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Mansion Flats Home Tour

On Sunday, September 15, Sacramento Old City Association presents its 38th annual Historic Home Tour in the Manison Flats neighborhood. Each year, SOCA showcases a central city neighborhood, giving visitors a rare look inside beautiful historic homes and the latest infill developments. This year, Mansion Flats (between 12th & 16th Street north of H Street) is the focus of the Home Tour, showing off houses ranging from the 1880s to the late 2000s. Tickets are available at soca2013hometour.brownpapertickets.com

The featured homes on the tour includes the Historic Governor’s Mansion, originally built for Huntington-Hopkins Hardware manager Albert Gallatin, featuring the newly remodeled Manison’s third floor (never before open for public tours!) and the Hale Mansion, built for the manager of the Sacramento branch of Hale’s Department Store and son of its founder, now known as the Sterling Hotel and Restaurant Thir13en. But this tour isn’t jus about the mansions of the wealthy. A pair of 1890s Queen Anne homes , one built for a Southern Pacific boilermaker, the house restored by legendary Sacramento housewright Roger Lathe, and another built for a Union Iron Works pattern maker, the house most widely known as the "Dorothea Puente House," are also on the tour. The current owners of the Puente house were aware of the home’s reputation when they bought it, but have converted it back to a beautiful family home, decorated with their own unique ceramic tile decorations. The fifth home on the tour is a modern infill house constructed in 2008 as part of the C Street Lofts, combining the latest in "green" house building technology with a traditional approach to urban housing that calls back to the neighborhood’s heyday. In addition to the five "inside" tours, the Home Tour brochure includes a neighborhood walking tour with the stories of sixteen Mansion Flats buildings of interest, from 1860s Italianates to 1960s International Style. All the homes on the tour are within a four-block radius, making the entire tour easy to explore on foot.

Mansion Flats, also known as the Washington Neighborhood for the old Washington School that once was located on 13th Street, grew up along Sacramento’s first streetcar line in the 1870s, on H Street. H Street became known as Merchant’s Row, where families like the Ruhstallers, Hales and Gallatins made their homes. To the north, employees of the Southern Pacific Shops and other industrial workers built smaller but beautifully decorated homes. Over time the neighborhood changed roles but remained a strong community, becoming the home base for Sacramento’s legendary Chicano arts/muralism collective the Royal Chicano Air Force. In recent years, new businesses have opened up in the neighborhood, revitalizing old buildings and accompanied by modern infill homes on formerly vacant lots.

This year’s Home Tour includes a street fair in the parking lot of the Clarion Mansion Inn, across the street from the Governor’s Mansion on 16th and H Street. Tickets can be purchased the day of the event at the Street Fair for $30. The tour is self-guided: participants receive a wristband and guidebook that shows them where the houses are, and can visit them in whatever order they choose, at their own pace, starting at 10 AM and ending at 4 PM. Participants in the street fair include Sacramento Modern, Sacramento Art Deco Society, Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op, American Institute of Architects (Central Valley Chapter), the Center for Sacramento History, Midtown Business Association, contractors like the Old Window Housewright and Upton’s Millwork Services, artists and crafters including Jim Ford, Matrix Arts, Carolyn Hess, Missy Mark, Nick Roberts, Lisa DeFehr, and Sugar Skull Art, and local businesses like NACHEEZ!

Mama Kim’s food truck will be on site at the street fair for the hungry. Live music will be performed by Billy Patton and INSTAGON.

Street parking in downtown Sacramento is free on Sundays, except for directly around the Music Circus. Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates (SABA) will provide valet bicycle parking for those who arrive on bikes.

SOCA Historic Home Tour

Sunday, September 15, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM

Ticket booth at northwest corner of 16th & H Street, Clarion Mansion Inn.

Tickets $30 day of tour, $25 in advance ($20 in advance for SOCA members) at soca2013hometour.brownpapertickets.com

For more information about the tour, contact SOCA at info@sacoldcity.org or call (916) 202-4815

Started in 1975, the SOCA Home Tour was created to showcase historic homes in neglected central city neighborhoods. Members showed off their home-repair projects and shared techniques, tools and advice. As these neighborhoods became the region’s favorite destination for culture and entertainment, the home tour has grown into a celebration of central city life, including art, culture, business, entertainment, history, downtown living, and the irreplaceable beauty of Sacramento’s historic neighborhoods. The tour is also a fundraiser that helps SOCA carry out its mission to preserve and enhance a high quality of life for Central City residents, businesses, working people and visitors. A portion of the proceeds also benefits the California State Historic Governor’s Mansion Foundation.


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