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Fate of last Depression Era building in Roseville up in the air

By: Brody Fernandez Of Gold Country Media
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Roseville could possibly lose the last ode to the Great Depression era with the sale of the Post Office on Vernon Street.

Roseville City Council unanimously approved bids for the old building’s sale at the July 11 City Council meeting. The last Great Depression era building in Roseville could be bought by someone who could change the building’s look, depending on the buyer’s plans.

Roseville Historical Society President Christina Richter pleaded with the council during the July 11 meeting to vote no against selling the historical building.

“Since the demolition of the historic City Hall building, (The Old Roseville Post Office) is the only remaining Depression-era city structure in Roseville,” Richter said. “This building represents milestones and important movements all throughout our city’s history. Much has happened here in this block since the 1930s. This is the hub of our city.”

There was then a question of whether this building was properly deemed a historical site, to which Richter said, “The Downtown Specific Plan, which concluded almost 10 years ago in 2009, accepts that the Post Office is ‘historically significant but not a historical structure.’”

The Historical Society then asked council if a professional historian deemed the building ineligible for National Registry status.

“From what we understand, that is what is required to officially deem a building a historical structure or not,” Richter said. “Also, given that the plan is nearly 10 years old, new guidelines and rules no doubt apply.”

City of Roseville public information officer Brian Jacobson reached out to Gold Country Media to respond to that claim.

“This report (to validate the Post Office was a historical site) was prepared by Angel Tomes (MA  in public history at California State University at Sacramento) and Steve Heipel with more than 28 years of cultural resource management experience at that time,” Jacobson said.

The report concludes that remodels and renovations compromised the “historic integrity” so that it no longer is reflective of the original structure built in the 1930s, according to Jacobson.

“The loss of integrity overrides the significance of this structure,” Jacobson said.

Richter was asked if these officials qualify as a professional historian.

“Ask a state-level professional historian. That is the litmus test to mandate that a building is a historical site or not,” Richter said. “These individuals (Tomes and Heipel) are not necessarily ‘professional historians’  that could make a decision on whether or not this building could be deemed a historical site.”