Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Davis Civic Center Block From the Air in 1960 and in 2000 (226)

This is the third in a series of posts on aerial photos found in the archives of the Davis School District (posts 224 and 225).

The photo featured here departs from most of the others in not focusing on a school. Instead, we are given what appears to be a circa 2000 view of Davis’ Civic Center block. That block contains a school, of course, but it is rather hidden in the upper-right hand area.

The view in this image prompted me to remember that the 1960 Davis High yearbook contains a two-page image of essentially the same area. In black and white, that image is also reproduced here.

The context is that 1960 was the last year the high school operated in the building on this block. So, the yearbook was memorializing that fact.

The point of this post is, of course, to encourage comparison of the blocks in 1960 and in 2000. In my view, the differences are profound and any alert observer does not need me to list them.

I want once more to thank Davis School District officials Penny Pyle and Maureen Poole for their excellent help and cooperation in making these photos available to the public.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Additional Aerial View of "Davis’ Mega-cultural Complex" (225)

Following-on post number 225, the Davis School District archive contains a second color view of the “Davis mega-cultural complex.” Apparently also taken on September 27, 1999, it centerpieces the North Davis Elementary School.

It bears mentioning that advertising material pasted on the reverse of these photos suggest that this and other images in the series were taken on speculation by Aerial Views, Inc of Albion New York in the hope of selling them in bulk to the School district or to other buyers. (A reproduction of the ad appears after the jump.)

As I explain in post 224, I am highly indebted to School District officials Penny Pyle and Maureen Poole for bringing these photos to my attention in response to my inquiry about historical images held by the District.

Aerial View of Davis’ Mega-cultural Complex (224)

I recently came upon an aerial photo of one part of Davis* that caused me to realize that there is a mega-cultural complex at its physical (and also psychological) center.

That mega-cultural complex is Community Park combined with its several adjacent buildings, which include two schools and a county library. In the park itself, in addition to various athletic facilities, there is the Veterans Memorial building dedicated to cultural activities and the Davis Art Center.

Stepping back just a little, one can appreciate that this is, as a planning achievement, quite an amazing configuration (especially when considered in the wider context of cultural facilities in the rest of Davis). The 1950s and ‘60s planners of the yet-to-exist-city have much of which to be proud. It took considerable optimism and foresight to look at the rather anemic little place that Davis was at that time and to project in imagination a city on the scale we see today and a culture complex appropriate to it.


* This image is one of a series of color aerial photos in the archives of the Davis Joint Unified School District. I recently asked District officials Penny Pyle and Maureen Poole if that organization had older photographs relating to Davis schools and each referred me to that set of aerials. As seen here, there are also non-school views.  Ms. Pyle and Ms. Poole were extremely helpful in providing me locations in which to examine and reproduce District archival items. I am much in their debt and I thank them very much.

Monday, April 6, 2015

1967 Map of the First Davis Bike Lanes (223)

Given the quasi-sacred role of bike lanes in Davis life, it is puzzling that the exact locations of the complete set of the first such lanes has never been definitively established.

This is in large measure because the people who installed them in the summer of 1967 left virtually no records, nor did much of anyone else bother to try to provide precise and complete documentation.

The October 2, 1967 issue of the Enterprise carries a report that the Chamber of Commerce had just issued a brochure including a map of the new lanes (image 1). But while 10,000 copies of it were said to be available for free distribution, none was known to have survived. (Where are the hoarders when you need them?)

None was known to survive, that is, until I finally did what anyone could have done in the 48 years since 1967. I wandered into the Map Room of UCD’s Shields Library and looked into its drawer of Davis maps.

There it was--and has apparently been--since 1967.