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Should Historic Carmichael Sites Be Protected?

Report: These buildings are eligible for the California Register of Historical Resources.

Sheila Fasig can't picture a Carmichael without her family's towing business, and Sacramento County officials hope she won't have to.

, which has stood on Fair Oaks Boulevard since the 1950s, is listed by a document as a "historic architectural resource."

"It's been in my family my whole life," Fasig said. She said her family took over around 1965, and noted the location once housed a Studebaker dealership. Her father ran the towing company until his death in 1987 and the business currently has around 18 employees.

Carmichael Towing and five other buildings in the area of the corridor plan should be preserved and included on the California Register of Historical Resources, according to the plan's draft environmental impact report.

, which seeks to create a pedestrian-friendly "main street" feel for Fair Oaks Boulevard and surrounding areas, won't impact any of the five buildings, but it would require extra analysis and documentation by a historian if any of them are to be torn down.

The other historic buildings identified, which all must be more than 50 years old and meet other criteria, include , and .

Carmichael Elementary School started out around 1916 as a one-room schoolhouse that had been relocated there, spokesman Trent Allen said.

"That one-room building was almost immediately too small and in 1917 a bond was passed to build a new two-room schoolhouse," Allen said in an email. He said the school has received multiple upgrades and renovations and has some facilities that date back at least to the early 1940s.

Also appearing on the Sacramento County list is a World War II-era Quonset hut, a military metal building on Wayside Lane.

"Converted Quonset huts in the Sacramento region that still remain in use are uncommon," the corridor plan's environmental document states. "While once a commonly-occurring architectural style in the county, the converted Quonset hut is disappearing in the region."

According to Sacramento County records, the building hasn't been used by a business since 2006, when it briefly housing a towing company.

Below are the six buildings identified as historic. Carmichael, what do you think about these places? Do they deserve protection because they're more than 50 years old? Should they be important landmarks in the Fair Oaks Corridor Plan? Tell us in the comments.

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, 2531 Carmichael Way

What the county has to say: "The 1959 City Directory notes these units were under construction at that time. In 1964 they are listed as the Springer Apartments (Sacramento City Directory Company 1957,1964). Unlike other apartment complexes built during this period in Carmichael, these four units reflect careful design and layout."

, 6201 Fair Oaks Blvd.

What the county has to say: "Sierra View Funeral Chapel, the flower shop and garage were built in 1954 and was established as a family-owned enterprise. It remains owned and operated by the same family, who live in the community. The establishment of the funeral home by a local family resulted in a community-based venue for the care of the deceased. The importance of the business to Carmichael is illustrated by the majestic entry, the set- back from the main street (Fair Oaks Boulevard) and beautifully landscaped grounds. It is also the only crematory in Carmichael, providing a vital service to the community."

, 5645 Marconi Ave.

What the county has to say: "Carmichael Presbyterian Church (CPC) was established in 1923 as a small, rural community church. After meeting in rented halls, the group managed to construct a small wood-frame church structure near the present Sanctuary structure. After struggling through the Great Depression, the church began to experience growth during World War II with the expansion of Mather and McClellan Air Force bases. With new members, the church was able to start planning expansions starting in the early 1940s and bought land for expansion in 1941 (CPC 1998:27, 77)."

, 7344 Fair Oaks Blvd.

What the county has to say: "The address is listed in the Sacramento City directories as a commercial business occupied by Carmichael Garage in 1957, 1959 and 1964 (Sacramento City Directory Company 1957, 1959, 1964). The commercial structure was designed in a Contemporary style, a type favored by architects from 1950 to about 1970. Original Contemporary elements, such as varying roof line, wood texture on the façade, and even the signage are rare in Carmichael, primarily due to the extensive modifications made to the majority of commercial structures in the area. This example is a good representation of this style of 1950s architecture."

, 6141 Sutter Ave

What the county has to say: "This compound includes a 1939 school house (Building 1 constructed by Federal Emergency Administration, a post-World War II kindergarten structure (Building 3), a large 1954 school building (Building 2) with multiple wings, administration offices and a multipurpose room and a counseling center (Building 5). Building 4 is modern. The first school on this site was constructed in 1917 and sat on the east side of the parcel. This structure could possibly be integrated into the complex of structures that constitutes the counseling center."

Quonset Hut, 3927 Wayside Ln.

What the county has to say: "Quonset huts were designed during World War II by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers as portable, multi-purpose buildings that could be erected quickly and moved from site to site. Following World War II, surplus huts were sold to the general public and converted to residential, commercial and/or industrial use. They provided basic, affordable shelter for owners not concerned with stylistic design or detailing. It has become recognized as a unique American architectural phenomenon. This Quonset hut was in place at this location by 1957."

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Moka Mark Davis November 21, 2011 at 11:30 PM
I don't think that Just because it's 50 years old it should always be preserved. However, if the property is of architectural interest, was owned by a well known Carmichael family, or has something unique about like, like a well known architect, then we should always do everything we can to preserve our history, especially in Carmichael where it seems we have so few historical buildings left.Who within the county makes those decisions? I have a property that dates back to 100 years ago, which I hope will be preserved for generations to come.
Felicia Leis November 22, 2011 at 10:09 PM
The Carmichael School PTA back in the 1970's held a ceramony, and placed a rock with a plaque, located at the front of the school, because their efforts to beautify the school were noted in a book by Ladybird Johnson called"American the Beautiful" which is at the Carmichael Library and YES! it is part of our history!

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