In session with Marshall School

We’re exploring the principal details of the 119-year-old vacant building in Midtown, from past to present and its possible future as housing.

A desolate building with ornate details is seen behind a chainlink fence

The Classic Revivalist building has sat vacant since 2009.

Photo by SACtoday Staff

Table of Contents

There are some buildings that seem to demand one’s attention, whether to celebrate their design, consider their legacy, or appreciate their use. The currently abandoned Marshall School in the northeastern section of Midtown is one that hits on all three of those marks.

Design ⚒️

The Sacramento-based architect Rudolph A. Herold designed the two-story Marshall School in the Classical Revival style, which imitates the elaborate and solemn designs of ancient Greece and Rome. Rudolph was a prominent architect in the Northern California region during the early 1900s, with his most famous building perhaps being Sacramento City Hall.

Built in 1903, Marshall School stands on 1.18 acres at 2718 G St., and features 16 classrooms and a basement. It closed in 2009 due to the building not meeting earthquake standards.

Legacy 🕰️

Marshall School stands as one of the oldest buildings in the New Era-Marshall School district of Midtown at 119 years old. While it has not been recognized at the national level, the City of Sacramento has had the building on its Register of Historic and Cultural Resources since 1982.

It also maintains a very personal legacy with the city, having functioned as an elementary school until 1976 and then variously as a preschool, high school, and adult education and employment centers at different times. It was last used as a Montessori School in November 2009.

Use 🏠

It remains unclear what will happen to the Marshall School property.

The last update on it was issued in November 2021, which explained assessments for the property’s environmental and historical significance were underway — and promised an update to negotiations on how the property may be used. Back in 2019, a conversion project was floated that would turn the education facility into 45 condominiums for seniors.

Currently, according to a document tied to the fence that surrounds the shool, Sacramento City Unified is pursuing a lawsuit to determine it is the rightful owner to the historic property.

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