Annabell McCord gets tile near former Central Square business

City approves 12 names to be etched into its history
By: Jon Schultz, Journal Staff Writer
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City seeks sponsors for tiles

Along with approving tiles for Annabell McCord and Michael Goodwin in the Central Square area of Auburn, the City Council recently preapproved 10 other names for future tiles that will be etched once they receive sponsors.

“If a family, group, or whoever wants to come forward and sponsor those, then basically all we need to do is approve the final wording,” Councilman Keith Nesbitt said. “So it’s already a done deal.”

Three of those highlight landmarks: Bloomer Cut, Foresthill Bridge and Mountain Quarries Bridge; and three commemorate historical figures: The Yue Family and the Shanghai Family, Frederick Birdsall and Charles Tuttle.

Other preapproved tiles represent the Auburn Hook and Ladder Company, one for Dr. Ken Fox in the art zone, and two in the sports zone for Jeff Hamilton and Roy Mikkelsen.


“If not you, who?”

Councilman Keith Nesbitt said whittling down people’s achievements to 300 characters to be etched into a Central Square tile would be a challenge, but in Annabell McCord’s case, that four-word statement about summed it up.

The Auburn City Council unanimously approved honoring McCord’s contribution to the community with a tile in Central Square. McCord, a former Auburn mayor and prominent community leader, died at 93 in June 2012.

Speaking on behalf of a large contingent of supporters in council chambers for McCord getting a tile, Cheryl Maki delivered an emotional account of her effect on the community.

Maki told of McCord’s drive to get people involved, and how she never talked about her own achievements, though there were many, including receiving honors such as the McCann Award for outstanding community service.

“She was busy up until practically the week before she passed away,” said Maki, who “I met with her and she asked me what I was going to do and when I was going to run for office again. So Annabell McCord would say to you, ‘If not you, who?’ That’s why she deserves a tile in Downtown Auburn.”

Maki was also a former Auburn mayor who made another bid for public service last year. She lost by a narrow margin in the Placer County Water Agency election in November.

McCord and husband Glen, who preceded her in death in 2000, owned McCord’s Floor Coverings and Draperies in Downtown Auburn from 1956 to the early 1990s, etching themselves into the business community.

She especially left her mark in the local government.

“I think everybody on the City Council probably had a parliamentary class that Annabell encouraged you to attend,” she said. “Everyone that has been elected probably, or anyone that has sat on a committee or commission, has had Annabell tap them on the shoulder and say, ‘Now you need to have a parliamentary class and Robert’s Rules of Order.’”

The council also voted 4-1 to approve a tile in the arts zone, preferably outside the state theater, for Michael Goodwin, who the recommending committee said “Auburn probably would not have had a symphony” without him.

Kirby said although he did not want to detract from Goodwin’s contribution to the community, he opposed him receiving a tile because he felt others who had volunteered their time had been more deserving.

The Streetscape History and Art Advisory Committee reviewed applications for the tiles and made recommendations to the council for McCord and Goodwin, along with 10 other tiles to be preapproved for etching once funding is secured.

The Department of Public Works is evaluating whether etching a greater number of tiles at once would reduce costs, and if that is the case, the engravings will likely become a semiannual event with some sort of a ceremony, Nesbitt said.

If there is no difference to cost, then work on the tiles will begin when time allows, Nesbitt added.

Sponsors have already stepped up to fund the McCord and Goodwin tiles, he said.

The city’s estimates for the Central Square tiles range from $300 to $600, while the Goodwin tile will cost around $1,200 because it would require additional labor. Having his tile located near the state theater would require some saw-cutting of concrete to have it installed, Nesbitt said.

During the first two streetscape phases, 116 granite tiles were put in and 26 of those have already been engraved, leaving 90 for future commemorations, Director of Public Works Bernie Schroder said, though more can be added.

“If we approved 10 a year, we’d have nine years to go through those,” existing tiles, Councilwoman Bridget Powers said.


Jon Schultz can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Jon_AJNews