Could McKinley Park earn historic designation? This committee could nominate it

Originally published by on July 25, 2018

The California State Historical Resources Commission will meet in Sacramento next month to consider nominations for federal historic designation of seven state sites, including the city’s McKinley Park.

The quarterly meeting of the state commission will take place at 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 3, in the auditorium of the State Resources Building at 1416 Ninth St. McKinley Park is being considered because of its landscape architecture, including the Fredrick N. Evans Memorial Rose Garden, according to a news release from the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

If McKinley Park is nominated and designated, it will join more than 90,000 other places on the list, which also features iconic Sacramento buildings like Memorial Auditorium.

Sites listed on the National Register of Historical Places are recognized as being significant in American history, architecture, art, archaeology, engineering and culture, according to the National Park Service, who oversees the list. Listed sites are eligible for federal protections, specific tax provisions and historic preservation.

The popular 33-acre park, located at 601 Alhambra Blvd., was originally named East Park when it opened in 1872. At the time, it was owned by the Sacramento Street Railway Company and used for streetcars.

It was purchased by the city in 1902 and annexed within city limits. The city renamed it in honor of the 25th U.S. president, William McKinley, a year after his assassination.

The park includes the Clunie Memorial Clubhouse and the Iva GardShepard Garden & Arts Center. The park also features tennis courts, picnic areas, a baseball diamond, running and walking paths, a basketball court and a playground.

Six other sites being considered for nominations are St. Helena Public Cemetery in Napa County, Thacher School Historic District in Ventura County, Martinez Grammar School Annex in Martinez, Beverly Fairfax Historic District in Los Angeles, Canterbury Apartment Hotel in Hollywood and Ramona Main Street Colonnade in San Diego County.

McKinley Park has not been without its fair share of problems, including dealing with drug users and cleanliness issues in the past.

More information on the meeting can be found at the Office of Historic Preservation website.

About Daniel Wilson

Daniel has been a writer for over 25 years and recently earned his Bachelor's degree in journalism. Portfolio:
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