Excerpts from four decades of our neighborhood publication

1979

Douglas DeVries: “As president of SSNA and as your neighbor, I take great pride in the fact that this neighborhood now has an organization to represent it in dealing with city and school district matters affecting our daily lives, such as retention of Sierra School for community purposes.” (July)

“Sacramento did a terrible thing when they took out the electric trolleys,” says Mrs. Mathews of Fifth Avenue, who used to take the streetcar to work every day at McClellan Field in 1945, when the tracks ran up and down Fifth Avenue. (July)

1984

SCNA President Mark Helmar wrote to U.S. Rep. Robert Matsui expressing resident concerns about the termination of the post office at 2527 21st St. (October)

Sacramento Union reporter Anne Richards, a former Viewpoint staffer, still faces the possibility of jail as this issue went to press. She refused to turn her notes over to the defense in the death penalty trial of James M. MacInnes. (December)

1985

City Councilman Joe Serna will chair a citizens advisory committee that will work with city planners and the Union Pacific Railroad in designing a plan for development of the railyard. (May)

Former SCNA board president Carol Conti will be acting executive director of Sierra 2 for a few months. Her appointment by the board followed the resignation Sept. 18 of former executive director Carol Ann Reyner. (November)

1986

Community review of the proposed agreement between the City of Sacramento and the Union Pacific Railroad continues to move forward with a focus on how the agreement can be revised to protect neighborhood residents and the city from potential toxic substances hazards that may exist on the railroad acreage slated for urban re-development. (July)

1987

Councilman Joe Serna reported that a jogging track has been approved for Curtis Park. The proposed track will cost the City of Sacramento approximately $112,000, with projected completion date expected in 1988. (April)

Cable television service will be coming to Curtis Park just in time for Christmas. The monthly cost ranges between $2 and $51. Installation is another $30. The “basic” service, which offers 40 channels, can be bought monthly for $14.50. (October)

1988

The Union Pacific Railroad was allowed to remove 17,000 gallons of waste oil from a sump north of the main building area. The waste oil was transported to a waste oil recycler in Bakersfield. (March)

A number of SCNA board members expressed concerns regarding the noise, traffic, trash and vandalism that accompanied the Pink Floyd concert in Hughes Stadium. (June)

1989

Curtis Park home prices are some of the fastest rising in the Sacramento area real estate market. A home on Ninth Avenue purchased 2 ½ years ago for $80,000 sold recently for $120,000. (June)

Sierra 2 Executive Director Carol Conti moves on this month to a similar position at the YWCA at 17th and L streets. (June

1990

SCNA endorsed the closure of Sixth and Seventh avenues between East Curtis Drive and West Curtis Drive in response to increasing levels of drug and gang activity. (February)

The owner of La Scala Café at Sierra 2 has given notice of intent to sell or close the business by June 30. (April)

SCNA will renovate Curtis Hall, the old Sierra School cafeteria. The total cost is estimated at $250,000. (May)

1991

Railyard excavation brings new findings: more asbestos still remains in subsurface. (February)

New carpet, padded seats, air conditioning and a sound monitor system are being installed in the 24th Street Theatre. (April)

The Union Pacific Foundation grants $5,000 to SCNA to help in renovating Curtis Hall and Courtyard. (May)

Figaro’s Courtyard Café is now open at the former location of La Scala in the Sierra 2 Center. (October)

SCNA’s first Wine Tasting fundraiser, “Sample the Sierras,” was a success. More than 300 people attended, raising $3,000. (November/December)

1992

Sierra 2 Center and 24th Street Theatre have been tagged with graffiti in 13 places. (April)

The closure without warning of First Step daycare has stunned parents, who are scrambling to find other arrangements. (October)

1993

Two new cafes are about to open at Second Avenue and 24th Street: New Helvetia South and Café Milagros. (July)

Daily Grind coffee boutique will open in Sierra 2 in space vacated by Figaro’s Courtyard Café. (August)

1994

The Sacramento City Unified School District is considering the sale of Sierra 2, which could bring $1.5 million to the district. It is one of four sites considered to help pay for a new administration building at 520 Capitol Mall. Sierra 2 costs the district $20,000 a year to maintain. (February)

Debate continues on the location of Curtis Park playground site. A meeting discussed plans and need: the 1990 Census shows 760 kids under 13 live in Curtis Park, an increase of 35% since the 1980 Census. (September)

1995

A March 10 windstorm knocked down a huge elm tree in Curtis Park – probably more than 100 feet tall. (April)

Rosalie Asher has lived since 1927 in the home her father built at 26th Street and Third Avenue. She remembers the potbelly stove that warmed the old two story Highland Park School across 24th Street from Sierra School. (October)

1996

The playground project receives $65,000 from city bond measure; neighbors have raised $15,000 to date. (May)

A Montgomery Way heritage oak tree, thought to be the oldest oak in Sacramento, is cut down because of extensive root damage. (October)

The Bret Harte School pancake breakfast raises $6,000 for library and classroom supplies; 1,600 attended. (November)

1997

Leita Carley Cutter dies at age 99. Her late husband, Curtis H. Cutter, joined with her father, James C. Carley, to subdivide and develop Curtis Park. (March)

Neighbors have turned a vacant lot into a community organic vegetable garden at 2872 Marshall Way. (June)

1998

RT shares plans for a new light-rail station at Freeport Boulevard and 21st Street to be in operation in 2003.

Union Pacific Railroad refuses to clean up the majority of railyard contamination. UP wants city approval to build condos on soil so polluted that homeowners would be prohibited from gardening. (December)

1999

Neighbor Genevieve Shiroma is sworn in as a member of the SMUD board. (February)

The city removed a Fourth Avenue tree infected with Dutch elm disease, the first discovered in the neighborhood since 1992. (July)

Another infected tree on 11th Avenue was removed. (September)

The Switchin’ Yard benefit concert netted $4,500. Maria Muldaur headlined the July 17 concert to benefit efforts to monitor railyard development and fund potential legal action. (September)

2000

RT progresses toward a new Fourth Avenue light-rail station. The tracks, which are being laid from Meadowview north, are expected to reach Fourth Avenue within a couple months. The line is scheduled to open September 2003. (May)

Dog owners, known as the Sierra Curtis Dogxilliary, appeared at the SCNA board meeting to request an expansion of hours for dogs to be exercised at the Sierra 2 Green to 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. (October)

2001

Curtis Park will be part of the first inventory of historic buildings outside the central city. The city approved a second staff position for the inventory project and authorized funding for a survey of neighborhoods with historic buildings, including Curtis Park and Oak Park. (September)

‘Juggling Joe’ is back on top after a short break. Gunther’s owners Rick and Marlena Klopp watch as the sign is secured in place after renovation in October. Marlena says, “After 8 years, the neon had to be reblown and the wiring fine-tuned to perfect the movement of flying ice cream scoops.” (November/December)

2002

After 26 years in hiding, the Sierra School sign made a surprise reappearance at the SCNA general meeting. Trey Bonetti learned of the sign’s existence at the most recent reunion of Sierra School graduates. He donated $200 toward the sign’s restoration. (December)

2003

PG&E crews are installing new gas lines in Curtis Park. The goal is to phase out all cast iron and pre-1931 steel distribution mains. (March/April)

The Union Pacific railyard was sold in March to developer Paul Petrovich. (June)

Light rail is up and running. (November)

2004

The application by Petrovich Development Co. to develop the 72-acre railyard was submitted to the city June 1. The proposal calls for 230 single-family homes, 310 multi-family residences, five acres of mixed-use development and an acre of commercial development. A 6-acre park would serve as a storm water retention basin. (July)

2005

Old streetlights in Curtis Park are getting a makeover. The lamp bases will be sandblasted, painted and installed on poles with new wiring and 120-watt photovoltaic bulbs that turn themselves on and off. (March)

Following the death of Roz Colleti of 26th Street, an avid participant and supporter of the Senior Center, $1,500 in donations in her memory were received. (March)

2006

Sierra 2 staff member Nathan Cordero found a Native American mortar under the 24th Street Theatre. The discovery may be a 1,000- to 3,000-year-old relic. It was donated to Sacramento State University’s anthropology department for further study. (May)

2007

Curtis Oaks celebrates the 100th anniversary of the first electric streetcar subdivision with the Curtis name. It included the area bounded by Portola Way, Donner Way, 24th Street and Franklin Boulevard. (March)

A project is approved to convert Freeport Boulevard and 21st Street to two-way traffic across the railroad and light-rail tracks at Fourth Avenue and 21st Street. (June)

2008

January storms tear into Curtis Park. Fifth Avenue (near 26th Street) home was crushed by two fallen elm trees. The home was so torn by the trees that the city declared it uninhabitable. The owners were forced to find another place to live until repairs can be made. (February)

Developer Paul Petrovich has removed multi-family housing from the plans for Curtis Park Village. He says that including multi-family housing would increase his project costs significantly because he would have to build more affordable housing units. (June)

2009

The SCNA board selected Terri Shettle to be executive director of the Sierra 2 Center. (September)

On Dec. 6, 1909, the tract map was recorded for the West Curtis Oaks subdivision. The 100th anniversary of West Curtis Oaks will be marked next year in support of the Home and Garden Tour with a walking tour map and other historic activities. (December)

2010

The 70th anniversary of Gunther’s Ice Cream sparks sweet memories and a street celebration. The first employee, Marjorie Schnaible, 92, says, “I still think the shop serves the best ice cream.” (May)

College Cyclery celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. (June)

2011

The Curtis Hall renovation is nearly done. By mid-January, the project was on schedule for reopening Feb. 4. However, the bathrooms are not expected to be functional until Feb. 18. (February)

The city will begin replacing nearly 100-year-old water mains and installing water meters at the south end of the neighborhood in 2012. (December)

2012

Novelist Eva Rutland, who lived in Curtis Park since 1952, died March 15 at age 95. Daughter Ginger Rutland lives on Donner Way. (April)

Gregg Servis of Seventh Avenue found two dead crows in his yard. When Mosquito and Vector Control tested the birds, both were infected with West Nile Virus. (July)

2013

Looking south towards City College

Construction activity has increased in the Curtis Park Village development, including laying the foundation for Crocker Drive, which will connect the residential area with the commercial area. (November)

2014

BlackPine Communities started construction on new homes adjacent to Curtis Park Village the first week of August. Slab foundations were poured on 12 “cottages” along 24th Street south of 10th Avenue. (September)

2015

In mid-June, the city Planning Commission approved Paul Petrovich’s application for a conditional use permit for a 16-pump gas station in the Curtis Park Village commercial center. (July/August)

Nov. 17, City Council devoted more than four hours to the gas station proposal before voting 7-2 to reject it. (December)

2016

The new senior housing complex in Crocker Village is expected to open April 1 with every apartment taken. More than 200 applications were received for the 90 one- and two bedroom units. (February)

The resurfacing of Curtis Park’s streets has been in progress since mid-October. Delays were caused by heavy rain in October. Temporary measures have been taken until work can resume. (December)

2017

You can still sponsor a seat at the Theater!

Long awaited renovations on the 24th Street Theatre continue. First up is replacement of the roof at a cost of $25,000 to $27,000. New seats are expected to cost $85,000, with $40,000 of that from a matching grant. (November)

2018

Crime in Curtis Park has decreased by as much as 50 percent in some categories over the last six years. Robbery, burglary, larceny and drug crimes are all down significantly from 2012 levels. (March)

The state has declared a fresh-produce quarantine for a 123-square-mile area including Curtis Park following the discovery of 15 Oriental fruit flies in the Lemon Hill community in August. (October)

2019

At the membership meeting, Executive Director Terri Shettle announced the Sierra 2 Center and SCNA are financially strong. The meeting was postponed to Jan. 15 because of poor air quality from the Camp Fire in November. (February)

The aisles of the new Safeway store in Crocker Village are named after a number of Curtis Park streets, including Donner Way, Marshall Way, Portola Way and even Moo Alley. The store’s opening ceremony was March 5. (April)

Written by Heather for Sierra 2 and posted on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

Categorized: Area Businesses, Blog, Crocker Village, Homes, Neighborhood News, Neighborhood Preservation and History, Sierra 2, Trees, ViewpointTagged: