Saturday, April 18, 2015

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.