Sunday, January 20, 2013

HRMC to Consider Improved Historical Preservation Practices at Jan. 28th Meeting (97)

At its meeting on Monday, January 28th, the Historical Resources Management Commission will consider adoption of two measures that would, I think, improve historical preservation practice in Davis.

The first, item 9.B. on the accompanying agenda, will consider implementing an “outline template” of actions that should be performed in researching and otherwise preparing historic preservation assessment reports.

The HRMC’s recent experience with the property at 315 D Street suggests that such a measure is needed because there are, at this time, few clear requirements.

The situation with 315 D is described in this blog’s post # 90, 12-12-12, titled “Historical Commission Declares 315 D Historically Insignificant,” which is here:

Some elements of a possible “outline template” are listed in post # 91, 12-16-12, “Researching Early Davis Buildings and People,” linked here:

The second, item 9.C., will consider starting the practice of placing “photo-memorial plaques” in certain historically appropriate locations in Davis. (A photo-memorial plaque of the kind intended is pictured in the HRMC agenda reproduced above.)

I think this would be an important step forward in Davis historic preservation. At the moment, we must choose between the draconian actions of “landmark” or “merit” designation and no action at all. The photo-memorial plaque inserts a “notch” between heavy-duty designation and doing nothing. (Indeed, even more in-between “notches” might also be thought about.)

The idea of the historical memorial plaque is of course a familiar one, expressed originally and most famously by England’s “blue plaques.” (These are explained in the accompanying graphics.)

In post # 92 titled “The Unique Historical Preservation Task of the College Town” (12-21-12), I suggest circumstances in which photo-memorial plaques can be appropriate. That post is here: