Best For Last

They found dream home three blocks away

By Cecily Hastings
April 2024

For 28 years, Rudy and Janice Calpo enjoyed their Donner Way home in Curtis Park. They vowed it would be their last house.

Then along came a place too good to pass up. It was a Spanish-style beauty on Marshall Way, three blocks away, built in 1928. But it needed remodeling.

The couple brought serious chops to the project. Rudy is a retired architect. Janice is a retired historic preservation official for the state. They met when Rudy taught a community college course in perspective drawing. Janice needed the class for her master’s degree.

Three full bathrooms became two baths and a half bath. Closets were reconfigured. The front bedroom is now a study with a TV. The middle bedroom is a master. The back bedroom serves as Rudy’s studio and workshop. He’s a photographer and collector of artifacts and wine.

The couple moved in May 2020. The previous owner left furniture that was perfect, notably a wooden dining room set. But the work wasn’t done. They needed to finish the kitchen and laundry room. “And we had no hot water!” Janice says.

The home has a small basement accessible from the kitchen through a staircase topped with a large counter that lifts to enter. The space below is festive, a cacophony of lights, decorations and Rudy’s wine collection.

Now final touches are being added. There’s new kitchen floor tile in a colorful checkerboard pattern.

The exterior was updated with a coral and vintage green paint scheme, selected for historic authenticity. Exterior renovations included adding a stucco wall on the side yard. It adds privacy to a porch that overlooks the street.

The front yard is all garden beds and a dozen Zinfandel grapevines. The courtyard-style backyard still needs work but features a beautiful adobe brick fountain and entertainment space.

The kitchen is Rudy’s favorite place. Janice’s favorite is “the huge open living room that opens to the other rooms and features a tall open ceiling,” she says.

The Calpo home is featured in the Curtis Park Home & Garden Tour on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Five homes and gardens showcase the diversity of Curtis Park. Tickets are available at or the Sierra 2 office at 2791 24th St. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 on tour day. The tour is presented by the Sierra Curtis Neighborhood Association. The event features food trucks, live music, home and garden vendors, picnic tables and chairs at the north end of Curtis Park, and is open to all.

To recommend a home or garden, contact Follow us on Facebook and Instagram: @insidesacramento.

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