Wednesday, September 21, 2005


5th and Capitol Mall
29-Story Office Building
Restaurant and Retail Space

Developer: Angelo G. Tsakopoulos
Architect: Edwin M. Kado
Estimated Completion: 2008


Wow, where to begin. First off, while there are things I have a problem with about this building, there are some really good things with regard to this project as well.

It gets rid of long standing major blight on our premier address street. The site is the former Wells Fargo Bank branch that has been sitting empty for well over a decade.

The buildings floorplates are designed in a way that allows a lot of the smaller companies that moved out to the suburbs, because of lack of appropriate smaller spaces, that want to be downtown, to come back. I said this long before this long before this project came around, the office building we have now don't accommodate small companies that only need 4-5K in space, most would like even less than that.

I love the idea of a restaurant on the top 2 floors of the building. I have always wanted to see a penthouse restaurant come into downtown that would have amazing views of the city.

Now for the bad...
The building needs some aesthetic improvements. Nothing that can't be fixed with some changes, but never the less I'd like to see be addressed.

First, the color of the building. That dark looking glass. Oh, I can't stand it. It reminds me of the Capitol Square, (the building directly behind the Wells Fargo Building) and the East End Complex on 16th and Capitol. I'd really like to see the color of the building soften up a little.

While I can appreciate Mr Tsakopoulos wanting to pay homage to his Greek heritage (Hell, why not, I'm Greek too! :-) I think it was over done and too much focus was placed on the Parthenon at the top of the building and not enough to the rest of it. While I'm still not sold on the Parthenon as a sign of Greek heritage (as someone I know said, why not use classic Greek architecture like more marble columns or a pitched roof?) it could work if it was not the total and only focus of the building. Examples of what I would do? Honestly, I'm not sure. I just think it would look a bit off if built with no changes. With some changed though, could look great.

Here is a quote from May 13, 2005 Sacramento Bee:

"This is the kind of kitschy proposal that might make sense in Disneyland or Las Vegas," said Eisen, a former architecture critic for the Boston Herald who was educated at Harvard Design School. "It is an insult to the people of Sacramento."

Strong words.

Parthenon has been on and off the Design Review Board for about a month now, which might suggest that the architect, Edwin Kado, who designed the Ziggurat Building in West Sac, is doing some revisions after hearing some harsh criticisms.

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