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Historic Environment Consultants collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Center for Sacramento History
    Title: Historic Environment Consultants collection
    Identifier/Call Number: MS0065
    Physical Description: 100.97 Linear Feet 48 cartons, 2 manuscript boxes, 3 oversize boxes, 28 blueprint boxes, oversize folders.
    Date (bulk): 1973-2019

    Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open for research.

    Conditions Governing Use

    All requests to publish or quote from private manuscripts held by the Center for Sacramento History (CSH) must be submitted in writing to csh@cityofsacramento.org. Permission for publication is given on behalf of CSH as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the patron. No permission is necessary to publish or quote from public records.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item and/or item number], [box and folder number], Historic Environment Consultants collection, MS0065, Center for Sacramento History.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Donated by Historic Environment Consultants in 1998, 2000, 2007, and 2019 (accessions 1998/062, 2000/058, 2007/101, and 2019/054).

    Processing Information

    Processing and finding aid by Kim Hayden, 2022-2023.

    Biographical / Historical

    Historic Environment Consultants was founded in Sacramento in 1977 by architectural historian Paula Boghosian, who has been the principal consultant for the life of the company. The firm has helped preserve historical buildings, districts, and cultural resources throughout the state, but mainly focused on Sacramento and the Sacramento area.
    Boghosian was born in San Francisco on February 14, 1934. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a bachelor's degree in architecture in 1955, and from UC Davis with a master's in community development in 1987. She moved to Sacramento in 1961, where she quickly became involved in community activities and preservation of local historic structures. She started her company, Historic Environment Consultants, in 1977 and her first major project was an intensive survey of historic homes in Sacramento. Historic Environment Consultants has worked on many historic preservation projects, historic resource and property surveys, nominations to the National Register of Historic Places and California Historical Landmarks, community and district surveys, environmental impact reports, Historic American Building Surveys (HABS), and building restoration and maintenance projects. Boghosian's husband, Don Cox, also works for the company as historian, researcher, writer, editor, and publication designer.
    Boghosian has been a driving force in preserving Sacramento's historic architecture for decades. She developed a special interest in Sacramento's Memorial Auditorium and worked on nominating it to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. She served as a consultant for the team that rehabilitated the auditorium before its reopening in 1997, and she cowrote the book "Sacramento's Memorial Auditorium: Seven Decades of Memories," published in 1997. Among some of her other accomplishments are the nomination of the Masonic Temple to the National Register of Historic Places, and completing many projects for the Historic American Building Survey.
    In addition to her work with Historic Environment Consultants, Boghosian was elected the first chairperson of the Sacramento Preservation Board in 1969; was on the national board of directors for the American Association of University Women (AAUW) from 1973 to 1976; served on the City of Sacramento's Historic Structures Advisory Committee in 1972; and served for many years on the California State Historical Resources Commission. She also served as the interim preservation director for the City of Sacramento in 2003, and has worked with the State Office of Historic Preservation on the National Register of Historic Places and California Historical Landmarks programs. Boghosian was a founding member of the California Preservation Foundation, originally called Californians for Preservation Action, and she has taught and lectured on historic architecture. She has also helped develop preservation programs and architectural guidelines.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection documents Historic Environment Consultants' work on projects needing historic preservation evaluation, including historic districts, preservation districts, areas under development or redevelopment, and individual houses and buildings. Properties include commercial, city, county, state, and federal buildings and properties; industrial and agricultural areas; and private homes. About two-thirds of the collection documents properties within the city limits of Sacramento; the rest documents properties in Sacramento County and Northern California, with a few properties in Southern California and Nevada.
    Large Sacramento and Sacramento County projects include Downtown Infill, K Street Corridor, R Street Corridor, Richards Boulevard, Sacramento Survey III, Memorial Auditorium, commercial properties on J Street, Southern Pacific Railyards, Sacramento Library Plaza, Maydestone Apartments, Globe Mills, residential properties on Folsom Boulevard, and Florin and Old Florintown. Outside of the Sacramento area, major projects include, the Miller House/Mary Aaron Museum in Marysville, Modesto Post Office, Pt. Molate, Standard and New Standard (Tuolumne County), and the Washington Firehouse in West Sacramento.
    Project files typically contain historic building survey forms, photographs of properties, field notes, historical research on properties, maps, plans, environmental impact reports (EIRs), historic resource reports, other reports, meeting records, and correspondence. While photographs are included with many projects, note that only records with a very large number of photos have their own folders labeled "photographs." If a property does not have a dedicated "photographs" folder, its main file could still contain photographs. Dates for the most part reflect the years the project was worked on. Copies of older and undated material is often included as part of historical research.
    Boghosian filed her job records by property or project, and that order has been kept here, with project records arranged first by Sacramento project areas and districts, commercial and industrial properties, public properties, and residential properties, followed by properties in Sacramento County, then outside of Sacramento County. One property can occasionally be found in multiple series, having been evaluated at different times during different projects.
    A small portion of the collection contains general reference material, and records related to other projects Boghosian worked on outside of Historic Environment Consultants, including two books she co-wrote, "Sacramento's Memorial Auditorium: Seven Decades of Memories" and "Vanishing Victorians," the Sacramento Historic Home Tour, and Sacramento walking tours.
    Formats in the collection include paper documents; photographic prints, slides, and negatives; blueprints and plans; CDs; VHS tapes and audiocassette tapes; and digital document and image files.


    The collection is arranged into 5 series:
    • Series 1. Sacramento projects
    • Subseries 1.1. Project areas and districts
    • Subseries 1.2. Commercial and industrial properties
    • Subseries 1.3. Public properties
    • Subseries 1.4. Residential properties
    • Series 2. Sacramento County projects
    • Series 3. Projects outside of Sacramento County
    • Series 4. General reference, research, and administrative materials
    • Series 5. Paula Boghosian's other projects
    • Subseries 5.1. Sacramento Memorial Auditorium book project
    • Subseries 5.2. Other projects