If all goes according to Riverview Capital Investment’s plan, McKinley Village will have the first phase of homes up for sale as early as April 2015 if approved by the City Council early next year.
The proposed project consists of development of 328 residential units, a neighborhood recreation center, parks and other public spaces on about 48-acre site located along the south side of the Capital City Freeway, north of the Union Pacific rail lines, largely east of Alhambra Boulevard and largely west of Lanatt Street in the northeast area of downtown Sacramento.
A variety of residences are proposed on different lot sizes. The proposed project includes three parks that total about 2.4 acres, including about 1-acre neighborhood recreation center and pool. The overall density of the project is about 10.9 units per acre and access to the project site would be provided from A Street and 28th Street to the west of 40th Street to the east.
It has been hailed as well as dismissed as a smart growth, infill community project.
The long awaited Environmental Impact Report was released in early November and concluded that the project would have “less than significant impacts on traffic.” The City of Sacramento’s recently completed traffic study looked at the effects of McKinley Village on local traffic and, as part of the study, analyzed 16 streets and 25 intersections east of the Capital City Freeway. The study evaluated the traffic Level of Service (LOS) when McKinley Village traffic is added to existing traffic conditions. All 16 streets analyzed in the study will operate at LOS A (free flow conditions with no congestion) during peak drive times even with the development of McKinley Village.
Twenty-three of the 25 intersections east of the freeway that were analyzed will operate at the same level of service during peak drive times with or without McKinley Village. The new intersection at C Street between 40th Street and Tivoli Way will function at LOS A even during peak drive times.
McKinley Village will contribute funding for traffic signal and other improvements at three local intersections (Alhambra Boulevard/H Street; Alhambra Boulevard/E Street; and 33rd Street/McKinley Boulevard.)
In spite of the results, some neighborhood organizations are organizing around how to “effectively comment” on the EIR, one of which is the East Sacramento Preservation. The group has its December meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 10 from 7-8 p.m. in the East Sacramento Room at Clunie Clubhouse where the topic will be addressed. According to the group’s website, the organization opposes the design of homes.
Included in the petition on the website is the following: “(The) project does not fit within the character of existing neighborhoods and threatens to impact traffic, cause congestion and threaten safe pedestrian and bicycle access to Theodore Judah Elementary School. As proposed, this is a private, isolated community project that would negatively impact adjacent neighborhoods, schools, roads and residents. The proposed McKinley Village will exist as an isolated car-based community that lacks urban-style access to public transportation, shopping and entertainment. The only community connection will be increased car traffic on existing neighborhood roadways. The proposed McKinley Village location would expose future residents to poor air quality, noise pollution and potential flood risk.
“The proposed McKinley Village is not infill. It is an expansion of East Sacramento and not an East Sacramento style neighborhood. The proposed construction of 328 new homes will result in additional burdens on neighborhood schools, particularly Theodore Judah Elementary School and Sutter Middle School and may alter the current school boundaries. Access points at 28th Street, Alhambra (Boulevard) and Lanatt Street would provide for a more seamless community.”
In speaking about the design of the project, Phil Angelides, in an interview with the East Sacramento News, spoke on how the project is intended to fit in with the feel of McKinley Village homes as well as neighborhood landmarks with homes ranging between 1,295 square feet to 3,100 square feet.
“The recreation center’s plans have been modeled after McKinley Park’s Clunie Center and the roof-forms modeled after the Shephard Garden (and Arts Center),” he said, adding that it would be suitable for receptions, weddings, family and neighborhood gatherings.
A recreation center owned and maintained by the homeowners association will serve as the community’s civic center, offering a neighborhood pool, indoor and outdoor spaces for community gatherings and events and space for retail use such as a cafe, restaurant or yoga studio. Bikeways and walkways will stitch together the neighborhood and connect McKinley Village, McKinley Park, Midtown, Sutter’s Landing and the American River Parkway. The rec center will have a swimming pool of 75 feet long, spreading six lanes across, which will enable the development to have a swim team if desired by the homeowners association. He said McKinley Village will be doing an art in public places program.
Angelides said they have carefully selected which homes go where, so no two homes that look similar to each other are near. “That’s an unprecedented level of variation within the community,” he said.
As far as the homes near the railroad, there will be a 25-foot engineered sound wall that supposed to prevent the same type of train noise that you might find in River Park or Curtis Park.
Before the EIR was released, at the Oct. 24 City of Sacramento’s Planning and Design Commission meeting, neighbors from both sides spoke in favor and against the project.
Bob Reid, a lifetime Sacramento resident who grew up in East Sacramento at the corner of 40th Folsom and who attended such schools as David Lubin, acknowledged Angelides’ contributions to the community and said he was drawn to the project because of its design, which includes tree lined streets, large porches, an easy commute for workers. Included in his statements, he said: “This project is an opportunity to carry on the feeling of East Sacramento, so to speak … I simply support this because the style and feel of the neighborhood reminds me of the childhood home I grew up in.”
Terry Kastanis, who lives on 41st Street and who is a former city councilmember, asked to consider one principle: Is this site appropriate for housing? “I am well aware of long hours and controversies and in no doubt will receive more in weeks to come.” Speaking about the location of the project, Kastanis asked the commissioners if they are willing to take a chance on flooding and disaster. Commenting on the design, he asked rhetorically, how would people exit the area to safety. “I am aware of the economic gain of this project but is this site appropriate for housing? Is this the last piece of land available for housing?”
Rosalyn VanBuren, executive director of Our Kids’ Community Breakfast Club, a program that offers breakfast, arts and crafts and educational activities at the Oak Park Community Center has since the age of 6, lived in Sacramento, attending Sacred Heart Elementary School and Bishop Manogue High School. She said the project would give more options for housing to those who would want to live in the central city, adding that the project seems consistent with Sacramento Area Council of Governments.
Rob Finley of the group Neighbors United for Smart Growth, which is comprised of neighborhood association leaders, PTA members, neighbors instrumental of saving schools from closure, principals of the McKinley Rebuild project, said the group believes something will be built on this plot of land, but they want something that would be built that the neighborhood supports. While the group is sympathetic to what other groups have issue with (ie: the site being near railroad tracks, congested freeway), Finley said NUSG is focused on traffic concerns.
“Instead of using major existing arteries, the project inappropriately relies on narrow, neighborhood streets where children play, ride their bikes and walk to school.”
“As the 2008 traffic study for the previous subdivision displayed, approximately 6,000 daily additional car trips will be realized by both each the 28th Street crossing and the Lanatt Street crossing. At this volume, one does not have to wait until the 2013 traffic study to know there will be traffic impact on midtown and East Sacramento,” Finley said.
He commented on the 28th Street access point that will that will force people to cross the street that has 41 trains cross on a daily basis, some that often sit idle. Finley said Union Pacific has plans to increase the amount of trains coming through. He said NUSG has met with the developer, but that the developer won’t change those plans.
Resident Michael Murphy suggested the developer add 78 additional units (or 20 percent more housing) to the project to offset the cost of making Alhambra Boulevard an access point. That increase, he said, would not only generate on average $500,000 per home, it would conform to SACOG standards. He asked the planning commission to require the developer to add the bike tunnel in the first phase of development, as opposed to the third. “If you did it in the first phase, you would teach them to use bicycles and to walk and not use their cars.”
Marie Booth and Dave DeGmilla presented the commission with 419 letters of support. Booth said her children are excited they will be able to purchase a home large enough for their growing families with modern amenities.
Pamela Milchrist said had she known signatures were being collected at the meeting, she would have 100 signatures from 40th Street alone. She questioned whether there would be any consideration of residents’ mental and physical health especially with the increase of train traffic.
Patty Kleinkneckt, executive director of the River District, said the group supports the project’s mixed housing options, which are close to Sacramento’s urban centers with reasonable density. “As we look at adding housing, we welcome McKinley Village.”
Jim Brown, executive director of Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, said the key to bikability is to accommodate all kinds of bikers. He also suggested the bike tunnel be built in the first phase of development, as opposed to the third.
Ellen Cochrane, president of the East Sacramento Preservation, said the organization came out with a statement “opposed as proposed”. Speaking about the design of the project, Cochrane said the organization objects to the two-car garages and lack of mass transit to service the homes.
If all goes according to Riverview Capital Investment’s plan, McKinley Village will have the first phase of homes up for sale as early as April 2015 if approved by the City Council early next year.
Editor’s Note: This is part 14 in a series about the rich history of and associated with East Sacramento’s award-winning East Lawn Memorial Park.
It may be one of the city’s smallest parks, but East Lawn Children’s Park at 1510 42nd St., at Folsom Boulevard, certainly draws its fair share of daily visitors.
Once a part of the grounds of East Lawn Memorial Park, this 153-foot by 99-foot park provides plenty of space for its young visitors, who enjoy spending time in its tot play area.
Encompassing the space of about three single-family home lots, the park, which is a tot in its own right when compared to the majority of the city’s parks, is sufficient in size for the neighborhood it serves.
Efforts to have a city park constructed at the site date back to December 1985, when the owners of the nondenominational cemetery first considered donating the property to the city.
In August 1986, East Lawn’s owners finally made an official offer to the city, as they agreed to deed the property to the city, build a park on the site and operate it for 10 years.
East Lawn’s only stipulation for the donation and construction of the park, which had an estimated value of $150,000, was that it be allowed to name the park.
Prior to East Lawn’s announcement, many residents of the area had been concerned that the site, which had sat undeveloped for decades, might be used for an apartment complex or office structure.
Although many neighbors of the site also demonstrated strong opposition to the then-proposed park, it was reported in the Oct. 17, 1986 edition of The Sacramento Union that their tone had changed and that they had become hopeful that the city would accept the cemetery’s offer.
The neighbors’ early concern, according to The Union, was that the presence of a park at the site would attract “rowdies to the quiet neighborhood.”
The property’s eventual use as a children’s park with the lack of amenities such as picnic tables, tennis court and restrooms represents a compromise to those neighbors’ concern regarding the site’s establishment as a park.
Craig Peterson, East Lawn Memorial Park manager, explained that the idea of a children’s park was not entirely well received.
“There were some neighbor ladies waving diapers on poles (near the site),” Peterson said. “They didn’t want dirty diapers in the park.”
Although their wish was not granted, some neighbors requested that the site not be referred to as a park, as they feared that the name would attract “undesirables.”
Neighbors were also concerned with the timing of the cemetery’s attempt to donate the property to the city, since that attempt was made at about the same time that East Lawn applied for a permit to add a mortuary on its grounds. Protests by neighborhood residents led to the end of East Lawn’s drive to add a mortuary to its property.
But with an eventual overall approval for the park from neighbors and the completion of a carefully written agreement, the donation of the park site was accepted by the city council on Dec. 16, 1986. The park was also approved by the city Planning Commission about two months later.
When Don Hart was named as East Lawn’s president in March 1988, the park had yet to be constructed.
During the following May, East Lawn, which had an escape clause in its pact on the property with the city, requested and was granted a delay in its donation while Hart became familiar with his then-new position.
Some supporters of the park project feared that the delay might be a sign that East Lawn would renege on the donation.
On June 23, 1988, The Sacramento Bee reported that East Lawn had decided to honor its donation, but that the cemetery was no longer offering $50,000 worth of improvements and 10 years of park maintenance.
It was also reported in the article that a pro-park campaign led by neighborhood resident Cindy Leathers influenced the cemetery board’s decision to complete its donation. The campaign resulted in about 200 postcards and a petition, which were delivered to Hart’s office. The petition was signed by about 500 local residents.
In another article, which was published on Sept. 8, 1988, The Union reported that city park officials had accepted the 42nd Street and Folsom Boulevard parcel for use as a city park. But it was also noted in the article that the property “must await development, because the city has no money available.”
An update regarding the site appeared in the June 1, 1989 edition of The Bee.
In that update it was noted that “a frenzy of philanthropy is transforming a simple patch of ground into a full-blown East Sacramento park – the East Lawn Children’s Park.”
The article noted that local businesses and neighbors contributed labor, materials and money to establish the park.
This type of action was not unprecedented at park sites in Sacramento.
For instance, similar action was taken by people in the community to establish East Sacramento’s East Portal Park and Portuguese Community Park in the Pocket area.
Donations for the East Lawn project included $20,000 from the Rotary Club of East Sacramento, $15,000 from a single fundraising event that was attended by about 150 community members, and sand for the sandboxes from Geremia Pools.
According to the article, the park’s new playground would be completed in about one to two months.
Among the improvements to the site were a children’s play area and a new fence that replaced the site’s aging, 3-foot-tall fence.
Last week, East Sacramento residents Doug Pope and Terry Kastanis, who were serving as members of the city council during the city’s involvement with the East Lawn park project, reflected upon their memories of the site.
Pope, who represented East Sacramento as a member of the council from 1977 to 1989, said, “There was a period of time (that passed) from when East Lawn said that they wanted to make the donation. Actually, preceding that donation was a lot of discussion with East Lawn about their future plans for that parcel. Those discussions ultimately led to them making a decision that they would donate it for neighborhood use.
“(Prior to the creation of the city park, the site) was actually being used (by the community for such things as touch football and fly-casting practice). I don’t remember if it was actually mowed though. It was kind of a little bit of an eyesore, if I recall right. But it was being used. (The idea) was to clean (the site) up and make it usable for the neighborhood. For a period of time, there were – and there still are, I think – young families around there. It was a good use of a piece of land, and they let the young kids go around there and play.
“I think it’s a great amenity in the neighborhood and it looks really nice. It’s kept up well. I’m not close to it, so I’m not aware that they’ve had any issues, but I don’t believe they’ve had any issues. But it looks great and you can go by and you see people using it all the time, which is what it’s meant for, so it’s really gratifying to see that occur. It’s matured just fantastic. It has turned out to be I think better than everyone envisioned.”
In remembering the process, which led to the creation of the park, Kastanis, who served on the council from 1981 to 1994, said, “It was kind of like East Lawn didn’t know quite what to do with (the property). It was just vacant land that East Lawn had. It was kind of a hangout and people were kind of congregating there. I think they started using it like a park and finally East Lawn relented and gave it to the city as the East Lawn park.
“It was a great community gesture on the part of East Lawn. They didn’t have to do that and they gave that property to the city for a park, and I think that’s commendable.”
Celebrating the 100th Janey Way Memories Column
It seems hard to believe, but four years ago, on July 2, 2009, I penned my first Janey Way Memories column. Much has transpired since that date: my third and fourth grandchildren came into this world, a president won re-election, and I witnessed a total eclipse of the sun. All the while, the Janey Way stories have continued to play out on the pages of the East Sacramento News.
Do you recall some of the adventures we have shared? Remember the pit, the vacated sand and gravel site behind the houses on the east side of Janey Way where the Janey Way Gang played? Remember Ole Man Charlie, the sometimes frightening watchman who chased us around the pit. In the end, we found that he wasn’t really very scary at all.
How about “Scooters and Sidewalk Surfing”, you may remember doing that yourself?
Do you recall how my brother Terry, Randy Puccetti and I pulled off the famous great beer heist?
That first year I also told you about building a Christmas tree fort and how that led to “Christmas Tree Wars.” Sadly, I also told you about the loss of my good friend Mike Gilson in Viet Nam—not all of my stories have been fun.
Writing this column has also given me the chance to tell you about some of the extraordinary people who lived on Janey Way such as my mother and father, Martin and Mary Relles, Dom Costamagna who helped us survive to adulthood, Lou Viani, the Mayor of Janey Way and the many other unique characters who once lived in my neighborhood.
In writing this column, I’ve also had the opportunity to recall many great things about Sacramento such as the Alhambra Theatre, the Memorial Auditorium, the old California State Fair on Stockton Blvd. and Edmonds Field, the home of the Sacramento Solons baseball team.
I must tell you that I have really enjoyed sharing these stories of my youth with you. Doing so, reminds me of what a great city Sacramento is and what a great life I have experienced here.
Over the next year, I hope to share many more Janey Way Memories with you. You can help me with this by sharing some of your Sacramento childhood memories with me. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you, and also to sharing more of my Janey Way Memories with you.
East Sacramento area schools will benefit from the passage of Measures Q and R: See how your neighborhood school could be improved
Measures Q and R were local school bond measures to upgrade and renovate local school facilities that were both passed in the November election. According to the Sacramento City Unified School District, the average age of the local schools is 50 years and need significant updating.
All money raised by Measures Q and R will stay in our community and cannot be taken away by the State. No money can be spent on school administrator salaries. An independent citizens’ oversight committee will monitor expenditures and ensure all funds are spent properly.
If you are interested in being on the committee, contact Gabe Ross, Chief Information Officer at 643-9145 or email email@example.com
Here are breakdowns of how your neighborhood schools fare and how they should be improved.
David Lubin Elementary School was constructed in 1975. During the 2006 modernization, renovation and upgrades were made in the following areas: health and safety, site exterior and miscellaneous upgrades. The school’s facilities received high ratings for completion of maintenance and safety procedures. The frontage street inhibits ability for a gracious welcome. The unsafe environment posed by overlapping bus and parent drop off leads to unsafe arrival and departure. There is no flashing light to indicate a pedestrian crosswalk.
Visitor and staff parking is inadequate. Accessible parking stalls and path of travel needs reconfiguring/relocating. Irrigation and drainage at the play fields needs to be reworked to resolve flooding and muddy conditions. Refurbishing of the blacktop, shaded small group seating areas, and clear definition of specific hardscape uses based on age-appropriate activities would be a positive upgrade. Providing a shade structure would improve the stage presence and encourage additional activity use such as outdoor learning and lunchtime dining.
The site is just more than nine acres in a fully developed residential neighborhood just off Folsom Boulevard. The site is small but appears adequate for this school that was built in 1976, This existing Middle School campus is in generally fair condition and has been looked at as a viable candidate to be converted into an IB Program to support Grades 7-12.
The buses currently bring about 70 percent of the students to school and create some traffic issues within the neighborhood. The buses must route through the neighborhood to enter and exit the school but are able to loop from Folsom Boulevard and back with reasonable convenience. There are, however, no designated passenger loading and unloading zones, no separation for parents and buses and no barrier free drop off spaces.
Drop offs take place along the “N” Street frontage and in the staff parking lot at the west side of the campus. Both locations currently generate traffic conflicts and unsafe conditions. At a minimum, a barrier free drop off space is required and a designated drop off lane is recommended. The public and main entrance to the school and administrative offices is located along “N” Street and at some distance from the available visitor parking.
Additional parking area is recommended and should be located in reasonable proximity to the school’s entrance and administrative office. There have been recent path of travel upgrades to the staff parking lots but more is needed to be fully code compliant.
The campus is a pleasant homogenous design with good internal circulation and the core secured by ornamental steel gates. The campus is well planned for a compact facility and suited to the neighborhood. However an updated color scheme would be more appropriate for the age group. Some modernization has been completed to upgrade restrooms for code compliance but has left unsightly patches in tile finishes. Additional upgrades for code compliance are needed throughout the campus.
The school buildings were built with little consideration for energy efficiency and improvements could be made through the use of more efficient windows and mechanical systems. Benefits could also be gained through more efficient lighting and effective energy control systems. The student gathering areas of the campus are primarily associated with the Quad. This area is well located, adequate and in reasonably good condition. The student snack bar is adjacent to the Quad.
The athletic fields and paved play courts are adequate for the current enrollment but in fair condition. Resurfacing is needed for some areas of the courts and water efficient irrigation recommended for the play fields.
Based on the opportunities, facility conditions and code issues identified in this report, the Kit Carson School appears to be a fair candidate to support the facility and programmatic transformation to a 7-12 IB School.
The site is 7.5 acres in a confined fully developed semi-urban location and is unsuitably small for this middle school. A typical suburban site for this size school would be at least twice the area. The school was built in 1958 and serves just more than 1,200 students with most of the classrooms on second and third floors.
Access to the campus is along I Street just off Alhambra Boulevard. A drop off lane was added along “I” Street but conflicts with traffic into and out of the parking areas remain. There is no convenient turn a round or loop routing for buses. Parking is less than adequate and adversely affects student circulation. In addition to street, parking and drive conflicts there are significant “path of travel” issues around and within the campus. While the area is served by public transportation, there is no fully compliant path of travel to the campus. These are apt to become major circumstances with future modernization.
The upper floors are served by stairs and a single elevator. The fifty plus year old school was built with little consideration for energy efficiency and improvements could be made through the use of more efficient windows, wall systems and mechanical systems.
Benefits could also be gained through more efficient lighting and effective energy control systems. The structure is primarily steel and masonry with large areas of window wall systems including awning windows and spandrel panels.
The condition and age of the windows and window system shows signs of deterioration and has numerous leaks. In addition to the overall condition issues, the windows and panels are single glazed un-insulated and inefficient. The interior corridors on the second and third floors of the main classroom building are wide and lined with lockers, but access to and from the classrooms does not comply with code.
These conditions will likely require significant upgrades with any future modernization. The design of the school is dated and the classrooms and amenity areas reflect the age of the school with some deterioration and many barrier free access issues. The student snack bar has access to the Quad for outdoor eating. The gathering areas of the campus appear adequate and in reasonably good condition. The campus core has a small “Quad” area that appears underutilized.
The campus core is secured by unsightly ornamental steel gates and fencing.
Theodore Judah is a historical structure built in 1937, and is the oldest continuously used elementary school in the district. The original building has been renovated to improve HVAC, technology capability, and classroom casework / sink accessibility, but a considerable amount of site and building accessibility non-compliance issues remain. Outdated and unused heating radiators in classrooms could be removed to gain additional casework and storage.
The buildings, including the portable classrooms, are in need of renovation and repairs. The cafeteria, kitchen, staff lounge, auditorium, and administration area all require refurbishing and modernization for code compliance.
The core of the campus has many instructional gardens and potential outdoor learning areas. Efforts are in progress to improve landscaping, but irrigation and drainage is in poor condition at the entry turf areas and playing field. The current orientation of the
portable classroom buildings makes site supervision difficult. Bus and parent drop-off is provided curbside only. The absence of accessible paths of travel should be resolved.
Information for this story is courtesy of SCUSD.
Sitting in his office at the California State Indian Museum last week, Rob Wood spoke about the current California Indian Heritage Center project, which would eliminate the necessity of the longtime East Sacramento museum on the grounds of Sutter’s Fort.
Although the museum has continuously operated between its adobe walls that were built in the likeness of the fort 70 years ago, Wood, who serves as the heritage center’s project manager, said that the museum’s size has always been a problem.
“From the date (the museum) was built, it was inadequate in terms of its size,” Wood said. “This (museum) is probably about 4,000 square feet and we’re projecting that at final build-out, (the new center) will be 125,000 square feet.”
Wood added that the vastness of the museum’s off-site collections, which he endearingly, yet unofficially refers to as “tribal treasures,” is so great that only about 5 percent of the entire museum archives are currently on display in the museum, which for the most part consists of displays created in the mid-1980s under the direction of the museum’s former curator, Mike Tucker.
Further emphasizing the magnitude of the inadequate size of the museum, Wood said, “We have about 3,500 baskets (in storage) alone.”
But looking forward, Wood shared details about the future heritage center, which he has so passionately devoted his time to helping it become a reality.
Wood added that it is also an important element of the project to create a place where California Native Americans can “tell their own story in their own way.”
“It’s been a big deal throughout this project through consultations with native folks to have them involved in this project, so it speaks with what we call the ‘native voice,’” Wood said. “There was an interpretive document created in consultation with Indian advisors and academic advisors to accomplish that.”
The new museum
Although Wood recalled seeing concepts for a new State Indian Museum in Folsom as early as 1978, it was not until this century that much progress was made on this endeavor.
With the 2002 legislation through SB 2063, the center’s task force was established for the purpose of assisting in the development of the center and seed money was acquired for preliminary planning.
During a large portion of this search, the Richards Boulevard area was considered, but the land acquisition, Wood said, “got too complicated and too expensive.”
In 2007, West Sacramento came forward with the now-selected site, which was offered as a donation.
A 20-acre parcel, which is owned by an Alaskan native corporation and located just north of the Broderick Boat Ramp, may also be incorporated into the overall project.
Additionally, the project consists of a secondary site in the Natomas area, just across from the Richards Boulevard area and near Camp Pollock, a Boy Scout camp located at 1501 Northgate Blvd.
Cathy Taylor, district superintendent of the Capital District for California State Parks, said that the (Natomas area) site was once considered as a main site for the project.
“For quite a long time, we had negotiated with the city of Sacramento about locating the facility out in (the Natomas) area,” Taylor said. “The American River Parkway, however, has a lot of restrictions about what can be built (there). There are limitations in the parkway about how large a facility can be and so we looked at the Natomas area as really more of an outdoor, interpretive space that could be used for large events. We aren’t going to do a lot of huge overnight gatherings in the West Sacramento site, where the center is itself, but we can certainly do that at the Natomas site.”
Taylor added that the parkway plan is limited to about 30,000 square feet of interpretive space and as a gathering area, it could include such amenities as an amphitheater, a stage and an outdoor, shaded interpretive programming site.
“It would be more of an outdoor type of facility than a (large) interpretive center,” Taylor said.
The center, which is projected to be paid for through one-third state funds and two-thirds private funding, is in its general plan stage for about the next 18 months and once this stage is completed, work on the project’s preliminary plans and working drawings will begin.
Taylor said that when the working drawings are completed – which may be about a two-year process – actual construction on the project can proceed.
Although it is uncertain when the project will be completed in its entirety, Taylor said that the center will be a world-class facility that will be well worth the wait.
“The California Indian Heritage Center has been a long time coming,” Taylor said. “It’s important for California Indians, but it’s also important for this community to have a project of this importance with this subject matter in the capital city. It’s a huge attraction for the city.”
E-mail Lance Armstrong at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Among East Sacramento’s most renowned architectural structures is the Sacred Heart Church at 3860 J St., where for eight decades, many local residents have come to gain spiritual guidance, while making many lifelong friends along the way.
Geremia expressed her gratitude for the local Catholic church, its parish school and the many people, including Granucci, who she has made longtime friends with through her membership in the church.
“I’ve definitely made a lot of friendships over the years and our family has made a lot of friendships (through the church),” Geremia said. “Many of my children’s best friends are from their days at Sacred Heart School and through the church. It’s just that kind of a place.”
Granucci echoed Geremia’s words and added that although many of her closest childhood friends from Sacred Heart School, as well as the church, moved away from Sacramento many years ago, various reunions have proven that these friendships remain extremely strong.
“We can go many years without seeing each other and then when we get together, we pick up right where we left off, like we were never apart,” said Granucci, a lifelong member of the church who attended Sacred Heart School from 1944 to 1953.
The many stories of close friendships and spiritual ties among the church’s parishioners date back to the establishment of the church in 1931.
In 1922, noting that there was a need for a permanent parish church in East Sacramento, Bishop Patrick Keane, who served as the third Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento from 1922 to 1928, purchased the property where the church would later be built.
The following year, Lyons, who decided that the time was right for the construction of permanent parish buildings in East Sacramento, consulted Armstrong, who recommended that a church and priest offices be constructed on the 39th and J streets property that Keane had purchased.
Although the topic of constructing a parish school in East Sacramento was also discussed around this time, the idea was temporarily abandoned due to the inability to secure teachers.
The parish was fortunate to have the talented architect Harry J. Devine, among its members during its early years.
Devine, who had previously designed other churches in Northern California, was commissioned to create the plans for the new church and the offices and residence of the priests.
By November 1930, the plans were completed and William C. Keating was selected as the project’s general contractor.
Despite their quality, fine craftsmanship and many details, the new, $139,000 church buildings were constructed in a considerably short period of time.
Within a month after the plans were completed, work began at the 39th and J streets site, which had previously been home to the two-story East Sacramento Public School building, which was later briefly used by Christian Brothers High School students and faculty during the construction of the high school’s new campus at 21st and Y (now Broadway) streets.
Expanding the faith
The cornerstone of the church was laid on Sunday, March 15, 1930 and about four months later, the priests’ residence and offices were completed and being utilized by the priests, who had been living in a rented residence at 3801 H St.
During this special, dedication day, Bishop Armstrong blessed the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which had been known as St. Stephen’s Church at its original site.
The name, St. Stephen’s Church, was used by the parish for its temporary church structure on the 39th and I streets property that had been purchased by Brady, who had believed it would be too expensive to have parish buildings constructed at the 39th and J streets site.
This name change resulted through a petition requesting that the church be dedicated to the “Sacred Heart.”
The petition was signed by about 500 parishioners and presented by the Women of the Altar Society of St. Stephen’s.
Permission to change the church’s name was later granted by Bishop Armstrong.
The small, square, temporary church building, which held its first Mass on Feb. 7, 1926, had received its name upon the request of Ellen Bowden, who provided funds for the development of the church and whose father and brother were both named Stephen.
The Sacred Heart Church, which was designed in the fashion of a church in Ireland, is known for its brick architecture, decorative terra cotta, high, domed ceiling and many other details, which include 22 stained glass windows, 16 paintings, which include a series depicting the crucifixion of Christ, five large statues and 12 chandeliers.
The church also includes a pair of altars, 72 wooden pews and 10 large marble pillars, which support a dozen archways on the south end of the church.
Early events in the church included the first wedding – the marriage of Mary O’Brien to Adam Charles Goetz – on Sept. 18, 1931 and the first confirmation on March 30, 1932.
In 1934, with the assistance of the Sisters of Mercy, Lyons helped develop the parish’s Sacred Heart School, which initially served first through fourth grade students. By the fall of 1936, the school included eight grades.
The school, which is located at 3933 I St., began with 60 students, who met in four temporary classrooms within the old St. Stephens Church building.
A “permanent” school was built in 1945 and has since lost its “permanent” status, as a new Sacred Heart School is being constructed across the street from the current school. The new school is scheduled to open in September.
The church’s current pastor, Monsignor Robert P. Walton, said that the church’s elementary school is an integral part of the parish’s history.
“It’s difficult to separate the church’s history from the school’s history,” Walton said. “Sacred Heart Church is synonymous with the parish school.”
Jeanne Winnick Brennan, a spokesperson for Sacred Heart Church, said that the opening of the new school is a great accomplishment in today’s world.
The forthcoming school opening will undoubtedly begin one more important chapter in the parish’s extensive history, which began 84 years ago.
This history includes the celebration of the Sacred Heart Church’s 75th anniversary in 2006.
During this celebration’s Feast of Sacred Heart Mass, Monsignor Walton summarized the church’s importance to many people in the community in a very fitting fashion.
“This sacred space is so much more than great architectural beauty, magnificent, stained glass windows, inspiring space and liturgical appointments. It is filled with living memories of people…who have called Sacred Heart Church their spiritual home, and for many of you, for most of your lives.”
E-mail Lance Armstrong at email@example.com.
Join us now as we publish our special 2010 Masters Club special section. More than a simple list of names, this well-known compendium (complete with individual photos) celebrates the Sacramento real estate industry and the positive work of the region’s best agents. The special section will be inserted in all four of our community newspapers and delivered throughout the metropolitan area. The Masters Club pull-out section will be printed in full color and will include your photo, name, company name, telephone number, and e-mail or Web site (optional). You will be placed in the Masters Club Category of which you have achieved.
The cost to join this special section is $70. The section will be inserted in the April 15 and April 22 editions of our four community newspapers.
See a sample of The Masters Club section here. Reminder: the 2009 version is in black and white; the 2010 version will be in full color.
How to get into this special section
It seems like only yesterday that we ran down the sidewalk on Janey Way and took a beeline into the pit (the abandoned sand and gravel pit that abutted Janey Way on the east). Now, St. Francis High School sits on the land that once was the pit. Forts we built, lost toys, my stolen Roadmaster bike and god only knows what else are buried in that hole. I can’t help thinking that something special disappeared with the filling of the pit.
We also talked about poker games at the Ducray’s house, ping pong on the Relles driveway, sand lot baseball in the vacant lot, roller derby at Phoebe Hearst School, one-on-one basketball at St. Mary’s, the hub cap trick, the great beer heist, and the whole lexicon of stories that are Janey Way. During the time since these events occurred, we have lost some dear friends: Michael Gilson, Josie Tomassetti, Bernadette Tomassetti and Lynne Thomsen. We have married, divorced, re-married, raised children and now have grandchildren. The days of our youth are now long gone, but these stories live on as a testament to our friendships and to the richness of our lives.
We were blessed. We lived in a neighborhood where people looked after each other, not just a place where people drove home to after work or school. When Tom Harte and Dan Rosenblatt lost their fathers too early, people cared and looked out for them. When Michael Gilson lost his life in Viet Nam, we all attended his funeral and grieved for him. And, when people moved away from the neighborhood, we were saddened, but we kept in touch and have continued our friendships well into adulthood.
Reunion parties, like this one we held late last month, are tributes to the bonds that these friendships we have forged. We have all changed dramatically, but we have not forgotten where we came from and who our real friends are. The Janey Way memories live on and as long as I can remember them, I will continue to write about them.
E-mail Marty Relles at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It typically went like this: Two kids walked down M Street east toward Janey Way, and when a car drove by, one of the boys threw an old hubcap into the street. The other boy yelled, “Hey mister, you lost your hubcap.” Then one of three things generally happened:
1. The driver, sensing mischief, drove away;
2. The driver stopped, examined his wheels, shook his head, got back in his car and drove away;
3. The driver walked or chased after us.
When option 3 occurred, the boys ran in all directions confusing the chaser and the trick usually ended there.
However, sometimes the driver did not give up so easily. His anger spurred him on and he chased relentlessly after the perpetrators, i.e. us. That happened to me one summer night my friend Lou and I played the trick. I threw the hubcap, and he yelled out. The driver stopped immediately right at Janey Way, cutting off that escape route. He ran directly after us. Lou cut across the street in front of St. Mary’s Church, then down the pathway beside the rectory where the priests lived. He ran into the rectory garden, plunked down and hid. I took a different route. I went straight for the nearest backyard fence into Mr. Vance’s yard. I leaped up, dangled momentarily, then swung up over the fence and fell into the yard. I could hear the driver on the other side of the fence. He was mad. So, I ran across the yard and jumped the Ducray’s fence, which I leaped almost in a bound. I was scared. I ran across the Ducray yard, then over the small fence into the Michele yard. Then I jumped into the Thomsen’s yard and so on and so forth until I arrived at the Harte’s yard, eight houses down Janey Way. There I knelt down beside a tree behind the garage and tried to catch my breath. My heart pounded. I waited, five minutes, ten minutes, fifteen minutes. When I heard no sounds, I stood up, walked up to the gate and quietly exited the yard. I crept up the driveway to end of Mrs. Harte’s car and looked both ways. I saw neither cars, nor pedestrians, so I went straight home. Phew, that was close.
Later that summer, two of our boys were not so lucky. My brother Terry and his friend Roger played the trick. They were stationed on M Street, east of Janey Way, near the M Street gate into Phoebe Hearst Elementary School. Terry threw the hubcap and Roger yelled. The car stopped immediately and three teenagers exited the car in a dead run after the boys. They panicked and ran into the school, not toward Janey Way and home. They ran through the gate, across the yard and into the school complex all the way back toward the administration office on Folsom Blvd. They then ran right down the last hallway headed toward the kindergarten classroom. There they jumped over the fence around the kindergarten playground, then back into the fenced hallway in front of the classroom where they hid. The teens came by the kindergarten, but did not enter the fenced area. So, after a while, Terry and Roger jumped the fence and headed home. The pair went first by O Street, then by N Street and right into the hands of the waiting teens. One of the boys hit Roger smack on the face. He fell down bleeding, his lip cut badly. Terry immediately fell to the ground, assumed the upward crab position and yelled, my father is a policeman and he is going to catch you. Hearing that, the teens ran off immediately. Terry helped Roger home where his father took him right off to the hospital emergency room.
In the meantime, Terry went home to tell my father what happened. Dad called the commander on duty at the Police Department who informed the patrol of what had occurred. Oddly enough, the police apprehended the teens that night and they were eventually ordered to pay Rogers medical expenses.
That, for all practical purposes, ended the playing of the hubcap trick by the Janey Way gang. We learned our lesson. Perhaps more productive pursuits were in order. Life went on, but the gang did not soon forget the night the hubcap trick went awry. Another, not so good, Janey Way memory.
E-mail Marty Relles at email@example.com.
Within the boundaries of the East Sacramento News are Midtown Sacramento, an up-and-coming center for economic and residential activity; the McKinley Park and Fabulous Forties neighborhoods, homes and homeowners so famous they have been featured in major Hollywood films; River Park, a welcoming community along the American River; and St. Francis High School and Sacramento State University.