Featured: West End Photograph Set
The West End was Sacramento's original downtown, dating back to the Gold Rush days when the Sacramento River was the city's main transportation route from the outside, and all commerce was therefore enacted near its banks. Names such as Mills, Brannan, and the Central Pacific Railroad's "Big Four" were all important influences in the West End's early history, and the buildings they inhabited bore historical and architectural significance. But by the mid-twentieth century the West End had become Sacramento's skid row, populated mostly by single male transients, and became slated for redevelopment. These photos are part of a series taken around 1960, documenting the West End's physical aspects before serious bulldozing began. Fortunately, a two-block strip close to the river has been preserved as Old Sacramento.
Description : Taken in 1957, this photograph shows the weathered facades of the Hub Hotel and Tavern at 224 J Street and the Lincoln Room at 226 J Street. The building housing the Hub was erected by wholesale merchant and Kentuckian Edward P. Figg after the November 1852 fire, one that destroyed 70 percent of the central city. The Lincoln Rooms building was constructed - also after the 1852 fire - by native-New York banker Darius Ogden Mills. Established in October 1849, Mills' bank was the state's first banking and exchange operation. A man stands against one of the buildings, propped up by crutches, while a sign details the upcoming redevelopment of Sacramento's urban core.
Description : This 1962 photograph captures a razed lot between J and K Streets and Third and Fourth Streets. In the distance are Dave's Men's Store at 230 K Street and the Club Cafe Tavern at 231 K Street. Beyond that, one can see the spires of the Tower Bridge at Capitol Avenue and Front Streets and the Western Hotel at 215 K Street. This block was one of the first in the West End to be razed for redevelopment. Visible are the basements of the demolished buildings, marking downtown Sacramento's original street level. In an effort to defeat endemic flooding, the city's central business district was raised by 18 feet beginning in 1863.
Description : Taken in 1960, this photograph shows several storefronts, all on the north side of K Street. They include: Jewel Craft Loans at 515 K Street, the Walnut Cafe; and Tavern at 517 K Street, the Owl Cigar Store at 519 K Street, the Palace (formerly Albion) Hotel at 519-and-a-half K Street, the Bay Hotel at 521-and-a-half K Street, and Mannie Greenberg Men's Clothing at 521 K Street. The Walnut was operated by a native of the Tuscan town of Capannori, Dominic "Nick" Barsetti. He immigrated to the United States when he was 16, coming to Sacramento in 1936. Over the next 32 years he would operate the Walnut until redevelopment efforts eclipsed his business, forcing him into retirement in 1962. He died in 1971.
Description : Resting at 912 and 914 Fifth Street is the former Van Voorhies-Phinney horse collar factory, pictured in 1960. It was built in 1909/10, producing award-winning collars at the California State Fair. The building stood well into the 1960s, and was even tabbed for conversion into a Victorian-era restaurant by the Cope brothers, Lawrence, Carl and Newton. They deferred, however, to the Chinese Family Associations in their desire to develop a new Chinatown. To the far right of the frame is a Shell gas station at 900 Fifth Street. Seen at the left is the Hotel Fox.
Description : A 1960 photograph of the offices of Tom Furukawa, a realtor (1216B Fourth Street), and Dr. James J. Kubo, optometrist (1216A Fourth Street). The area was a part of the Japanese-American neighborhood before the construction of I-5 and redevelopment.
Description : A photograph taken in 1960 of the Sacramento Bail Bond Agency or Sacramento Insurance & Bond Agency (600 I Street), Robinson Hotel (602 I Street), Sacramento Collection Service Incorporated (606 I Street, on the southeast corner), and Joe Cotton Bail Bonds (905 Sixth).
Description : Photograph, taken circa 1960, of the Morris Hotel (1007 Fourth Street), the Arch Cafe, a cafe and tavern (1115 Fourth Street), and the Capital Cafe. This building was originally the Dawson House, built in 1856 and raised after the 1862 flood, which had since had its second-floor balcony and most of its ornamentation removed.
Description : The Western Hotel (215 K Street), 223 Club (tavern) (223 K Street), Palm Loan Office (pawnbrokers) (225 K Street), Diamond Cafe (227 K Street), and the U.S. Loan Office (229 K Street) are shown in this circa 1960 photo. The Western Hotel was constructed by William Land in 1875 on the site of an 1853 structure that had burned. Interstate 5 now covers this site.
Description : This 1960 photograph shows the east side Third Street between I and J Streets; part of Sacramento's original Chinatown. Visible is the Sai Yuen Cafe at 909 Third Street.
Description : Taken about 1960, this photo shows the Golden Eagle Hotel (627 K Street) and the Grand Rapids Furniture Company (631 K Street) in an unusual angle from Merchant Street looking south along 7th. The Golden Eagle dated from the 1870s, replacing an earlier structure of the same name.
Description : Photograph, taken circa 1960, of the Hotel Del Monte (formerly the Merchants Exchange Hotel), located at 114-120 I Street. Four men sit idly on the rough steps of the old structure as someone else approaches the entrance.
Description : This photograph of the Roma Hotel at 930 Second Street, the Roma Restaurant and Tavern at 930 Second Street, and the National and Wide Awake employment agencies at 926 Second Street was taken around 1960. The corner bay window was not original to the building and has since been removed.
Description : Shown in about 1960 at the southwestern corner of J and Third Streets are the Star Cafe at 300 J Street, the Plaza Rooms, also at 300 J Street, and the Troy Hotel at 302 J Street. The turreted structure is the Nagele Building.
Description : A lonely stretch of Front Street is captured in this 1959 photograph. The buildings represent the former homes of Ace Upholstery at 1021 Front Street, the Rooney Brothers Company at 1019 Front Street, and what is identified in the 1959 City Directory as the Booth Building at 1023 Front Street. These two structures were part of the old Booth store, and have since been restored to an approximation of their original appearance.
Description : Dilapidated and vacant structures are visible along this alley, located off of Seventh Street, in this ca.1960 photograph. Writing on the back of the photograph indicates the buildings being a part of Sacramento's Japan Town.