History of Land Park in Sacramento, California

William Land Park was purchased by the city of Sac in 1918 for $147,000. | Photo by Tony Webster via Wikimedia Commons

William Land Park was purchased by the city of Sac in 1918 for $147,000. | Photo by Tony Webster via Wikimedia Commons

Tony Webster/Tony Webster

With tree-lined streets, beautiful architecture, and William Land Regional Park — which is host to Fairy Tale Town, the Sacramento Zoo, and Funderland — there’s just so much to see + do in the Land Park neighborhood. Don’t even get us started on eateries like Vic’s Ice Cream + Dad’s Kitchen, or iconic buildings like the Tower Theatre.

Today, we thought we’d take a look back to see how one of the River City’s most beloved neighborhoods came to be.

In 1911, former Sacramento Mayor William Land gave the city $250,000 upon his death to buy a park for its residents. When the city finally settled on a spot, it was a 238-acre section they were using as both a “flood spill” and — how do we put this delicatelysewage drainage area.

The city purchased the land in 1918 for $147,000 (~$2.76 million today), but some early Sacramentans said “hold up,” and protested until a vote was passed to void the original contract. It wasn’t until four years later that a court would overturn the decision and ratify the contract, after which development on the future William Land Regional Park began.

Land Park was the last of Sac’s Park Neighborhoods (Oak Park, Curtis Park, McKinley Park, etc.) to be developed, and the majority of the area’s houses — which feature Period Revivalist design elements + flourishes — were built in the 1930s.

Its first residential area, College Tract, which is just north of William Land Regional Park, began construction in 1927 + was handled by real estate developers Wright & Kimbrough — famous for developing Sacramento’s “Fab Forties” neighborhood.

Around this same time, the Sacramento Zoo opened — combining multiple smaller zoos around the burgeoning city into one location — with William Land Golf Course teeing off not long after .

As the population began to grow, the city’s second high school, C.K. McClatchy High School — named for the former owner and one-time editor of the Sacramento Bee — was built in Land Park thanks to funds from President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. It was officially dedicated on Sept. 19, 1937.

If you love Land Park as much as we do, check out a few homes we found listed for sale.

  • Lovely bungalow with bonus room | 2 BD, 1 BA | $699,000 | This 1,372-sqft home on Fremont Way features lots of natural light, as well as a pool + hot tub.
  • Spacious home with breakfast nook | 4 BD, 2 BA | $1,300,000 | Located near the zoo, this home features a suite with a walk-in closet, upstairs laundry room, and a backyard oasis with a Geremia Pool.
  • Renovated home with backyard pond | 3 BD, 2 BA | $1,150,000 | This updated home includes quartz kitchen countertops and a garage transformed into a sunroom.
  • Two-story cul-de-sac home | 2 BD, 2 BA | $658,000 | This 1,015-sqft home offers granite countertops + a one-car garage.
More from SACtoday