National Park Service Approval

We got word today that the National Park Service has approved the Bel-Vue historic rehabilitation project for the federal Historic Tax Credits!  Another one added to Applied Architecture’s 100% success rate for technical Secretary of Interior Standard / ‘Part 3’ Final Approvals.    

xSubject: Bel Vue Apartments, Part 3 decision


July 8, 2020


PROPERTY: The Bel Vue Apartments, 1117-1123 8th Street, Sacramento, Los Angeles, CA






The National Park Service (NPS) has reviewed your Historic Preservation Certification Applications – Part 3- Request for Certification of Completed Work for the property cited above and has determined that the completed rehabilitation meets the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.    


Due to the ongoing public health emergency, NPS Technical Preservation Services staff are currently teleworking from home. This notice of decision is a copy solely for notice to the applicant. An officially signed application decision (dated July 6, 2020) will be mailed to you as soon as possible, but please anticipate that there may be up to a 1-to-2-week delay.



Antonio Aguilar

Historical Architect

Technical Preservation Services

National Park Service

Urban Infill Housing taking shape in Curtis Park

Two mirror image homes taking shape right now in Curtis park – on tiny 40 x 40 parcels.  This is urban infill in action!  These are four bedroom 3 bath with 2 car attached garages, a bit more than 2000 sq ft each in liveable area.  The rendering shows where we’re headed with an Applied Architecture transitional design motif. 


Design Studies

Applied Architecture is excited about our iterations of design study for a small but very important site in midtown Sacramento.  This tiny 40×80 parcel is across the street from one of Sacramento’s best known Victorians (a masterpiece with turrets on a raised site); a full block of infill known as Tapestry Square which includes bold colors, traditional architecture and brick detailing; and adjacent to a row of historic bungalow houses which all have prominent porches. 


The design is being carefully considered – by working back and forth with City staff interactively.  The goal is to balance the two street frontages to be respectful to all of the varied contextual massing, character, materials and colors. 

Time Flies when you’re having Fun

Applied Architecture Inc C Michael F. Malinowski FAIA The Eclectic Center 2008
Applied Architecture Inc c Michael F. Malinowski FAIA The Eclectic Center 2008
Applied Architecture Inc c Michael F. Malinowski FAIA The Eclectic Center 2008

Hard to believe it’s been a dozen years since we brought the Eclectic Center to life!  It’s roots were as humble as humble gets – a run-down strip center with absolutely zero character.  A new developer/owner gave us a ‘wild card’ to transform a fully occupied set of plain boxes into whatever we could imagine … a wild and crazy composition: what fun!    

Bradshaw at Folsom Blvd in Sacramento. 

Applied Architecture Inc

Michael F. Malinowski FAIA

Tonys Porch

As the 4on5 project nears completion Tony’s porch is about to take shape, better connecting each new home with the street front.  This design is named for a very engaged neighborhood activist who initially insisted: ‘nothing modern’.  Applied Architecture is very excited that the neighborhood – and home buyers – are embracing new homes that reflect ‘today’ while also respecting past patterns and traditions.  Front porches will never be out of style!



Movin on Up

Applied Architecture has helped some 1800 families over the last 40 years, shaping their living space to better fit their needs, budget and preferences.  Sometimes the best way to get more space is to “move on up”.  This classic historic home will look like it was originally built as a two story home when we’re done. 


Currently underway in Sacramento’s midtown area. 


Moving ‘up’ can be a very cost effective way to double the size of a home for those who prefer an ‘upside down’ layout (with bedrooms on first floor and living space above).  This approach can also work for commercial or mixed use properties; another of our examples of this approach is at the corner of 27th and J Street in the heart of midtown’s commercial corridor.



The BelVue

In our view, the Bel-Vue is a Sacramento hidden gem.

Just a block from our downtown arena, it’s a national register listed historic treasure, originally designed over 100 years ago by California’s first state architect George Sellon.  Long abandoned and left to decay, a years long huge effort led to its resurrection.  The now fully occupied upper floors once again provide convenient and fully updated apartments that also connect to the past, all the way down to the restored clawfoot tubs and beautiful original moldings.  The ground level lobby is modeled after a library reading reading room, with floor to ceiling bookshelves, skylights, and comfortable lounge tables and seating.  When the ground level street front is occupied by a restaurant, it will be again a bustling center of activity and comfort.

Applied Architecture was very proud to be architect for this CFY Development adventure, one of the last projects taken on by the young developer Ali Youssefi who was tragically lost to cancer in 2018.

From an ADU Customer: a Pat on the Back!

Lawrence Tom left a review on Google for Applied Architecture Inc

source-logo/  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★    

Mike and his team are very diligent and professional. I hired them to design our ADU. Mike took the time to meet with us and listened to our wants and needs, then incorporated them into the design. He educated us on what could be done and why some things we wanted cannot be done. The use of space is perfectly designed. The communication throughout the entire process was clear and concise. We are almost finished with the construction phase of our project and could not be happier. We definitely would recommend Mike and his team if you are planning a custom home.

Reviewed by Lawrence Tom on Google

At Applied Architecture’s Globe Mill Seniors get a helping hand

Sacramento restaurant helps low-income seniors through COVID-19 outbreak


March 29, 2020

Play Video :


The COVID-19 stay-at-home order is hitting low-income seniors especially hard, like those living at Globe Mill Lofts in downtown Sacramento.


"We have very low income [residents]. Some still work and others are just on social security," explained Susan Doyle, Community Manager. "Some of the residents here have health problems. They are not mobile enough to get out."  Doyle adds that normally, many of her residents would travel to the food bank or nearby homeless shelters for a meal. But with the risk of contracting COVID-19 at an all-time high, few are willing to step outside.  "It’s frightening them because they don’t know whether they should go out or if they should go," Doyle said.


Restauranteur Chris Jarosz, who runs Broderick Roadhouse, decided to help.


"If there’s anything that’s come out of being in the middle of a pandemic right now, it’s good will," Jarosz said. "We’re seeing compassion we haven’t seen from folks in a long time."


On Saturday, Jarosz delivered enough meals to feed the over 150 residents at Globe Mills.  "We’re covering food costs, and we’ve been donating labor. It’s a little rough on us now, because we’re not making enough money in the restaurants right now. We’re hoping if we go bankrupt, you’ll support us afterwards," Jarosz said. 


Jarosz added his restaurant is always looking for donations and extra tips to help them continue feeding the needy while continuing business operations during the mandatory shelter-at-home. "Twenty dollars will buy 6, 7 meals right now," Jarosz said. He is also looking for a community-style kitchen to help with outreach efforts. Kevin Smith, a 60-year-old Globe Mills resident, helped to deliver Saturday’s take-out to his fellow neighbors. "A lot of people can’t get food. They on a fixed budget. Everyone is grateful," said Smith as he rang doorbells.


A Bright Side to a Solar Slugfest

When the new energy code went into effect on January 1st, one of the provisions that gained a lot of press was the new mandate for solar on every new California home.  In the footnotes were a couple of exceptions.  One was ‘infeasibility’ with a strict documentation script to insure it would be rarely used.  The other was “approved community solar” – which in theory could provide the flexibility and cost efficiency of managed solar ownership, while still providing homeowners with benefits of solar savings and contribution toward climate action. 

The problem with community solar: although one such plan was submitted last year, it was not approved.  While the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) ‘Solar Shares’ proposal drew wide support from both CEC staff as well as many organizations and stakeholders (including AIACA), there was also wide opposition from the solar industry and others.

Fast forward to the Energy Commission hearing on February 20th  when a revised SMUD Solar Shares was back on the agenda.  There was so much interest in this item that a special ‘fixed start time’ was set on the agenda.  The normally relatively staid CEC hearing room filled to overflowing, and detailed and very passionate arguments went back and forth – most limited to one minute – extending for over three hours in total.  It’s all on youtube if you’re interested to see the at times dramatic testimony where government and industry captains, business and nonprofit leaders, legislators and staffers; scientists and professionals; workers, students, and homemakers; one by one offered so many nuanced perspectives, analyses, and viewpoints.  The debate swung back and forth for hours. 

When the hearing was finally over, the Commission discussed at length, and finally voted unanimously for approval.   AIA California can check this off as an advocacy ‘win’ as we were at the table with a message of concern for the urgent need for powerful climate action; and the need for flexibility to make sure everyone can contribute.  We cited our own investment: AIACA has already signed up for Solar Shares for our new headquarters, since our leased building does not give us the option of rooftop solar and we wanted voluntarily to contribute renewable energy. 

Now that the dust has settled, looking back what was most striking was not the 100% of the commission behind approval. 

What was most striking was that in spite of the fierce debate around nuances of the Solar Shares program, 100% of the opinions on both sides of the argument supported urgent solar action. 


That’s a consensus that bodes well for climate action!


Michael F. Malinowski FAIA