Wednesday, July 9, 2014

3rd of 12 Transforming Davis Color Photos: 2nd Street 600s Circa ‘63 (158)

This is the third of twelve posts reporting recently discovered color photos of major Davis business locations taken in the “transforming” period of Davis history. The context of the photos is explained in DHT post number 155, “Twelve Color Photos of ‘50s-‘70s Transforming Davis: Series Introduction.”
1. 2nd St. 600s Looking West, Circa '63 
Let me now start assuming that John Weber Brinley did, in fact, make and organize these 12 color photographs.

Given everything we otherwise know about the development of Davis, it made perfect sense for his first two contrasting snapshots to be of the 200s block of G Street. He was starting with the “core of the core,” so to speak.

In that logic of importance (as well of sheer geography), he could moved slightly south and west-- to the 700s block of 2nd Street, the arguably second most historically important face
2. '60s Views & Today

But, for whatever reasons, he skipped it, proceeding instead to the next western block, the 2nd Street 600s. 

From the perspective of later decades, though, he was correct in assessing this block as commercially and socially more important than the one he skipped.*

This snapshot (graphic 1) is extraordinary in that for the first time in color we see what we now call the iconic “Brinely Building.”

I am dating it 1963 following what John Brinley himself said was the date of a black and white photo of the building he gave me for scanning that shows a slightly earlier stage of construction (graphic 7).

(I will not resist once more observing that in graphic 7 there is a sign at the corner reading “Business District” with an arrow under those words pointing to the right--toward G Street.)

As can be seen--and very much unlike the G Street shots--the other two buildings on the north side of 2nd are not all that old, having gone up in the early ‘50s (along with the Varsity Theater out of sight across the street to the left).

*  On the remarkable transformation of the 2nd Street 200s more generally and over the longer term see:

3. Left Detail
4. Middle Detail

5. Right Detail

6. Weber/Brinley Home

7. Brinley Building Circa '63

8. Excerpt from Eastman 7597, '51