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Old Sacramento Garage: Dry Rot Shack Or Historic Building?

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

The planks at the base of the Mannix Barn on the Matsui Alley are pulling away from the cross beams due to age and dry rot.

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

UPDATE: June 10, 10 a.m.:  The Sacramento City Council voted Thursday against listing a 100-year-old Midtown barn on the Sacramento Register of Historic & Cultural Resources.

If the council had approved the request, the Preservation Commission would have been able to assess whether the barn could be rehabilitated.

The owner of the property had submitted plans to tear down the structure and build a Victorian-style apartment with garage.
The Preservation Commission reviews any project that involves a building built more than 50 years ago.


Original story: June 9, 12 a.m.


A Sacramento man would like to tear down a barn in Midtown that was built at least 100 years ago and requires extensive repairs.


But, if the City Council decides Thursday to list the barn on the Sacramento Register of Historic & Cultural Resources, the barn would be protected...at least temporarily.


Roberta Deering is the Preservation Director with the City and says the structure was first used as a barn and then as a garage.


0608 16 bm mannix support

 Support structure for the Mannix Barn is missing in parts and shored up with scrap lumber in others. Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio



"That transition from horse and carriage days to automobile days -it's an archetypal example of the transition."


Jim Craig wants to build a Victorian-style apartment with garage in place of the barn. He says the barn is beyond repair.


"It's one of those projects you can't just do a little bit. Once you get into it, everything is gonna lead to another requirement. Notice the knob and tube wiring?"


0608 16 mannix jim craig

Jim Craig owns the barn and house on a lot between Capitol Ave. and Matsui Alley. He and the city say the barn is in a state of disrepair. Craig would like to demolish it. The city is trying to give itself time to review the barn's historical value.  Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio


If the city council lists the barn as historic, Craig could apply again to demolish it.


The Preservation Commission would then review the feasibility of rehabilitating the building, something it can't do without a historic designation.


The commission would assess the feasibility, cost, and possible re-use of the barn and would vote. If the commission were to approve demolition, the proposal would then go to the city council.


0608 16 bm mannix corner hay

The Mannix Barn was built between 1901 and 1916 by Dennis Mannix, a noted plasterer who worked on City Hall, according to the City.  Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio News


Under city code, Deering may review any request to destroy a building older than 50 years.


She says she reviews about 100 projects each year involving alterations to historic properties. She says some buildings on the list have been destroyed at the owners' requests.


The Victorian home and the barn were built by master plasterer Dennis Mannix.


Deering says there are perhaps five such barns left in the city.


Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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