1950s Series -- Another Sacramento MCM Neighborhood: Parkway Estates

Recently a reader asked how to go about finding mid-century modern (MCM) homes in Sacramento. I've been wanting to talk about other neighborhoods that were developing at the same time as our Eichler Homes neighborhood to provide a sense of perspective for what was happening. I'm really impressed with the amount of building activity and choices that home buyers had!

I recently found some old newspaper ads from Parkway Estates: a well-know 50s South Sacramento neighborhood with roughly 1,140 homes. The neighborhood was originally built as a suburb and the city has since grown around it. Parkway Estates is bounded by Franklin Boulevard, Highway 99, Florin Creek, and Southgate Plaza on Florin Road.

Per the neighborhood's website:
"Established in the mid-1950s, Parkway Estates hosted the 1954 Parade of Homes, at that time the largest home-building exposition ever held in the West. The popular event, drawing thousands of spectators, showcased upscale, contemporary homes representing the best in efficient planning, design and construction during the post-war era.

Today the neighborhood, shaded by tall trees on large lots with ample lawns, retains the small-town feel and values of decades past. And that sense of community is apparent at neighborhood association meetings, where locals regularly participate."
The Parkway Estates website has posted a number of interesting historic materials regarding their neighborhood, which was  developed by Randolph Parks and Associates of Western Enterprises, Inc. For instance, check out the original brochure "advertising the popular 'Country Squire' floorplan, which can be found throughout the Parkway Estates neighborhood."

According to a May 21, 2006 Sacramento Bee article written by Alison apRoberts, the Parkway Estates neighborhood banded together a while back to form an association in response to crime and traffic problems. Their civic pride has resulted in a neighborhood watch program, newsletter, tree plantings, Easter egg hunts and an amazing fourth of July event. Per resident Frank DeSart, "If people would only understand that their neighborhoods are worth fighting for." I couldn't agree more.


Barbara said...

I grew up in a newer section just south of Parkway estates. The "estates" are FULL of the Mt. Vernon model. One of my friends lives in one (not on your sheet), where the garage opening is on the side, so you drive up a semi-circle driveway, past the front door and into the garage.

The houses are about 1800-2000 sq feet and the rooms are huge (well, except for the standard kitchens, which are adequate but unlike what people request today. They really are nice homes...it's just a shame the entire neighborhood is not a very safe one any more...

If I could move the houses elsewhere, I'd love to have one. Ours was gorgeous, and big compared to new builds of today.

So looking forward to the house tour in June!!

Gretchen said...

Thanks for your comment, Barbara! So nice to hear from someone who knows the neighborhood. I have other acquaintances who live there now. Looking forward to seeing you at the tour!

LornaLou said...

Barbara- not sure which part of the newer parkway you are referring to, but the 50's section is fairly safe. Sure, there are questionable sections on the outskirts, but the neighborhood association, and the people who live near me are all have a sense of pride in their homes. I live on Circle Parkway, and though it's a somewhat busy street, it's safe and pleasant enough, and I would surely encourage a young family, or anyone to buy a home here!!!..

In any case, I think our house is The Westerner, and is 1,400 square feet, which as I understand it- is as pretty decent- unless of course if you had a corner lot- which would most likely be bigger.

Sometime I will do a photo and submit it, so you can see the neighborhood. J Parkway in particular is very lovely. Just sayin'.

~Lauren D.

Gretchen said...

Thanks Lauren -- we would love to see your photos! I think Parkway Estates is a model for homeowner activism and involvement and the results have been palpable and concrete.

Anonymous said...


I love parkway estates! I grew up attending the church on Center Pkwy. I always wanted to buy a house in that area. I actually looked at few homes with my realtor last year, but I ended up buying in another neighborhood. Anyhow, it's a great and very safe neighborhood to live in!

Anonymous said...

I live in a newer part of parkway on center pkwy my house was built in 1962 4 bedrooms 2 bath with formal livingroom, familyroom and 2 separate fireplaces the house is about 1600 feet with a 10,000 square foot lot.Did anyone mention that parkway has a pool and tennis club? And at least 3 parks.

Burt Kaufman said...

Fascinating look back at the revolutionary Eichler homes and how they have remained a timeless part of the community in sacramento and beyond. Perhaps there is something to be said for what some might call 'dated' yet well-built homes as compared to some of today's quickly built 'cookie cutters.' will have to stop by the area and revisit these 1950s marvels!

Anonymous said...

I'm not too sure what people are talking about when they refer to the new Parkway... Parkway Estates is 1100 homes shown on the map above and because of PENA and the neighborhood watch that area is very safe to be in. I have been here for the most part since 1963