Spring, summer and into fall of 2016, the City of Sacramento Preservation Commission and the Sacramento Heritage Board are promoting events to celebrate more than 40 years of historic preservation in Sacramento, and recognizing the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act.


Sacramento adopted its first historic preservation ordinance in 1974. Following the ordinance’s  enactment,  in 1975 the city’s first Preservation Board was appointed, and the not-for-profit organization, Sacramento Heritage, Inc. (SHI), was created.


Today, policies pertaining to historic and cultural resources in the city are contained in The City of Sacramento 2035 General Plan, and those policies are implemented through the historic preservation sections of the city code, notably Title 17, the Planning & Development Code, and Chapter 17.604, which establishes the role of the city’s Preservation Commission.  The city’s historic preservation program is administered by the Community Development Department, and is recognized as a Certified Local Government (CLG), in partnership with the State Office of Historic Preservation and the National Park Service (NPS).


Since 1975 Sacramento Heritage, Inc. (SHI) has evolved to administer the city’s official historic properties plaque program and has developed a series of self-guided walking tours available on the Sacramento Heritage website or through the TourBuddy application.  SHI also assists the city in the historic places grant program when funding is available.

2016 also is the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act, which set in motion the nation’s program to identify and protect resources significant in national, state and local histories.  The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 established the National Register of Historic Places and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. Federal, state and local governments, private groups and citizens use National Park Service and National Register guidelines to identify resources significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering and cultures.


To commemorate these events, Sacramento Heritage, Inc.’s Board of Directors and the City of Sacramento’s Preservation Commission organized the following events in 2016:


  • Exhibit of Sacramento’s Preservation History: A photographic exhibit highlighted Sacramento’s preservation history will be on display: at New City Hall, May through August 2016, and at McClatchy Library, November through December 2016.  


  • Celebratory Banner Display: During May 2016, banners at ten downtown locations herald the success of architectural and historic preservation in Sacramento.


  • Student Drawing Contest: SHI and the Sacramento City Unified School District sponsored student drawing contests to encourage young scholars to learn more about Sacramento’s historic places and their importance.


  • City Council Resolution: A resolution was presented by City Councilmember Steve Hansen in May in recognition of over 40 years of preservation in Sacramento.


  • Sacramento Preservation 40th Anniversary Reception:  A celebratory reception on May 21st (6 PM -8 PM), in the historic Elks Building’s RailBridge Cellars, highlighted preservation in Sacramento and recognize local preservationists, contributors and sponsors. Space at the reception is limited - early reservations are encouraged.


In partnership with Preservation Sacramento, SHI also hosted a series of casual, semi-monthly social hours at venues downtown.  Times and locations are announced on the Sacramento Heritage Facebook site at www.facebook.com/sacramentoheritage


The 2016 events in celebration of 40 years of Sacramento’s historic preservation efforts and successes were funded from private donations and sponsorships through Sacramento Heritage’s web site, and in partnership with the City of Sacramento.


“Sacramento has a great history.  The places that reflect that history are recognized and celebrated through efforts of the public to support historic preservation and the city’s historic preservation programs, including the work of the Preservation Commission and the efforts of the Sacramento Heritage Board.”  

Roberta Deering, Preservation Director, City of Sacramento



Images courtesy of Center for Sacramento History , SHI Board members, Lisa Ouellette and Rudy Calpo Photography.