Exploring the skeletal remains of Sacramento’s historic Iceland ice skating rink on historical US Route 40. Essentially destroyed by arson fire in March 2010, this rink operates during winter months as an open-air skating facility until enough funds and hours (volunteers and contractors) become available to put a roof over their heads.
(click through on the image to view 700px graininess)
Initially, I thought it surprising the American Ice Company was right next door to the rink and wondered if there were any relationship between the businesses. There was. William Kerth opened the rink in 1940 as a way to promote his ice business. The two businesses share the same used to produce ice and maintain the rink. And for quite a while, the public pool behind the businesses used melted ice as the water source! This is also the birthplace of the precursor to the Zamboni. The Kerth’s modified a surplus military Jeep and ice resurfacing time was brought down from 3 hours to under 15 minutes.
(Blog post about the ice plant next door: Ice, American Ice Company, B&W)
I had intended to see if I could walk into the facility and photograph the ice rink with the sky slightly obscured by black mesh above. What I did not realize was that since there is no roof at this time, the ice surface cannot be maintained outside of the winter months. Equally surprising is how open the facility is. The plywood doors “securing” the site were down. Where you would expect to see the ice surface are rows upon rows of neatly laid out metal pipes about an inch or two in diameter. A cold solution is piped through to freeze the water above to create the ice surface.
For this composition, the restored neon “ICELAND” sign out front is being lit by the setting sun and spelling part of the name on the concrete cinder block wall within. It is probably the wrong time of year for the sun to be positioned properly to spell out the entire name. What caught my eye was the door, where evidence of the fire still remains.
Other interesting Iceland Skate Rink links:
- News10 video coverage of the 5-alarm fire
- Iceland Skate Rink Homepage
- Vintage photographs
- Local public television (KVIE) episode about the ice rink
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted metering mode, 28mm, ISO 100, 1/640 sec, f/4
(Ic)eland Shadow, Concrete Wall, Charred Door. Del Paso, North Sacramento, California. September 15, 2012. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.