Downtown Placerville Cultural District

Confidence Hall and Emigrant Jane Buildings
Confidence Hall and Emigrant Jane Buildings

You may have heard about the proposed new uses for four historic Buildings on Main Street in downtown Placerville. These include Confidence Hall and Emigrant Jane (also known as “Ketchup and Mustard”), the Old Post Office, and the small annex building next door.

Arts and Culture El Dorado proposes to repurpose these beautiful civic treasures as cultural spaces for arts, performance, community resources, educational space, and many other possibilities that serve our community – both residents and visitors alike – while retaining their historic character, so important to Main Street and the history of Placerville.

ELEMENTS OF PROJECT:

  • Gallery and Performance Space
  • Arts Flex Space
  • Arts and Culture El Dorado Offices
  • Artist Studio Apartments
  • Cultural Community Center
  • Arts/Agriculture Building

OUR PRIORITIES:

  • Preservation of historic elements of the buildings.
  • Relevant use as a vibrant presence that will enhance Downton and serve the Placerville community.
  • Sustainability in implementation, operations and maintenance.

Background of Project

In April 2017, Arts and Culture completed a Cultural Master Plan for El Dorado County. This plan contained 22 recommendations and proposed partnerships, resulting from an 18-month process that included review of 25 reports, maps, plans and other foundational documents, over 100 interviews, and extensive research into the cultural assets in El Dorado County. One recommendation from the Cultural Master Plan was to consider a potential Cultural District for downtown Placerville, and feasibility studies were undertaken.

The plans and operating program were developed after extensive architectural review, including structural, mechanical, plumbing and fire suppression, electrical and site design.

Confidence Hall and Emigrant Jane Buildings

The ground floor of Confidence will become a dedicated gallery and performance space. A rotating exhibition series will celebrate the unique culture of El Dorado County. The space will also house small performances and pop-ups, talks, receptions, play readings, music events, and other community activities designed to enliven Downtown Placerville. The ground floor of Emigrant Jane will serve as offices for Arts and Culture El Dorado.

An Arts Flex Space will serve the community in a number of ways, both for arts and cultural groups but also other nonprofits and community groups. Activities will include workshops, classes, meetings, auditions, readings, book clubs, and many other possibilities.

The second floors of Confidence and Jane will become artist studio apartments. The rent from these apartments will create a revenue stream for building maintenance.

Historic Post Office (formerly the D.A. offices)

The historic Post Office building (formerly the D.A. offices) will be converted to a community cultural center. Among the many proposes uses are winter farmers market, high school proms, cabaret and social dancing, lectures, conferences, workshops, banquets, film series, small performances, and many other possibilities.

Annex Building

The small Annex Building east of the Historic Post Office will become a space for the intersection of art and agriculture. Amenities will include a demonstration kitchen and rooftop garden, and the space is seen as a gateway for agritourism and an educational resource for the community.

Total projected costs are approximately $6 million, raised by Arts and Culture El Dorado from institutional and individual funders. Capital campaign timeline is projected to be two years, with the build timeframe at about one year.