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 hall.

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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Updated 8 February 2016