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Folsom crowds in for Sutter Street

Thousands celebrate completion of Historic District project
By: Don Chaddock Telegraph Managing Editor
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Thousands turned out Saturday for the party celebrating the completion of the Historic District Revitalization project. Politicians, merchants and townsfolk flooded Sutter Street on an overcast day to listen to the open ceremonies and get a chance to be in the commemorative photograph. Taken from a “cherry picker” atop a boom truck, Telegraph photographer Philip Wood snapped the history-making portrait at just after 10:30 a.m. “Thank you to our Sutter Street merchants for enduring this long challenging process,” said Folsom City Manager Kerry Miller. “A special thank you to those merchants who attended the weekly coffee chats at the Black Rooster and gave constructive criticism.” The $11-million, 16-month redevelopment project was unveiled with much fanfare. State Assemblyman Dr. Richard Pan presented Mayor Andy Morin with a resolution recognizing Folsom for its accomplishments. County Supervisor Roberta McGlashan’s representative, O.J. Platt, also presented the city with a resolution. Classic cars lined Sutter Street, many of them organized by the Cappuccino Cruisers, while live music was performed at either end of the street. City crews frantically put the finishing on the project, including the return of the historic granite pillars. Two are located at Reading and Sutter while the other two are near Sutter Street Steakhouse, at the entrance to the 600 block of the street. City Councilman Ernie Sheldon said the next construction project, known as Historic Folsom Station, shouldn’t interfere too much with regular activities in the historic district. “(It) won’t be as disruptive as this was,” Sheldon said. Jim Snook, owner of Snooks Chocolate Factory and the president of the Folsom Historic District Business Association, praised the city and the completed project. “It’s almost like a dream,” he said. “It’s amazing the way (this project) has brought all the merchants together. ... There is a sense of unity.” Some have bemoaned the loss of the center median, which was added to the street in the 1960s to help revitalize the then-struggling district. Snook said he doesn’t miss it. “When (the median) was there, I felt separated from my neighbors,” he said. “Having it gone has removed a bit of a barrier.” Paskalena Disco, of Folsom, said she visited the Historic District a few times during construction, but found access to be a problem. Now she said she plans to shop there more often. “I think it’s fantastic,” she said. “We’ve watched the changes being made here. ... I’ll definitely shop more.” Orangevale resident Don Marnach was enjoying the music of the James Garner Band, a Johnny Cash tribute. “Folsom did a great job at putting this together,” he said. “It’s great the way they preserved the history.” Bob Masullo, of Sacramento, agreed. “I like the way they restored the street,” Masullo said. “They made it very comfortable.”