June 1, 2019: “60 Years of Streng Bros. Homes – 2019 Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour”

SacMod is delighted to announce: “60 Years of Streng Bros. Homes – 2019 Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour”

WHEN: Saturday, June 1st, 2019 from 10AM to 4PM.

WHAT: This special-edition tour celebrates the 60th anniversary of Streng Bros. Homes — a Sacramento-based company founded by Jim and Bill Streng — who built and sold over 3,500 modern homes in Sacramento, Yolo, and Placer Counties over the course of 30 years. Our self-guided driving tour features a wide variety of Streng Bros. Homes models, with iconic exteriors and distinctive interiors that reflect the mid-20th century aesthetic and lifestyle!

WHERE: Homes featured in this tour are located in Evergreen Commons and Overbook (Sacramento), Eastridge (Citrus Heights), and Homewood (Carmichael); plus a rare custom modern home in Fair Oaks designed by architect Carter Sparks!

TICKETS: Tickets will be available online via Brown Paper Tickets (link : bpt.me/4103901) starting with member sales first on March 15, 2019 at 9AM. General sales will begin April 1, 2019 at 9AM. There will be no sales of tickets on tour day. You must buy your ticket online by Noon on May 31, 2019. Space is limited — buy your tickets early to ensure you don’t miss out! (The tour may sell out any time before the day of the event.)

MEMBERSHIPS: You can become a member any time and receive special rates at this and other upcoming SacMod events this year. It’s easy! Please visit our website — SacMod.org — and click the link “Get Involved/Join” to purchase a 2019 SacMod Annual Associate Membership via PayPal – $25 for a year of membership (good for one household). Within 24 hours, you will receive the password via an email from SacMod for member ticket pricing to use for your ticket purchase at Brown Paper Tickets.

BIG THANKS to this year’s homeowners (and tour sponsors) who helped make the tour possible with their generosity and support! Watch for more details to come!

Four MCM Landmarks listed on the Sacramento Register of Historic and Cultural Resources!

SacMod is pleased to announce that the Sacramento City Council unanimously voted last night to approve all four exemplary mid-century modern landmarks for being listed on the Sacramento Register of Historic and Cultural Resources!

A bank.
A courthouse.
A community garden and arts center, and;
An ice cream shop.

These unique Sacramento properties share a common thread: they have been a part of our collective experience for generations, and are worthy of being preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Senator Savings and Loan (now Chase Bank) is a distinctive circular 1964 building designed by Barovetto and Thomas. It is a monument to the United States’ post-WWII success. Symmetry, geometry, and elongated pillars form an impressive New Formalist style shrine — when saving for the future and investing in the community were core values.

The dramatic 1965 Gordon D. Schaber Sacramento County Courthouse and plaza features works by notable architects and artists.
The building — by Starks, Jozens and Nacht (now Nacht & Lewis) — the landscaped plaza: by Sasaki, Walker & Associates, and; the bronze and copper Prometheus fountain by Aristides Demetrios — together form a site that symbolizes strength, unity, and justice. The building exhibits Brutalist, International Style, and New Formalist features. Generations of Sacramentans have walked through this plaza and courthouse doors to honor their civic duty.

Shepard Garden and Arts Center is a beautiful post-and-beam building from 1958 — and courtyard from 1959 — designed by Raymond Franceschi. The Center brings people from all parts of the city together to celebrate common ground and shared interests. In doing so, it enhances our community’s quality of life.

And Gunther’s Ice Cream Established April 1940! Perhaps no other business has provided generations of Sacramentans as much pure joy! Jugglin’ Joe — an iconic neon sign by Electrical Products Corporation — has been busy scooping ice cream for almost 70 years. We are delighted this landmarking highlights *both* the 1949 neon sign and the Moderne and Googie style building by Koblik + Fisher.

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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.

Carter Sparks : Architect, Modernist, Friend

photo courtesy Jennifer Sparks

(There are NEW and EXTENDED gallery hours for the exhibit through closing on Oct. 25th: M&W 10:30-4:00 pm, T&Th 10:00-7:00 pm, Fridays 9:00-4:00 pm & Saturday Oct 21st 10:00-2:00 pm.   Please see map and parking notes at bottom of page.)

Sacramento Modern is pleased to present Carter Sparks : Architect, Modernist, Friend, opening October 4th at the Kondos Gallery located on the Sacramento City College campus. 

Sparks is one of Sacramento’s most recognized and beloved Modernist architects, and is best known for his work with Streng Brothers Homes. Alone, as the architect for the Streng Brothers, Sparks contributed to over 3,000 modern residences in the Sacramento Region. In addition to these plentiful examples, Sparks designed commercial and civic buildings and many custom homes for individual clients, ranging in feature and style from modest low-slung concrete block and plywood structures, to expressionist forms employing hyperbolic roofs and symphonic beam play, to larger cathedrals of redwood and glass.

Architectural rendering of the Fava Residence, 1956 by Carter Sparks

A charismatic individual, and ardent believer that an architect’s design should be based on an extended study of clients’ wants, needs and personality, Sparks forged close and enduring friendships with many of them. This exhibition will feature early drawings, renderings, photographs, models and ephemera surveying Sparks’ output from the early 1950s, until the early 1990s.

Detail from Norskog Residence, 1963/1980. Photograph by Justin Wood

Sparks studied engineering at Oregon State University before his studies were interrupted by WWII, during which he served as an ensign air navigator for the Navy. He resumed his studies after the war, and in 1950 earned a Bachelor of the Arts in Architecture from UC Berkeley. Sparks worked as a draftsman for two architectural firms in San Francisco: first for Mario Corbett, and later with Anshen and Allen (who designed homes for Joseph Eichler). In Sacramento, he was a designer with Gordon Stafford. After earning his state license, Sparks opened his own firm in 1954. He partnered with Donald Thaden for a few years, but primarily worked as a sole practitioner.Sparks was born on February 26, 1923 and passed away October 30, 1996.

Exhibition runs from October 4 -25, 2017 with an opening reception October 11th from 4:30 – 6:30 pm.  

The exhibit is FREE, but parking is not—and is enforced 24/7; be sure to purchase a parking permit at one of the machines in the North Lot ($2 CASH ONLY) or Parking Structure ($2).

There are NEW and EXTENDED gallery hours for the exhibit through closing on Oct. 25th: M&W 10:30-4:00 pm, T&Th 10:00-7:00 pm, Fridays 9:00-4:00 pm & Saturday Oct 21st 10:00-2:00 pm. 

Curated by Sacramento artist Justin Wood of the Carter Sparks Archive ( www.cartersparks.org ) and Sacramento Modern ( www.sacmod.org ).

For inquiries and sponsorship opportunities, please contact sparksarchive (at) gmail.com

Donate to help support the Carter Sparks : Architect, Modernist, Friend exhibition:

Photograph of the Clauss Residence, 1963. Photographer unknown, possibly John Clauss

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.

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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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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.

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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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