They paved paradise

Sacramento Then and Now

If you're already a fan of the awesome Vintage Sacramento page on Facebook (, then the next obvious step down local memory lane is a trip through to the equally great Sacramento Then and Now blog, run by Sacramento real-estate agent Scott Williams.

Here, images of the city old and new shed historical perspective on the city's downtown and Midtown neighborhoods. By juxtaposing old black-and-white photos, postcards and city maps against modern snapshots, Sacramento's ever-shifting history is laid out in fascinating detail. What was once a stately 1900s-era residential home at 16th and K streets, for example, now sits as a decidedly less elegant rental-car lot. Or take the bright, promotional postcard for the bygone 1950s-era El Mirador Hotel (self-touted for its “Completely Air-conditioned” amenities)—now a senior living facility at 13th and N streets. And then there's the current parking lot at 13 and P streets which, as a photograph from 1894 reveals, was once home to a towering, three-story Victorian. Today, as Williams' sleuthing reveals, all that apparently remains is the concrete base of the home's original fence.

The only complaint about this blog, in fact, is that it serves as too stark of a reminder of just how many gorgeous old structures have given way to places to park all our newfangled motor vehicles. Somewhere in all of this there's a Joni Mitchell song, right?