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Sacramento County Historical Society Presents:
Sacramento's Underground, a presentation by Heather Downey
Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: 5380 Elvas Avenue (Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society Building), Sacramento
All Ages--Open to the Public
Before the long-anticipated Underground Tours kick off this summer in Old Sacramento, SCHS will host a talk about the origins and significance of the city’s underground sidewalks and raised streets.
Sacramento is the only city in California with raised streets and the lingering architectural features known as the “underground.” On the surface, the raising of Sacramento’s business district offers accounts of mishap, controversy and, of course, the pioneer-entrepreneurial spirit that has come to define the early history of not only the city, but the Western United States in general. Additionally, the history of this construction project illuminates the opinions and experiences that characterized the first and second generation of Sacramento citizenry while underscoring the one thing they had in common: the desire to ensure that their city remained economically and politically viable. Such an interpretation of Sacramento’s “underground” opens doors to enrich and expand Old Sacramento visitors' understanding of the city’s history, while also connecting that past to larger trends in American Western and urban history.
This month’s speaker, Heather Downey, is a graduate of Sacramento State’s Public History program. She is the subject matter expert for Sacramento’s forthcoming Underground Tours, and has designed two interpretive displays describing floods and street raisings in Sacramento.The underground sidewalks, and the interpretive plan for the tour, are the subject of her Master’s thesis.
For more information about the upcoming underground tours, visit the Sacramento History Museum website:
For more information about the Sacramento County Historical Society, visit the SCHS website:
Disclosure: William Burg is vice-president of the Sacramento County Historical Society.