Building Our Future
Blight to Bright Finally, there’s hope for 11th and J By Gary Delsohn February 2020If the cliché is true that the most important characteristics of a successful real estate project are location, location, location, one has to wonder how the block around 11th and J...
It’s hard to imagine anyone better equipped to represent the interests of Sacramento bicyclists than Debra Banks. As interim director of SABA, Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, Banks rides everywhere on one of her several dozen bikes.
She commutes to work, has ridden up and down California and around the world in long-distance 1,200-kilometer grinds where participants have 90 hours to finish, including the legendary Paris-Brest-Paris twice.
Mark Friedman was showing a visitor around The Foundry, his latest apartment project in West Sacramento, when he paused to check something that had been bugging him.
An outer hallway connecting different wings of the three-story building were painted orange, which seemed like a good idea at the outset. But now Friedman was having second thoughts: too much orange. He was pleased to see workers already covering it up with a less garish coat of gray paint.
This dates me, but when I was The Sacramento Bee’s urban affairs writer in the early 1990s, the newspaper sent me to Indianapolis, Boston, Portland, St. Louis and Toronto to report on how those cities transformed once-busy downtown railyards into new attractions, housing, jobs and broader tax bases.
Darrell Steinberg isn’t from Chicago, which is known around the world for its inspiring skyline and lakefront. Nor, as he reminds people, is he “a design guy or an architect.”
But the Sacramento mayor instinctively understands the iconic words of Chicago’s great urban planner of the early 1900s, Daniel Burnham, whose Progressive Era blueprint for downtown continues to provide the Windy City with its defining form and spirit.
The Tsakopoulos name is prominent on some admired Downtown landmarks, with good reason. A gift from Angelo Tsakopoulos in his wife’s honor closed a financing gap at The Sofia B Street Theatre complex on Capitol Avenue. Not far away, he helped fund the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria on I Street.
But another member of the family, Angelo’s nephew Sotiris Kolokotronis, who freely admits he moved from his native Greece to Sacramento because the California capital seemed like a good place to make money, has had more to do with shaping Downtown’s renaissance than just about anyone.