Local business behind historic structures celebrates 100 years – CBS Sacramento
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A local architectural firm has helped shape the Sacramento skyline, one iconic building at a time. The company is now celebrating a century of success.
“Sacramento was pretty small back then,” said Anthony Arroyo, manager and archivist at Nacht and Lewis.
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They are just a sample of the historic structures sketched by architects working at Nacht and Lewis over the past 100 years.
“A lot of these buildings have survived their architects, and that’s really the result of good design,” Arroyo said.
The company celebrates its centenary this year.
The Elks Temple – a 14-story building at 11th and J – was the company’s first iconic contribution to the Sacramento skyline.
“It was the biggest project in town at the time,” Arroyo said.
“It was the skyscraper of Sacramento,” said Nacht and Lewis President Mike Parrot.
Today, it’s hard to walk downtown without seeing one of their designs, from the neo-classical revival architecture of the historic post office to the upper and federal courthouses.
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They also designed hundreds of schools, churches and community centers.
“It’s mind-blowing how many and across the region, from Alturas to Santa Monica, it’s just that we’ve worked all over the state,” Arroyo said.
“Coming down the road, it’s really interesting to say when your friends are in the car, ‘Hey, we designed this,’ or ‘I was part of it,'” Parrot said.
The industry is very different today.
“We used to draw by hand and it was really an artistic endeavor,” Parrot said.
Now projects are created with high-tech computer drawing software. And while the company’s owners and employees have changed over the years, they say their core values remain.
“We want character,” Parrot said. “I think we want to live in places, work in places that bring a little bit of fun into our lives.”
The company’s most recent projects include the design of several new schools, including the new Del Campo High School Science Building.
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“The integrity, the work, it’s still there and it continues to this day,” Arroyo said.