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.

Most importantly, the project leading up the landmarking was the product of collaboration among:
– the City of Sacramento CDD;
– SacMod;
– architectural historians from GEI Consultants, Inc. and Mead & Hunt;
– volunteers from our community (and beyond!)
– and the California Office of Historic Preservation.
We are so thankful for everyone’s contribution to the Mid-Century Modern Historic Resources Context Survey — and look forward to the next opportunity to work together.

Our deepest gratitude goes to our homeowners, members, volunteers and event attendees. Because of your participation, SacMod was able to invest 80% of the proceeds from our last home tour as matching funds for the project. We also provided access to our research and archival materials gathered over the last nine years, representing thousands of hours of dedicated work.

This project helped identify the different key features, characteristics, and types of mid-20th century modernism in Sacramento. This partnership effort has enriched our understanding of the time period around 1940 to 1970 — and how that period is reflected in our cityscape. It highlights how Sacramento’s architects, planners, builders, and contractors contributed to the unique places we still see today. The project continues to contribute to our city’s long-term planning, by helping to cultivate a sense of stewardship, and supporting the ultimate goals stated in the City’s General Plan to protect historical resources.

Special thanks to Steve HansenJay SchenirerJeff Harris for supporting these landmarks in their districts, and to Darrell Steinberg and the rest of Sacramento City Council for their unanimous support. We must ensure our city’s landmarks represent a true cross-section and walk through time, with all periods and cultures elevated and celebrated — for everyone to enjoy — both today and in the future.