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."