National Register of Historic Places in Sacramento County

National Register #84000939: Calpak Plant No. 11
  National Register #84000939: Calpak Plant No. 11 13 August 2006
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National Register #84000939
Calpak Plant No. 11
AKA Del Monte Corporation, Plant No. 11
1721 C Street
Built 1925

Calpak Plant No. 11 is a two-story brick building that occupies two full blocks between l6th and 18th streets along C Street. When it was built, Plant No. 11 was one of the biggest fruit canneries in the world. As the last operating cannery in the Old City area, it was a vital contributor to the growth and development of Sacramento and the region.

California began to emerge as a leader in the national canning industry after the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914. The new route made sea transport competitive with rail transport.

The Del Monte brand was first used by the Oakland Preserving Co. in 1892, with a label displaying a picture of the prestigious Hotel Del Monte in Monterey.

In 1917, Calpak launched an advertising campaign under the Del Monte brand name. The campaign eventually changed the shopping and eating habits of millions of consumers and make Del Monte one of the best known brand names in the world.

The advertising campaign coincided with the marketing revolution of self service markets, initiated in 1917 by the chain of Piggly Wiggly stores.

By 1925, Calpak had become the largest packing and canning company in the world, the same year that Plant No. 11 was constructed in Sacramento.

Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1984.

The building is now owned by Blue Diamond Growers. A plaque reads:

Blue Diamond Building

This building, the former California Packing Plant #11, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 for its architecture and place in California's agricultural history.

It was one of the last operating canneries in the City of Sacramento, the canning center of the West in the early 1900s. About the same time, the California Almond Growers Exchange began building what was to become the world's largest almond processing and marketing organization at 18th and C Streets.

The Exchange is a cooperative owned by more than 5700 California almond growers who market under the quality Blue Diamond® label. Almonds are California's largest food export. Foreign flags representing countries of visiting customers and dignitaries fly above the International Visitors Center.

The old cannery was renovated in 1983 to serve as the International Visitors Center and Almond Plaza, officially called the BLUE DIAMOND® BUILDING.

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