OLD SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The city held an open house Wednesday, showing off the new ideas to replace the weathered waterfront of the Old Sacramento Waterfront.

Imagine transforming a rooftop into an open-air restaurant, complete with panoramic views of the river.

“You can see very clearly the I Street Bridge, the Tower Bridge, Downtown,” said Marcia Eymann, Sacramento City Historian. “If you really are going to activate the river you have to give people a place where they can see it.”

It’s just one of the ideas being floated in an effort to bring more people to Old Sacramento. The historic district dates back to before the gold rush and is one of Sacramento’s most popular tourist attractions.

Now the city is holding a contest to generate ideas on rejuvenating the area.

READ: Kids Asked To Help Redesign Old Sacramento Waterfront

“I’d like to see more restaurants, I’d like to see less candy stores,” said MariJo Gillen.

Proposals from both professionals and the public have been submitted.

There are a few far-out proposals, including one to build a 450-foot tall stainless steel observation town on vacant land. Another suggests putting up gondolas, a Ferris wheel, and even a huge movie screen between the Tower Bridge with floating theater-style seats in the river.

Those ideas could conflict with the historic feel of the district, which is listed on the national register.

“We could jeopardize our landmark status by doing those kinds of things if they went to an extreme,” Eyemann said.

But others say something should be done to help people rediscover the river.

“I think there’s definitely ways to incorporate the old feeling of Sacramento while still making it more vibrant and new. Clearly how it is right now is not working,” said Tinn Lee.

The city of Sacramento is encouraging people to vote for their favorite idea in an online poll that runs through March 20. You can vote here. 

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