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On Sunday, September 16, 2012, SOCA will hold its 37th annual Historic Home Tour, featuring seven beautiful homes in the Poverty Ridge neighborhood. This year’s tour includes the McClatchy House (now known as the Ella K. McClatchy Library) designed by Rudolph Herold, the Roan-Didion House (briefly the residence of Sacramento author Joan Didion) designed by Seadler & Hoen, and a new infill residence at Tapestri Square, designed by Craig Hausman, plus four more historic homes. Docents will guide visitors through the interior of each house. Tickets are on sale now via http://socahometour.brownpapertickets.com
According to local legend, “Poverty Ridge” got its name during the 1850s when residents living near the waterfront ran up the ridge to escape Sacramento’s frequent floods. In the late 19th and early 20th century, Poverty Ridge became an affluent neighborhood, home to Buffalo Brewery founder Herman Grau, Sacramento mayor and real estate developer Dan Carmichael, and Sacramento Bee editor Charles K. McClatchy. Some attempted to rebrand the neighborhood as “Sutter’s Terrace,” but the name never stuck.
The Roan-Didion House was owned by the family of Joan Didion, whose family in Sacramento went back to the pioneer era. This home was briefly Joan's residence while she was a teenager, staying with her aunt to attend high school, because her family had moved to a new home on Fair Oaks Boulevard inconveniently far from school. Didion also lived in another Poverty Ridge home around the corner. She left Sacramento after high school, but wrote about life in Sacramento in essays and fiction. The Roan-Didion house is also significant as the work of local architecture firm Seadler & Hoen, advocates of the Prairie School of architecture and designers of other dramatic Sacramento buildings in neighborhoods like Boulevard Park. The home was recently purchased and given a "green rehab" by local architect Matt Piner.
The McClatchy Library was originally designed by Rudolph Herold (architect of Sacramento's historic city hall, Masonic temple, Capitol National Bank and Hall of Justice) as a home for Sacramento Bee publisher Charles McClatchy and his wife Ella In 1940, the home was given to the Sacramento Public Library as children's library. The upstairs level is normally not open to the public, but docents from the Friends of the McClatchy Library nonprofit will guide visitors through the whole house.
Infill projects are increasingly important in urban neighborhoods, and in Poverty Ridge, Tapestri Square is the largest example. Located on the site of a Poverty Ridge estate demolished in the mid-20th century for an office building, construction of these detached row houses halted briefly after the collapse of the housing bubble, but is once again underway. Designed by Sacramento architect Craig Hausman, the homes come in three different sizes. Other examples of urban infill in Poverty Ridge and nearby Newton Booth neighborhoods include Craftsman at 20th and S and 2500 R Midtown, who will be represented at the street fair but not on the tour.
The home tour will also feature a street fair on 22nd Street between U and V Street, featuring local contractors and artisans specializing in historic home rehab and remodeling, history organizations, and local artists and businesses, plus gourmet popsicles by Popcycle. Starting at 11 AM, The Freebadge Serenaders, Autumn Sky, Parie Wood and Garage Jazz Architects will perform live in front of the McClatchy Library. The street fair is open to the public; no admission is required.
Many homes in the Newton Booth, Poverty Ridge and Alhambra Triangle neighborhoods (bounded by R Street, 19th Street and Highway 50) will feature homemade signs detailing neighborhood history, part of the “If This House Could Talk” project: http://ifthishousecouldtalk.wordpress.com has more information.
The tour costs $25 on the day of the event, from the ticket booth at 22nd and V Street, or $20 in advance via Brown Paper Tickets, or from the following retailers: The Avid Reader, 1600 Broadway; Collected Works, 1019 L Street; 57th Street Antique Mall, 875 57th Street; and Time Tested Books, 1114 21st Street.
Sacramento Old City Association (SOCA) was founded in 1972 as a historic preservation and urban planning organization, dedicated to the livability of Sacramento’s historic neighborhoods. For more information, contact SOCA at (916) 202-4815 or visit www.sacoldcity.org.
SOCA 2012 Historic Home Tour
Sunday September 16, 2012, 10 AM—4 PM
Sacramento’s Poverty Ridge Neighborhood, 22nd and U Street