Alkali Flat Treasure- Bill Burg Alert!

Posted on March 31, 2009 – 11:24 PM | by OldManFoster
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I was driving down E Street yesterday when I saw something that stopped me in my tracks– literally. Cars honked and drove around me as I sat wide-eyed in the middle of the road, staring at the mural that had been exposed when the tar paper siding was pulled off this old market. I pulled over to get a better look and grabbed some quick photos.  
Sacramento used to have quite a few of these old murals Downtown, but they’re getting pretty rare at this point.   The last one I saw unearthed was a much more recent vintage- the ’50s Capitol Speed Shop mural that appeared when the plastic Tower Video sign came down at 16th and Broadway when Records relocated there.  I hurried back with my camera a day later, but was too late- Capitol Speed Shop was buried under a coat of flat paint.
The first time I ever saw one of these murals unearthed was when I lived in Oak Park.  A fire had destroyed a building a block from my house, and when it was torn down, an amazing 3 story tall Wrigleys Spearmint Gum 5 cents mural was exposed.  The building that had been torn down was from the late twenties or thirties, so the mural had been hidden for about 70 years.  It was a thing of beauty and my roommate and I marvelled at the hidden wonders of Oak Park. 
Two weeks later I came home one day to discover that it had been painted over by the building owner in a bid to ‘beautify’ the existing building.  It had never occurred to me to rush to take a photo of the mural because it had never occurred to me that anyone could possibly be ignorant enough to do anything other than preserve and cherish it.
On that note, I urge you to go over to 14th and E to check this out.  It’s pretty well preserved, right down to the pencilled hobo grafitti that you can just make out in some of the white areas.  I hope the building owner will preserve this little bit of history, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.
  1. 2 Responses to “Alkali Flat Treasure- Bill Burg Alert!”

  2. avatar

    By wburg on Apr 1, 2009 | Reply

    I’m pretty sure that this building is going to have a new “retail facade” added to it–there will be three retail spaces with storefronts on the ground floor. So that sign’s days are seriously numbered. Thanks for the tip…hopefully they will resist the urge to “beautify” until this weekend when I can stop by with my camera!

  3. avatar

    By Liv Moe on Apr 6, 2009 | Reply

    Monday at 5pm- it’s still there….

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