Sacramento’s history comes with many incredible developments as it matured into a Modernized city with its new architectural and cultural landscape of individual and environmental adjustment. Likewise, the projects came with successes, challenges, and failures that helped shape Sacramento, ultimately emerging from the shadow from its surrounding neighboring cities.
In the 1930s, President Roosevelt signed the legislation that was referred to as ‘the New Deal,’ which allocated Federal funding to states to improve infrastructure and society/public programs. ( Boehm and Corey,2014 ) In Sacramento, the particular projects included the Tower Bridges, (1935), the McClellan Air Force Base, (1936) and affordable public housing (1933-present) is a few that were funded through the WPA-funded projects that benefited and enrich the Sacramento citizen then and continued to do so today.
The ‘New Deal,’ joined the Federal Government and the States in a collaboration of rebuilding the economy by combining the upgrading of America’s infrastructures with new jobs. A prime example is California’s capital and Sacramento County and beyond using the funds for essential foundations like bridges and road work.
The Tower Bridges’ central approval comes from the secretary of war to prepare for war and to accommodate different uses and needs. One being it connects the American River to Sacramento, West Sacramento in Yolo County and San Francisco, etc. The Tower Bridges acted as a gateway to California’s capital city and carried the transcontinental traffic from Sacramento to San Francisco on the railroad tracks but were removed in 1963. However, the building also had to accommodate the steady flow of vessels that used the Sacramento River for shipping.
Today the bridge serving the north area of West Sacramento and downtown Sacramento.
Krissoff and Corey (2015) shared with us that War was on the mind of many Americans during this time. Therefore, a big part of the Sacramento area’s role was for the military to assist with both urban and environmental development. With the threat of war in the 1930s, some of the WPA-funding went towards the McClellan Air Force Base. (1936) The Sacramento American military base was designed to work and maintain equipment and support the nation. In 1993, the McClellan Air Force Base was closed by the Pentagon and turned into the Aerospace Museum of California on the site. Unfortunately, the base also had some terrible circumstances and exposures that occurred because of the activities which left polluted waste that seeped into the ground affecting the drinking water. The people who live in the area were put in danger. The ETA is still dealing with today. (Katharine and Smith,2013)
The great ‘New Deal,’ attempted to deal with these severe economic challenges that had emerged in the 1930s and continue to grow in the United States when the economy collapsed into recession. Housing projects, agencies, and Social programs implemented during this time; slightly contributed to the improvement of the Sacramento housing problems. Likewise, these programs were significant, then and now, to the well-being of the poor. The Poor were the hardest hit and whose lifestyle was already deteriorated compared to the middle class, so their living conditions became even more horrendous and unsanitary.
Sacramento was no different, once the funding was past and trickled down to the States, relief for the poor came in the form of ‘scattered-site’ housing in Sacramento and its surrounding areas. (Gustafson,2018) Nonetheless, this solution was far from perfect, as in many cases, these houses were built far from design centers already established schools and convenient local markets. Isolating low-income families into concentrate areas that profoundly dehumanized slum with severe health and safety problems. Because, in many of these cases, the houses were made with the cheapest materials, far from healthy food sources, lack of proper water sources and many of these homes were developed in high industrial areas, which added to the broad issues. (Gustafson,2018) Unfortunately, even today, the poor and low-income families have a problem with obtaining assists with affordable housing in safe areas, that are correctly manage with continued maintenance to keep up to maintain a healthy and sanitary environment. So, the work to stop the lack of affordable housing, inequality, poverty, and segregation is also an ongoing fight. (Boehm and Corey, 2014)