Montgomery Way narrows, bends and widens with great views in all directions. South Curtis Oaks developer J.C. Carly lived on the street and planned it as a showplace of what his company could build and the environment it could create during the mid-1920s real estate boom. Carly marketing materials described Montgomery Way as “the Garden Entry to South Curtis Oaks.”
Neighbors Evelyn Fallon and Sharon and Mark Kaplan at 2640 and 2672 Montgomery Way share an interest in documenting their homes’ histories. Importantly, they also have a vision for gaining several historic designations for their houses. These include designation as a landmark on the Sacramento Register of Historic and Cultural Resources, a national landmark designation, and a State of California landmark designation. They achieved their first goal when both homes were granted Sacramento landmark status on Dec. 4, 2018.
Built in 1923, the Fallon and Kaplan houses were among the first in the South Curtis Oaks subdivision. They served as model homes for the street and subdivision. The local architectural firm of Dean and Dean designed both homes, so they share a similar perspective.
Each home is placed on the street in a way that when you look west, you get an expansive view of the widening streetscape and the park. None of this was accidental and is a key component to the design, feel of the street and the history of Curtis Park. The homes retain original features and have many unique details. Both homes have been in past Curtis Park home tours.
The homes were featured in the “Better Homes Tour of 1923,” when Sacramento residents toured new homes to view the latest in design, engineering, furnishings and appliances. The Fallon house was ranked sixth place at the national level in the “Better Homes” design competition. The tours were done nationally and led to the founding of Better Homes & Gardens magazine.
The landmark process takes dedicated effort and plenty of research work. The homeowners worked with Don Cox and Paula Boghosian of Historic Environment Consultants to research and get their project through the landmark designation process. The consultants have extensive experience doing historic surveys for cities, neighborhood groups, architects, and local government representatives.
Sacramento State University’s master’s program for historic preservation was approached. As part of a master’s program project, a student was secured to complete historic research on these houses. Research included gathering information on everything from how the house was built, its notable architectural details, historic context, and the history of ownership. Work began on this project last December and needs to be completed in May to qualify for state landmark consideration.
After the designations are on their homes, the homeowners envision that the whole of Montgomery Way may want to attain similar designation status as the street approaches its 100th anniversary. The designation of multiple houses as landmarks could ultimately lead to the street being a designated historic district. Individual streets, subdivisions or neighborhoods can gain historic district status.
Sacramento has several such historic districts. Historic designation protects and preserves historically significant architectural details from being removed from a house’s exterior. The landmark designation also can qualify a homeowner for tax benefits.