Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses - apartment houses

Designers: Cuff and Diggs, Architects (firm); Clarence Cecil Cuff (architect); Maury I. Diggs (building contractor)

Dates: constructed 1912-1913, demolished 1991

5 stories

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1017 14th Street
Downtown, Sacramento, CA 95814

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Clarence C. Cuff had a long architectural career in Sacramento, and produced this unusual design for the Merrium Apartments. The building had clear Prairie Style elements, not often seen in CA. It had a very broad eaves, simple, geometric form, and an in antis portico trimmed by wide moldings. Decorative brickwork trimmed the top part of the fifth floor walls, but, in general, the Merrium Apartments had a rather plain exterior. Sullivanesque ornamentation was concentrated in only a few areas, particularly in the front portico and eaves. Capitals of the columns supporting the front porch also had a geometric Prairie Style character.

Building History

Lawyer Chauncey Homer Dunn, Sr., (1856-1925) erected this income property in 1912-1913 and named it in honor of his wife, Merrium Vienna Blasdell (born c. 1859-d. 1919). They married in 1884. Dunn obtained the services of Sacramento architect Clarence C. Cuff (1871-1965) to design his apartment building.

Building Notes

The Merrium Apartments contained 41 apartments c. 1925.


A preservation controversy began when the City of Sacramento sought land on which to expand its Convention Center. One property on its to-demolish list was the Merrium Apartments. Opponents of the buildings demolition included the preservation group, Sacramento Old City Association. The Association took the city to court but lost at both the CA Court of Appeals level and in the CA Supreme Court. The demolition occurred on 09/04/1991. The city saved materials for one apartment to be reconstituted in a future, unnamed museum.

National Register of Historic Places (Listed 1990-09-13): 90001386 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 12042