Historic California Posts, Camps,
Stations and Airfields
State Military Depot, Sacramento
Extract, Final Inventory and Evaluation
of National Register of Historic Places Eligibility of California
Army National Guard Armories, Sacramento District US Army Corps
of Engineers (2002)
The city of Sacramento has its origins
in John Sutter's New Helvetia land grant, which he received from
the Mexican government in 1839. Sutter's business ventures led
to the discovery of gold at Coloma in 1848. This discovery triggered
an incursion of gold miners and settlers into California. The
search for gold resulted in the founding of many communities
in the Central Valley, including Sacramento.
Located at the portal to the largest of the gold fields, Sacramento
prospered and expanded as a result of the burgeoning mining economy.
In 1854, the state capitol was established in Sacramento, which
encouraged the perception of Sacramento as a major city and further
aided in its economic growth (Gudde 1969; Hoover et al.1990).
The Central Pacific Railroad Company located its western terminus
for the transcontinental route in Sacramento and eventually connected
with the Union Pacific Railroad at Promontory Point, Utah in
1869. Other railroad routes were soon established in the Sacramento
region, including the Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, and
Sacramento Northern. Sacramento's location as a California rail
hub ensured its prominence as a transportation and shipping center.
With the decline of the Gold Rush, agricultural ventures began
to thrive in the areas surrounding Sacramento. Grain, produce,
cattle, and sheep raising were all practiced, and the opening
of the eastern markets (as a result of the transcontinental railroad)
made agriculture financially appealing. The abundant water supply
from the Sacramento and American Rivers enhanced farm operations
of all sizes. Agricultural success shared by farmers of the Sacramento
Valley continued throughout the 1900s and earned the region the
reputation of being California's breadbasket.
Military presence within the Sacramento region began in the early
stages of the twentieth century. In 1918, the Natomas Company
conveyed a large parcel of their land - which they deemed "undredgeable"-
to the Unites States Army for the establishment of what became
known as Mather Air Force Base, east of downtown Sacramento.
The second of the most notable military facilities around Sacramento
is McClellan Field, located north of Mather Air Force Base. McClellan
Field began as an Army Air Corps supply depot in 1938, and by
the end of World War II it was the largest employer in the region.
Designed in early 1942, Camp Kohler is located east of McClellan
Field and served as a staging area for troops before they were
deployed for duty in World War II.
Following the conclusion of the war, state revenues expanded
at an unprecedented rate. Much of these revenues were transferred
into the "Post War Construction Fund." Through the
construction fund, Sacramento was able to produce many new state
government and support buildings. An increase in federal coffers
allowed for the creation of the National Defense Highway System,
which in turn led to the construction of many of California's
modern freeways. While many of the military bases, including
Mather and McClellan, closed or were slated for closure beginning
in the 1970s, the highway system allowed for continued increases
in settlement and employment in the Sacramento region during
the later half of the twentieth century (Burns 1999).
The Sacramento armory at 28th and B Street is an assembly of
buildings that occupies the entire block and is set very close
to the streets. The neighborhood setting around the armory consists
of a municipal park to the west, California Department of Transportation
facilities to the north, commercial and office buildings to the
east, and residential homes to the south. Constructed in 1947,
the Sacramento armory is not consistent with one of the nine
CA ARNG standardized building plan types designed by the Office
of the California State Architect. Designed with a unique plan
(Figure 8), the Sacramento armory is essentially a combined arrangement
of warehouses, repair shops, and storage sheds that effectively
form a "U" shape, open to the north. One of the distinguishing
features of the Sacramento armory is the lack of an assembly
Located at the northeast corner of the lot is the second largest
of the three warehouses. This structure labeled "warehouse
one" is a tall, single-story, rectangular building with
an attached single-story office wing located at the southeastern
corner. The warehouse is oriented north-south, with a low-pitched
gable-end roof that is covered with composite roofing material.
Warehouse 2 is located at the southeast corner of the lot. Most
likely a later construction, warehouse two is slightly larger
than warehouse one, yet the buildings are virtually identical
in design, orientation, and material construction. The third
warehouse adjoins the southwest corner of warehouse two, and
is a linear, single-story, board-formed-concrete structure. This
building is oriented east-west, with the beam ceiling supporting
the concrete roof. This roofing structural system was designed
to support a second story that was never added. The warehouses
are filled to varying degrees with shelves, racks, office surplus,
and other general-purpose stock.
Located at the southwest corner of the lot is the original repair
shop that adjoins with warehouse three on the east. The repair
shop is a tall single-story concrete building. The shop is oriented
east-west with a medium-pitched gable-end roof that is covered
with corrugated metal sheeting.
Located along the western edge of the property is the linear,
single-story storage shed building. The storage facility is oriented
north-south, with a medium-pitched gable-end roof that is covered
with corrugated metal sheets. The walls are essentially infilled
plywood planks that are sided with horizontal flush boards and
corrugated metal (along the west elevation only) that are strapped
to concrete piers.
The interior vehicle lot that is bounded by buildings on all
sides and fenced and gated at the north is covered by asphaltic
concrete paving and was originally home to a residence and subordinate
buildings that are no longer present. The yard currently accommodates
a variety of metal storage containers, trailers, vehicles, and
miscellaneous equipment. The grounds of the armory are a thin
ribbon of lawn located along the west, south, and east courses
of the property. Several mature trees ring the property in addition
to a variety of shrubs and hedges growing closely to the buildings.
Despite some exfoliating paint, general neglect, and expected
wear, the Sacramento armory is in good overall condition.
The Sacramento armory does not meet the definition of a significant
resource type. This location essentially serves a support function
for the CA ARNG, providing storage, repair, and distribution
of non-combat-related equipment and supplies. This is not a historically
significant association within CA ARNG history and therefore
the property is not eligible under Criterion A. No historically
significant persons are known to be associated with this property
and therefore the property is not eligible under Criterion B.
The architecture in the compound is generally unremarkable -
consisting of storage buildings and shops whose architecture
minimally reflects their function - and is not eligible under
Criterion C. There is no identifiable research potential that
would assist in an understanding of the CA ARNG's history, and
therefore the property is not eligible under Criterion D.
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