1961 Custom Residence of James C. Dodd, FAIA For Sale


James C. Dodd was Sacramento's first African-American licensed architect and worked on several key Sacramento landmarks in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. In 1982 he was admitted to the AIA (American Institute of Architects) College of Fellows for outstanding contribution to the profession and public service.

Mr. Dodd's personal custom residence is currently for sale. I am not an agent or affiliated with one, but I was honored to take photographs of this home to celebrate Mr. Dodd's memory and document his work. The home has true mid-century details and materials throughout. It needs some patience, vision, and mid-century modern love to make it shine. It is located in the Golf Course Village neighborhood, right below Bing Maloney Golf Course. Here are two historical ads I found while looking at microfilm (1, 2) from 1955 that reflect other modern homes in the neighborhood.

Mr. Dodd graduated from UC Berkeley in 1952. He became a member of AIA in 1957. In addition to working at the firms of Baravetto +Thomas and McCabe, Cox + Liske, he opened his own firm in 1960.

Mr. Dodd's projects (per his self report to the AIA, his obituary, and my research) in Sacramento region included:
- Brutalist-style Crocker Art Museum Herold Wing expansion (1969) (Associate architect with McCabe, Cox & Liske);
- Aerojet Prototype Housing, 1969;
- Sacramento Community/Convention Center;
- Shiloh Baptist Church, 1961;
- Sacramento Capitol City S.D.A. Church;
- science building at UC Davis;
- the redesign of Sacramento High School;
- Rescue Elementary School in El Dorado Hills;
- Jackson Elementary School in El Dorado Hills, 1969;
- Holly Heights in Willits;
- Walnut Village in Ukiah;
- Cypress Ridge (a solar energy project) in Fort Bragg;
- Sunshine Manor in Lakeport;
- Highlands Village in Clearlake Highlands.

Of note, the Center for Sacramento History recognizes the importance of Mr. Dodd's contribution as Sacramento's first African American architect and has an archive record of several drawings as well as a few photographs taken of him at the height of his career.

Mr. Dodd worked tirelessly in the community, including but not limited to: doing public service for Big Brothers; being president of the Central Valley chapter of the American Institute of Architects; giving speeches with Toastmasters and serving as chairman of the Board of Governors of the CA Community Colleges.

I am posting this as a public service to those who are interested and love MCM design and architecture as much as I do. I was happy to document this home for historical purposes and to honor the memory of Sacramento's first African-American architect.

12 comments:

SacEichler said...

This house is fabulous! I hope they sell as is with all the light fixtures and curtains (I want those drapes!) Do you know if that extension on the front is original or a later addition? It doesn't look quite right.

Gretchen said...

I agree! We need someone who loves MCM to show this home some TLC. Are you talking about the garage in front? I believe it's original, but I could be wrong.

girlplusdog said...

You are so impressive Gretchen! May more of an architectural historian than I am love. Please keep up these posts because I love reading them.

Man I want this house!

Gretchen said...

Thanks for the kindest compliment, sweet friend! They are a labor of love and it means the world to me you enjoyed reading this and looking at the pix.

Dusty Modern said...

Any thoughts on the neighborhood? I'm in SF, but would consider buying it as a modernist pied-a-terre, just as a place to keep my stuff! Should I take the drive up there?

Gretchen said...

Thanks for your question, Dusty Modern! The neighborhood is specifically Golf Course Terrace in 95822. It sits below Bing Maloney Golf Course and Sacramento Municipal Airport.

It's one of those neighborhoods that could go either way. Pride of ownership seems to be strong as I drove around but I do not know the ratio of owner to renter.

It would take someone who is able to see the good bones in this house and bring it back to its original glory. This includes un-doing some "upgrades" and "renovations"

As with any home, I heartily suggest driving around the whole neighborhood, looking at the school performance stats and looking at crime stats. I wish I had a better diagnosis/prognosis but there are so many variables here.

If you do decide to come take a look, please let me know and I will do my best to accompany you to make sure you have a good overview and lay of the land.

Kimberly Lindbergs said...

Gorgeous house and with so much original fixtures, etc. The price is great too. Makes me consider moving to the area myself. I was there on Mother's Day. My husband and I went to the Sacramento Antique Fair on a whim and really enjoyed ourselves. I really like Sacramento.

Love the new blog look too, Gretchen! I've been so busy lately that I don't think I've mentioned it yet but I think it looks great.

Gretchen said...

Thanks so much, Kimberly! I think it would be awesome to have you as a nearby neighbor. Glad you enjoyed Sacramento!

LitaMalibu said...

I have totally fallen in love with this blog, being a recent Sacto transplant. I work fairly near this area; and it definitely depends on what pocket of the Florin Blvd area you are on. The price of this house is a steal! I may think about this to be closer to work! At least I would know I would keep EVERYTHING original! I can't believe those drapes! I love it all!

Gretchen said...

The house needs someone with your attitude, Lita! It will take someone who isn't afraid to roll up their sleeves and renovate/deep clean/restore certain parts.

NYCali said...

I remember this house well. I would see it everyday as it was across from John F. Morse elementary school (where I attended with his son James, we called him Jimmy, Dodd). It's great to see people appreciate Mr. Dodd's work). Next time I'm in California I'll swing by and take a look at the place!

Gretchen said...

Thanks for posting about your memories, NYCali!