My MCM Sacramento Research Projects

Well, hello there! Sorry I've been out of touch -- been a bit busy these days. I'm working on several research projects. Here are several examples:

      1) MCM (Mid-Century Modern) Sacramento Grid Project:

I'm cataloging the Sacramento "grid" (the numbered and lettered streets in the downtown, midtown, and East Sacramento areas). This means I'm observing, photographing, documenting, and determining through research the original dates and designers of all remaining mid-century modern buildings in downtown and midtown Sacramento.

As of today I have a 5-inch binder full of images and information. I'm starting by casting a wide net (see picture above), and including all buildings that appear to have been built between 1945 and 1970. My focus is mostly commercial, governmental and social gathering spaces, but there are a few residential buildings (mostly apartment complexes) in there too.

My sources:
1) Microfilm reels from the Community Development Department (permits, plans, renderings)
2) Newspaper archives and microfilm reels
3) Internet links and tidbits
4) Old magazines and books
5) Old postcards, matchbooks, brochures and other ephemera
6) Old City Directories
7) AIA Historical Directory
8) Oral histories by architects/designers and their families, friends and colleagues
9) Old maps
10) Found photos.
11) Etc. Basically anything and everything I can get my hands on.

Wish me luck! This ought to keep me busy for a while! Results will be published in some format, perhaps a guide or as individual walking maps.

(Speaking of walking maps, did you know that Sacramento Heritage, Inc. has several downloadable walking tours of various areas in Sacramento? They also have wonderful photos posted on Flickr. Also, if you haven't already, I highly recommend you get ahold of Robin Datel et al.'s well-researched and wonderful walking guide to Oak Park.)

      2) Self-Guided MCM Walking Tour for the 36th SOCA Home Tour

SacMod (Sacramento Modern) is working on a free mini-MCM walking tour which we've specially tailored to accompany the SOCA Home Tour this upcoming September 18, 2011. (SacMod, as you may recall, brought you the 2010 Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour last year).

Our mini-MCM tour will focus on a several MCM buildings in the Marshall School/New Era Park Neighborhood. We'll be there with a table at the tour's Street Fair area (Marshall Park - J and 27th Streets) and some information/materials about Sacramento Modern aka SacMod -- including our free self-guided walking tour. You can buy tickets to the 36th SOCA Home Tour via Brown Paper Tickets. I was a docent at last year's tour and thoroughly enjoyed being a guest at several early 20th-century buildings and homes.

      3) Upcoming talk on historic architecture in Midtown next month.

More on this as information becomes available. I'll be talking very briefly about MCM architecture in midtown with examples after my friend/author/historian Bill Burg talks about earlier architectural styles.

      4) Sacramento MCM ephemera collection

I've been creating a personal library of images and information regarding MCM Sacramento. Mostly of postcards, matchbooks, brochures, and magazine clippings. I do this on a daily basis.

      5) Rickey & Brooks survey

I'm beginning to collect information on works by Rickey & Brooks, the architect/designer team who designed our home and many other MCM buildings in Sacramento.

      6) Ongoing microfilm research

I try to browse and scan relevant newspaper articles from the Sacramento Bee and Sacramento Union as well as relevant special reels from various sources.

I do all of this in my "spare" time; keeps me busy and out of mischief. Have a great week everyone!