The Newton Booth Neighborhoods Association (NBNA) encompasses the Poverty Ridge, Newton Booth, and Alhambra Triangle neighborhoods in the Central City of Sacramento. Also within the neighborhoods are the Poverty Ridge Historic District and the Newton Booth Historic District.
The Newton Booth neighborhood is bounded by R Street to the North, Hwy 50 to the South, Business 80 Freeway to the East, and 24th Street to the West. Also within the neighborhood is the Newton Booth Historic District.
The neighborhood was named for the Newton Booth Assembly School built in the 1920’s at the intersection of 26th & V Streets. The School was so named in honor of Newton Booth, California’s 11th Governor. Booth, a gold rush era merchant headquartered in Old Sacramento, was an active player in the fledgling days of our City. The Newton Booth neighborhood was designated a Sacramento Historic District by the City Preservation Commission in 2014.
It is characterized by craftsman bungalows but includes several Four-Squares, Victorians, and Tudors amongst other architectural styles. The neighborhood also consists of a broad and diverse population, serving as home to young professionals, retired-boomers, and growing families alike. Temple Coffee, the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op, and Revolution Wines are but a few of the many businesses interspersed between charming homes in this tree-lined and pedestrian friendly district.
The Poverty Ridge neighborhood is bounded by R Street to the North, Hwy 50 to the South, the 23rd Block to the East, and 19th Street to the West. Within the neighborhood is also the Poverty Ridge Historic District.
In the early days of Sacramento, long before the levees were built, floods from the swelling Sacramento and American Rivers were a constant threat to inhabitants of the Capitol City. Local lore has it that during flood season, many riverfront residents would flee to the only high ground or hill within the City, where they would set-up a crude encampment until the flood waters retreated. The scene of this hastily built tent-city upon elevated-ground prompted the locals to coin the name—”Poverty Ridge,” mostly due to the rough and unsightly nature of the camp. However, by the turn of the 20th Century, levees surrounded most of Sacramento and developers began to turn their attention to the undeveloped land along the prominent high point of the ridge. Soon the streets upon this hill were lined with beautiful and ornate mansions, thus becoming one of the most distinguished neighborhoods in all of Sacramento. The developers of these estates sought to rebrand the district with a more affluent name, “Sutter Terrace”, but the name never stuck and people have continued to recognize the district as Poverty Ridge ever since.
The neighborhood contains an eclectic blend of architectural styles, including Colonial Revival, Craftsman, Italianate, Eastlake, Queen Anne, American Foursquare, Tudor Revival, and Prairie School, to name a few. Notable residents included the family of California’s 23rd governor, Hiram Johnson, as well as famed architect, Rudolph Herold, who designed such buildings as the Sacramento City Hall, the Masonic Temple, and the Sacramento Hall of Justice. Sacramento Bee (McClatchy Newscorp) media moguls – Charles and Ella McClatchy, also decided to settle in Poverty Ridge, raising their children in a home designed by Herold, donated in later years by the McClatchy family to the City to be used as a children’s library. The library still functions today and is largely supported by the non-profit organization, “Ella K. McClatchy Library Friends.” National Book Award winning author and famed journalist, Joan Didion, also lived as a youth with her family in Poverty Ridge. Today, the Didion-Dolan home is considered by many to be one of the most authentically restored/preserved examples of early 20th century Colonial Revival and Prairie School style architecture in Central Sacramento.
The Alhambra Triangle District is bounded by R Street to the North, Hwy 50 to the South, 34th Street to the East and 30th Street to the West.
Adjacent to the neighborhood was the Libby, McNeill & Libby Canning Factory, which opened in 1913 to employ 225 workers, many of whom likely built the Craftsman bungalows that line the district today. A 3-block commute to the factory made the Alhambra Triangle District an ideal place to live for Cannery staff. One old timer reminisced that “the aroma, the scent of tomatoes was all over the neighborhood for blocks during tomato season.” This may have contributed to the City being nicknamed ‘Sacratomato’. Today, the factory has been succesfully repurposed into “The Cannery” office complex, housing businesses and agencies such as the Military Entrance Processing Station, U.S. HealthWorks Medical, Boutique Acupuncture and dental offices.
The neighborhood is home to a charming collection of arts and crafts era homes, many of which appear to have been developed in the 1920’s and 1930’s. As in decades past, many modern-day “Cannery” employees choose to call the Alhambra Triangle home. And so this district continues to represent a diverse and beautiful thread in the rich urban fabric of Sacramento.