Alder Grove, the upper Land Park neighborhood in the historic New Helvetia district is facing demolition. Sacramento City Council has planned since 2018 for the renovation of New Helvetia, and on August 25th, 2020 the city council presented the hearing. The approved demolition project named The West Broadway Specific Plan, is at the end of Broadway and Muir Way by Highway 50.
As stated from the City of Sacramento “The WBSP will help create a more walkable neighborhood, improve multimodal connectivity, and disperse and slow traffic.” During the month of June concerns of the demolition were brought to light by the Preservation Commission. But as stated in the West Broadway Specific Plan presentation it does not require the demolition of New Helvetia Historic District.
Former resident of Alder Grove, Armando Russo had this to say. “With what’s happening to our city, I’m not surprised, it feels like gentrification in disguise. Me, my mother and two sisters born and raised in Seavey Circle, we ran the block with the neighborhood kids our whole life. I even still have a family that ain’t left yet so to hear it’s getting demolished, I feel for the families still living inside the bricks.”
Alder Grove is a historic site for the African-American community, as Nathaniel Colley was Sacramento’s first practicing attorney of color, and during the 1950’s had successfully fought for the legal desegregation of Sacramento public housing so it may be attainable for everyone. Spearheading for the preservation of New Helvetia is Nathaniel Colley Civil Rights Coalition, and former Mayor, Heather Fargo.
Clips of New Helvetia’s construction, Clarence Ceaser overview of the New Helvetia case, and resources can be found at https://colleycoalition.org/resources/