When Michael Rothchild purchased the home on the 30th block of Folsom Boulevard in 1974, he thought he was getting a nice old house for his young family ready to flee Los Angeles.
His wife, who wasn’t around for the purchase, had a different first impression.
“When we first got here, the house was really dark and closed,” Ann Rothchild said. “The rooms were all sectioned off because it was a rooming house, and there were big curtains everywhere.”
As the couple peeled back the carpet and drapes, the house, built in 1913, began to reveal its secrets – not only in its craftsmanship, but also its prominent previous owner. An oak floor inlaid with mahogany was concealed by linoleum.
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As it turned out, the house at 3802 Folsom Blvd. was built by one of Sacramento’s pre-eminent developers.
“We didn’t know what we were getting,” said Michael Rothchild.
William C. Wright lived in the home from 1913 to 1917, local historians say. Wright and his father, Charles, helped steer the real estate and investment firm Wright & Kimbrough as it developed much of Sacramento, including the Fabulous 40s where the home sits.
“They had a huge role in determining what the built environment looked like in that period,” said Amanda Meeker, program director at The California Museum in Sacramento.
The two-story, Craftsman, Queen Anne-style home is fairly typical of the houses built in the period, said Meeker, who wrote her master’s thesis on the Fabulous 40s neighborhood.
The Rothchilds are currently selling the house, which is on the market for $899,000.
The couple raised their son and daughter in the home, but after 40 years say they’re ready for something smaller. Michael Rothchild said they plan to stay in the neighborhood.