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  • Manny Crisostomo / Bee file, 2010

    Sutter's Fort State Historic Park

  • Randy Pench / Bee file, 2011

    Old Sacramento Historic District

  • Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times file, 2003

  • Florence Low / Bee file, 2004

    Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park

  • Renée C. Byer / Bee file, 2011

    Delta King riverboat

10 sites that made history

Published: Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011 - 11:00 pm | Page 1I
Last Modified: Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011 - 1:59 pm

Bee news researcher Pete Basofin asked three of the area's noted historians – Sacramento State professor Robin Datel, city historian Marcia Eymann and Roberta Deering, planner for the Historic Preservation Community Development Department – to pick Sacramento County's top 10 sites. The only criterion was that all had to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

1. Sutter's Fort State Historic Park

2701 L St., Sacramento

Eymann: "This fort has taken on mythic significance to the history of California. It was significant in its time for all of the immigrants that it welcomed to California and because of its demise following the Gold Rush. It is the beginning of Sacramento."

2. Old Sacramento Historic District

Front Street to Second Street, from the Tower Bridge to the I Street Bridge

Datel: "These few blocks tell many important stories about the Gold Rush, the Pony Express, the telegraph, the railroad, flooding, fire, commerce, ethnic diversity, early state and local governance, and more. Visitors can get a sense of the scale and texture of a 19th century waterfront commercial district."

3. State Capitol

1303 10th St., Sacramento

Deering: "The Capitol building within the grand, multiple-block park setting is almost the archetype for a 'capitol' building and setting."

4. Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park

9980 Greenback Lane, Folsom

Eymann: "This now-silent structure was once the center of electrical power for Sacramento County. In 1895 it lit the county. The significance of moving the area out of darkness and into light and the modern world should not be taken lightly."

5. Delta King riverboat

1000 Front St., Sacramento

Deering: "An iconic riverboat and reflective of the importance of the river in Sacramento's development as a transportation hub in the 19th century."

6. Memorial Auditorium

1515 J St., Sacramento

Datel: "People of all walks of life and all races and ethnicities attended sporting events, concerts, plays, speeches, circus acts, and high school graduations in this handsome space. Gladding, McBean terra cotta, our most famous local building material, looks great here."

7. Locke Historic District

Main Street, Locke

Eymann: "Located on the Sacramento River in 1915, it is a community built by local Chinese that worked in agriculture and for the railroad. They built their own community that looks very much like an old mining town."

8. Crocker Art Gallery

216 O St., Sacramento

Deering: "Reflective not only of 'over-the-top' mid-19th century architecture, especially its interiors, it also reflects the development of the area's wealth and civic-mindedness with its donation to Sacramento."

9. Tower Bridge

Capital Avenue and West Capital Avenue, linking Sacramento and West Sacramento

Eymann: "Built as a WPA project, the bridge is one of the landmarks of the city and of the era it was built."

10. Southern Pacific Railroad Depot

401 I St.

Deering: "The railroad heritage for California and this region is highly significant, and this listing is the most significant relative to Sacramento's rail history."

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