Century-Old Oak Park Building Reduced to Rubble

SACRAMENTO -- A Sacramento building that had been standing for more than 100 years has now been razed to the ground.

The former Esther's Bakery in Oak Park was built in 1915 and had been vacant for the past decade.

Adam, who did not want to give his first name, admired the only thing left of Esther's Bakery -- its bricks.

"I think they have a lot of history," Adam told FOX40. "They've been here you know, decades. A century and just rubble now."

He's one of a handful of Oak Park residents who just now realized the structure is no longer standing.

"It's pretty sad, it's just a waste," said William Burg, the president of Preservation Sacramento.

Burg said he's disappointed the building was allowed to be demolished. "Historic buildings are a non-renewable resource. Once they're gone, they're gone."

However, the City of Sacramento said there was little choice. Two weeks ago bricks were falling off the building. Its roof had started to collapse. A city inspection team recommend it be immediately fixed or demolished.

The building is owned by Kynship Development, which former Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is a co-owner of.

Although old, the building was not listed as a historical site. Kynship Development applied and was granted a permit to raze the building.

Many neighbors told FOX40 they had noticed that roof was sinking in for years before this and they're questioning if the owners really just wanted this to happen to the building in the end.

Burg said it should have been renovated for new purposes, especially considering the city's housing crisis.

"Residents can say, 'This is Esther's Bakery and now it's this new use.' But now that's just gone. There's a vacant lot and now we have no idea what's planned for it," Burg said.

While Adam admired the old building, he now sees the potential of the bricks as perhaps a new fire pit, telling FOX40 he's reaching out to the owners to see if he can use them.

FOX40 also reached out to Kynship Development but has not heard back from them yet.