Sacramento is known for its diverse and unique architecture. There are plenty of beautiful old buildings dating all the way back to the city’s formation in the mid-1800s. As some of these buildings have aged over the years, the time has come for them to give way to new projects. Fortunately, many have transformed into modern cultural hubs that are just as unique as their predecessors. Here are a few of our favorites.


Warehouse Artist Lofts

Then: The historic Lawrence warehouse built in 1914 in the hub of Sacramento’s bustling first commercial railway


Image courtesy of


Now: The Warehouse Artist Lofts (WAL) is a mixed-use development in the heart of the R Street Corridor. The lofts are some of the most sought after apartments in all the city because of their price, location, and source of Sacramento culture. As the name implies, they were designed with artists in mind, and are accordingly priced at what is considered “affordable housing.” The relatively low cost and collaborative building design allow creativity to thrive. Local art is displayed throughout the building, and the apartments are located above the WAL Public Market – a collection of unique shops and eateries on the ground floor.


Ice Blocks

Then: Crystal Ice and Cold Storage, a structure built in the early 1920’s to produce and store ice


Image courtesy of Heller Pacific


Now: Continuing the expansion of Sacramento’s R Street Corridor, the Ice Blocks will be an urban, sustainable development home to retail, office space, and residencies. It will consist of three blocks – the “Ice Shops,” (retail, office space, and parking), the “Ice House,” (retail), and the “Ice Shed,” (shed style buildings open to concerts, private events, and even bocce ball). The developers intend to build on and uphold Sacramento’s Midtown culture in hopes of drawing more businesses and visitors to the community. Their goal is to “blur the lines between public and private space.”


The Bank 

Then: Historic D.O. Mills Bank Building, built in 1912 and named after one of California’s Gold Rush banking pioneers


Image courtesy of Buddy Rogers via Panoramio


Now: Simply and appropriately titled, “The Bank,” will surely become of Sacramento’s premier drinking and dining establishments. The building has undergone various changes since being built including government office space, other banks, vacancy, and since 1993, a private headquarters for Sacramento businessman, James Cameron Jr. Cameron is now financing the transformation of the building into a culinary establishment featuring the best of local chefs and local beers. There will be room for up to a dozen eateries and kiosks, as well as a 33-foot long bar on the ground floor alone. It’s estimated to open later this year.