Downtown Plaza Art Tiles


Clay tile relief sculpture/panels, some with incorporated light fixtures. Downtown Plaza, Sacramento, CA. Circa 1971.


Artist/Designer/Wall mural concept:

— Albert Sanchez, AIA of John S. Bolles and Associates in collaboration with art director/sculptor John Bennett of Hans Sumpf Company of Fresno. Albert Sanchez was Designer and Project Architect for the Downtown Plaza Shopping Mall project under the direction of Peter Rooke-Ley.

Fabrication and installation:

— Per Albert Sanchez, they “laid each panel on a concrete slab floor in his (Bennett’s) studio, layered the material, made the impressions, cut into tile size, numbered each tile, kiln dried the adobe and transported to the job site for installation.”


— Downtown Plaza Properties, a Joint Venture. The Plaza was completed around 1972.

Scans of images shared from Mr. Sanchez’s portfolio can be seen online via:

SacMod’s photographs of these panels can be viewed online via the following links:

SacMod responded to the proposed demolition of the Downtown Plaza and the attached art pieces by researching the history of the Plaza, the tiles, and interviewing architect Albert Sanchez.

SacMod recommended that efforts be made to preserve the sculptural art tiles affixed to the the Downtown Plaza in a response to a Draft Environmental Impact Report regarding the downtown arena — Sacramento Entertainment and Sports Center & Related Development Project (P13-065). Please refer to the pdf of our letter dated January 27, 2014 on this page.

SacMod also contacted Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission (SMAC) and
asked for guidance and assistance. Our special thanks to SMAC’s executive director, Shelly Willis, who has been instrumental in working with the Plaza owners to ensure some of the art tiles have been preserved.

Downtown Plaza Draft EIR Response :

ACP_PDF 2_file_document DowntownPlazaDraftEIRResponse.SacMod.FINAL