Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Sacramento's Most Distinguished, Stately and Iconic Buildings (Part 2)

In part one of this series, we covered our first ten most iconic buildings in Sacramento, and here are our next ten. If we left a notable building out or you have a suggestions, feel free to contact us!

1. California State Capitol
The venerable and magnificent white domed edifice that serves as the home to government in California, the State Capitol building in Sacramento opened January 1, 1874. Located on the west end of Capitol Park between L Street and N Street, its three floors reach 75.3 feet high. Construction on the State Capitol began in 1861 under architect M. Frederic Butler, who created the neoclassical building to replicate the White House and other state capitols around the country. The building underwent a significant restoration from 1975 until 1982, when the Capitol was retrofitted for earthquake safety. A trip to the California State Capitol can include visiting the Capitol Museum on site and a pleasant stroll around 40-acre Capitol Park, with its garden-like 11,40 trees, plus shrubs and flowers, represented from all around the world.

2. CalPERS headquarters
Many Sacramento residents don’t even know it exists, but the building with a ridiculously long name – the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) Headquarters Complex, sitting at 400 Q Street in Sacramento, is a true modern marvel.  When construction wrapped up in the fall of 2005, CalPERS’ new home was a 1.1 million square foot mixed use building composed of two horseshoe-shaped buildings with 4-6 floors each in the midst of four blocks bound by 3rd, 5th, P, and R Streets, with a beautiful public courtyard in the center. Built with the help of a whole team of architects and designers from all over the U.S., the CalPERS headquarters actually came in at a cost of $192 million – significantly lower than the projected budget of $265 million.

3. Park Tower in U.S. Bank Plaza
Looking at the Sacramento skyline, this 26-story skyscraper is impossible to miss. It’s equally prominent to the city of Sacramento, as it’s listed the #22 most famous building in the city. The Park Tower was finished in 1991, and standing 380 feet above street level, was the tallest building in the city at the time. Rising from surrounding U.S. Bank Plaza, the Park Tower at 980 9th Street contains 414,000 square feet of office and commercial space.

4. U.S. Bank Tower
Not to be confused with the Park Tower, the U.S. Bank Tower is a 25-story edifice in downtown Sacramento that reaches 404 feet in the air.  Located at 621 Capitol Mall, and designed by architectural firm, Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, Inc., construction started in 2006 and wrapped up in 2008, when U.S. Bank purchased the naming rights. The tower spans 46 floors of mostly offices, and is easily recognizable with a deck of LED screens at the top of the structure, displaying flowing blues and purple that are reminiscent of a river. The U.S. Bank Tower is the second tallest buildings in the Queen City and ranked #23 on the list of most famous buildings there.

5. Eastern Star Hall
If you’re driving past the 2700 block of K Street in midtown Sacramento you may miss it as your eye goes to Sutter’s Fort, but walk or cycle by and you’ll notice the charming Eastern Star Hall, a brick square meeting hall of Romanesque Revival architecture that was built in1928 as a place for the Masonic Women’s Organization to assembled, including for dances and social events. It remains one of only four such buildings constructed by the Order of the Eastern Star and in 1993 was recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.

6. Heilbron House
In 1881, German immigrant August Heilbron came to America and ended up in the budding city of Sacramento, where he made a fortune as a grocer and cattleman. With a then astronomical $10,000, Heilbron had his dream home built on the corner of 7th and Streets not too far from the newly constructed State Capitol. The mansion, built in classic Italianate architecture by architect Nathaniel Goodell, was part of Heilbron’s legacy and still is an iconic part of Sacramento history today.

7. Mesick House
Sitting in charming and historic Alkali Flats in Sacramento, The Mesick House is one of only two remaining High Victorians that feature a mansard roof. Originally built by owner Mary Mesick in 1875, the mansion on 517 8th Street was constructed in the Second Empire and Italianate Victorian architectural styles. The Mesick House is now ranked no. 14 on the list of most famous buildings in Sacramento and on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

8. Renaissance Tower
Another sterling building soaring over the downtown landscape, the Renaissance Tower at 801 K Street was actually the highest skyscraper in Sacramento when it was completed in 1989, but now is the fifth tallest. Its 28 floors reach 372 feet high and include a massive 336,00 square feet of office and commercial space.

9. Sacramento Public Market Building (Sheraton Grand Hotel)
Back in 1923, a brand new public market opened its doors with a grand affair, including a ten-piece orchestra and speeches by city officials that attracted 40,000 Sacramentans. The Sacramento Public Market Building was built by well-known architect Julia Morgan and commissioned by the powerful Glide family, who wanted a market for the city with a refrigeration system that rivaled the Crystal Palace Market in San Francisco. Even when the building transitioned form a market to the office of the California Secretary of State 50 years later and then to the current use as home of the Sheraton Grand Hotel, the structure remains one of Sacramento’s most important and recognizable addresses.

10. Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament
Sacramento’s largest religious site, this Roman Catholic cathedral is the seat of the bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento. But for those who aren’t Roman Catholic, the cathedral is a proud landmark of civic as well as spiritual pride. Sitting at the intersection of 11th and K Streets, was constructed in 1889 for a total cost of only $250,000! With 1,400 seats, ample square footage and a dome that reaches 175 feet high with three spires 215 feet into the heavens, it’s one of the largest cathedrals west of the Mississippi River.

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