month, February 2017.

For your reference, here is a collection of vintage materials, as well as some photos that we took recently :

From the 1961 dedication ceremony program
Cover, from the 1961 dedication ceremony program
Plan, from the 1961 dedication ceremony program
Architectural Record, “Social Center in a City Park”, December 1962
1990 Photograph, shows wooden door and what looks to be a hanging pendant light at entrance

 

June 18th, 2016: Next Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour!

SacMod’s highly praised and most requested event is back! Join SacMod (Sacramento Modern) on Saturday, June 18, 2016 at the Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour from 9AM to 3PM. Tickets sold online here.  To order tickets by phone, please call Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006. Phone orders are available 24/7.

Details below!

Our 2016 tour will feature a wide variety of mid-20th century living — highlighting the time period’s distinctive architecture, design, and lifestyle. Spend a fun day touring some of Sacramento’s best mid-century homes, gardens, and vehicles in Sacramento’s beautiful South Land Park, Land Park, and Hollywood Park neighborhoods. From minimalist to kitsch, moderns to ranch homes, and everything in between. Our collectible guidebook features in-depth historic information, related points of interest, and local vintage resources.

Space is limited — buy your tickets early to ensure you don’t miss out!
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Charles Phoenix: Sacramentoland

A Live Comedy Slide Show Performance Celebrating the Capitol City like it’s a Big Theme Park!  
Charles Phoenix:  Sacramentoland - October 16, 2015
Charles Phoenix: Sacramentoland – October 16, 2015
Brown Paper Tickets Buy Now
Brown Paper Tickets Buy Now

Prepare for your local pride to SWELLL when Ambassador of Americana, Charles Phoenix, sweeps us away on a madcap adventure as he uncovers the stories and glories of Sacramento’s classic and kitschy landmarks and lore.

With his gracious sense of humor, unbridled enthusiasm, and keen expertise,  Charles lavishes the city’s most colorful “attractions” with the respect they SO deserve; revealing the unique style, backstories, and pop-cultural significance of Pancake Circus, Jim Denny’s, Iceland Skating Rink, Gunther’s Ice Cream, Vic’s Ice Cream, Sam’s Hofbrau, County Club Lanes, Fairytale Town, Tower Theatre, Crest Theatre, and Old Town.  

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City Council to Decide Fate of Capitol Towers Historic District on 7.14.15

Save Capitol Towers

On July 14, 2015, the Sacramento City Council will be making important decisions regarding Capitol Towers Historic District. This established neighborhood and urban oasis has been a highly successful example for a livable, walkable, densely populated, and public transit-oriented district for over 50 years. It has also been receiving national attention and architectural acclaim, as evidenced in this recent article.

Capitol Towers is also home to a vital urban tree canopy, which cleans the air and helps counterbalance the increasing heat island effect downtown.

We believe there is a solution that can meet the mutual goals of the owner, the City, and the community. We believe that in doing so, we can find an answer that makes the proposed Sacramento Commons project — which is still in its early conceptual phases — even better.

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Historic Mercury Cleaners Neon Sign Reinstalled!

Video courtesy of Roberta Deering

On June 26, 2015, the historic Mercury Cleaners Neon Sign (circa 1946-47) was returned to 16th Street near O Street in Sacramento. SacMod was happy to be invited to participate in the relighting ceremony! The sign and business were integrated across the street from their original location and into the new Legado de Ravel Apartments complex. 

Hats off to:

CADA for understanding the importance and relevance of the Mercury Cleaners sign and working so hard to return it to 16th Street;

• To Pacific Neon for their skilled renovation;

• To all who helped behind the scenes on this project — many individuals and organizations were involved.

Our City’s historic neon signs are cultural artifacts and landmarks. They are handmade works of art. They provide a sense of place and tell the story of our city’s past.

Unfortunately, we’ve been losing them at an alarming rate. There used to be thousands — and now there are only around 100. They are lost to disrepair, abandonment, and redevelopment.

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A Call to Action – Help Save Capitol Towers Historic District!

captowers_buttonWe need your help to save Capitol Towers Historic District. You can help by speaking up at public hearings and by writing letters opposing its demolition. Upcoming hearing dates and an easy-to-use online form are listed below.

Capitol Towers is an established mixed-use neighborhood in the heart of downtown Sacramento. Its award-winning design includes the interplay of high-rises, individual low-rise garden apartments, green spaces, recreational areas, and car-free bicycle and pedestrian areas. Even after over 50 years, the Capitol Towers neighborhood remains a highly successful model for a livable, walkable, densely populated, and public transit-oriented downtown community.

 

Capitol Towers has been deemed a historic district by Federal and State law. The City of Sacramento’s Preservation Director and Preservation Commission have also determined it is a local landmark. At every hearing in 2014, experts unanimously voted in favor of its historical importance. However, these decisions are not enough to save it. That is why we need your help.

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Big Day of Giving – May 5, 2015

SacMod is pleased and excited to be a part of the Big Day of Giving on May 5, 2015, in partnership with Sacramento Region Community Foundation and Give Local Now.  

We ask you to kindly consider making a donation (starting as small as $25) to Sacramento Modern on May 5th.  

Your donation of any amount will help fund our research and preservation efforts, and help launch our next MCM Home Tour in 2016!  We can’t do this without your help!  

Thank you!
SacMod Board/Volunteers

SAVE Capitol Towers! Important Hearings this Week!

UPDATE 4.20.15 – Planning and Design Commission continued their “Review and Comment” hearing until 4.30.15.

MEANWHILE…. SacMod has submitted comments to the City of Sacramento regarding Sacramento Commons Draft Environmental Impact Report.

2015.04.20 DEIR.Response.SacMod (PDF)

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IMPORTANT HEARINGS REGARDING CAPITOL TOWERS THIS WEEK! Please join us in support of Capitol Towers Historic District and in opposition of the Sacramento Commons proposal to demolish the historic district.

1) Wednesday, 4/15/15 — Preservation Commission — 5:30pm New City Hall, 915 I Street, Sacramento, 1st Floor. The Preservation Commission will weigh in on both the Capitol Towers Historic District local landmarking and Sacramento Commons’ request for demolition.

2) Thursday, 4/16/15 — Planning and Design Commission — 5:30pm New City Hall, 915 I Street, Sacramento, 1st Floor. The P+D Commission will weigh in on Sacramento Commons’ request for demolition. 

Written comments are also accepted. Please cc SacMod: info (at) SacMod (dot) org:

1) Preservation Commission email list
http://portal.cityofsacramento.org/Community-Development/Meetings/Preservation%20Commission?hc_location=ufi

2) P+D Commission email list:
http://portal.cityofsacramento.org/Community-Development/Meetings/Planning%20and%20Design?hc_location=ufi

Here is a template letter for your convenience, in Word, Pages, and PDF.

Letter-of-Support-of-M15-001-and-Opposition-to-P14-12 (Word)
Letter-of-Support-of-M15-001-and-Opposition-to-P14-12  (Pages)
Letter-of-Support-of-M15-001-and-Opposition-to-P14-12 (PDF)