Old West Meets Modern Hospital
When the new Anderson Lucchetti Women’s and Children’s Center opens, it will make history as one of the most advanced and comprehensive hospitals for the care of mothers, babies and kids in the nation. And right next door is a piece of Sacramento history honored by our nation.
The Old Tavern, which Sutter Health has owned since 1967, has been part of Sacramento’s history for 165 years and is on the National Register of Historic Buildings. A mixture of architectural styles prevalent in Sacramento construction in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Old Tavern is separated only by a driveway from the strikingly modern Women’s and Children’s Center.
“It is unusual that such an early Sacramento commercial building should have escaped the fate of its neighbors,” reads the Old Tavern’s nomination application to the National Register of Historic Places. “Almost alone among Sacramento’s architectural resources, the Old Tavern has persevered for more than 100 years, serving to reflect the prevailing commercial needs of the city.”
The original structure that was built on the Old Tavern site at 28th Street and Capitol Avenue was a simple warehouse and distillery for Sutter’s Fort that dates to 1849 or 1850. By the 1870s, a two-story brick building was built on the site and ran as the Sacramento Brewery, which closed in 1917. In the 1920s, the building was remodeled into an apartment house. The builder retained the brick first floor and constructed on top of it a stucco-and-timber English Revival addition with steep roofs. From 1935-1967, it operated as a tavern and bar, and since its purchase Sutter has used it for offices and storage, with a restaurant, which is now Biba, taking up half of the first floor. The original brick is exposed in several locations on the first floor.
Today, the Old Tavern is home to several important Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento offices, including the Sutter Institute for Medical Research, SMCS Human Resources, Integrated Quality Services, the Master Site team and others.
The National Register of Historic Buildings nomination of the Old Tavern is on the Internet, along with photos showing its unusual architecture. The nomination is at http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/83001225.pdf and the photos are at http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/83001225.pdf.
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