GSA: John E. Moss Federal Building Meets Historic Listing Criteria

1962 photo of 650 Capitol Mall by renowned architectural photographer Julius Shulman via getty.edu

 

A report from the General Services Administration (GSA) dated August 2018, determined that the John E. Moss Federal Building— located at 650 Capitol Mall in Sacramento — “meets National Register of Historic Places Criterion A and C, when evaluated within a local, state, and national context.”

The 71-page report, titled “650 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA Determination of Eligibility,” written by Architectural Resources Group (ARG), provided a thorough, thoughtful, and detailed account of the building’s history and context.

December 1959 AIA Journal, “Federal Buildings 1960,” by J Roland Snyder. Via NCMH Colossus Architecture Magazine Archive

 

650 Capitol Mall was originally completed in 1961 and collaboratively designed by a group of important Sacramento architects: Harry J. Devine, Herbert E. Goodpastor, Albert Dreyfuss, Raymond R. Franceschi, and the firm of Kenneth C. Rickey & Fred E. Brooks.

According to the report, 650 Capitol Mall is eligible for listing under both
National Register Criterion A (Associated with Significant Events) and National Register Criterion C (Architectural Significance). The report concluded: “The John E. Moss Federal Building at 650 Capitol Mall is significant under Criterion A for association with the redevelopment of Sacramento’s West End in the last half of the 20th Century. The building is also notable under Criterion C as a local example of an International/Corporate Modern style building.”

Photo of 650 Capitol Mall courtesy of the State of California

 

Our thanks to GSA and ARG for their final analysis and report. Additional thanks to the City of Sacramento’s Preservation Director and Preservation Commission, and the California State Office of Historic Preservation for their interest and involvement.

GSA’s report will inform future evaluations pertaining to the building — as well as future evaluations involving Capitol Mall.  Also, the report highlights the work of important mid-20th century architects from Sacramento such as Harry J. Devine, Herbert E. Goodpastor, Albert Dreyfuss, Raymond R. Franceschi, and the firm of Rickey & Brooks.