By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Sacramento’s development boom is leading to calls to protect some existing buildings from wrecking balls.

As Sacramento’s skyline changes, Gretchen Steinberg is on a mission to keep the city’s mid-century modern architecture from being destroyed by new development.

“So it’s late modern, as you can see, it has the expanses of glass,” said Steinberg.

Gunther’s ice cream parlor is at the top of her list of buildings she was protected.

“We want to make sure that this particular building is recognized as a historic resource,” Steinberg said.

Steinberg and a team of architects have scoured Sacramento for mid-century modern structures. The style was used mostly between the 40’s and 70’s.

“It’s characterized by the use of clean, simple, geometric forms,” Steinberg said.

Mid-century modern design served as the setting for the popular TV show “Mad Men,” and lead character Don Draper’s bygone era. Now Steinberg wants to keep the buildings alive and prevent them from becoming mere memories.

“I find, to me, this architecture to be exceptionally beautiful,” Steinberg said.

There are hundreds of mid-century modern structures still standing in Sacramento today, from the downtown county courthouse, to Eichler homes.

“We’re trying to proactively identify these places so that people from future generations can continue to enjoy them,” Steinberg said.

Steinberg will be presenting the findings of her landmark study on Sacramento mid-century modernism to the city’s preservation committee later this week as the first step towards gaining landmark status.


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