Folsom Historic District Streetscape Improvement Plan
Folsom is one of several Sierra foothills communities in California which was founded at the time of the Gold Rush. The original historic downtown and surrounding residential neighborhoods remain largely intact with a variety of visitor-oriented dining, entertainment and retail uses that capitalize on the historic character of the place. However, like many downtown areas in recent decades, the Historic District had declined in physical appearance and vitality as economic activity has shifted to outlying growth areas.
The Historic District Streetscape Improvement Plan is one part of a coordinated public-private effort to revitalize the Historic District while maintaining and strengthening its identity. The plan covers an area of approximately twelve full city blocks and includes the design of all streetscape improvements as well as design guidelines for the restoration of building facades that front Sutter Street, the primary commercial street.
Key features of the plan include:
- A clear identity was defined for each of the various street types.
- Sutter Street, with its historic covered sidewalks, balconies and native granite details, was renovated to strengthen many of the historic qualities that make it a unique place in the city.
- Widened sidewalks provide spaces for merchant displays, outdoor dining, new street furnishings and plantings.
- Cross streets are clearly defined as pedestrian connectors to the commercial area from the surrounding residential neighborhoods.
- Traffic calming measures reduce the impact of automobile traffic in the neighborhoods.
- Historic Folsom Station, a two block area in the center of the district, has been redesigned from a gravel parking lot to a public gathering place and focus of the downtown that respects its historic role as the terminus of the first commercial railroad west of the Great Plains.
- New bicycle and pedestrian connections have been established to the American River (Lake Natoma).
BMS Design Group (now Page) developed the design concepts, wrote the construction documents, and provided construction administration for the project, which was completed in 2011.