Sunday, May 29, 2011

City Plan for Massive Old North Density Increase Continues On Track (47)

Excerpt from "Map of Sites"
Responding to a Council request, City Staff has produced a 62-page policy analysis of Davis “housing needs and housing types.”*  I read this document from the point of view of its implications for the Old North.
       The major implications for our area I see are that previously adopted plans for the massive densification of the Old North are moving right along as uncontested, taken-for-granted wisdom.
         Specifically, the 2008 “Map of Sites” and “Table of Site Rankings” featuring color-coded site rankings are affirmed as City policy.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

ONDNA Tenth Annual Meeting, Sunday, June 5th (46)

1. Excerpt from the Bylaws of the ONDNA
Meeting at the Hattie Weber Museum Sunday afternoon June 21, 2002, some two-dozen ON residents formed the Old North Davis Neighborhood Association.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Striking Difference Maintenance & Landscaping Make (45)

I was sorting through a set of photos of Old North homes taken by a preservation professional in 2003 and came onto the picture of 621 6th shown to the left.

The photo of this same house I took for post #39 published on May 6th came immediately to mind. I re-post it below.

To me, the contrast is startling. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

City Hall Public Works Display Features The Old North (44)

The City Hall main hallway has a display case outside the City Manager’s office that is used to “tell the story” of various groups and projects, including City departments.
       At this time, the Public Works Department has a display there that presumably features items the department considers to be important and distinctive about what it does.
       It is therefore striking to me that an Old North street sign has a prominent place in that display.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

OND Show Houses & House Shows (43)

Image 1 (Davis Wiki)
The large student population of Davis creates a milieu in which culturally distinctive residences form and persist for many years, even as most or all the residents change.

Some become named places of pride and public identity to the point that they are written up on that wonderful Davis resource, the Davis Wiki (Image 1).  

Friday, May 13, 2011

Google Earth OND Name Change: Some Progress (42)

In post # 23 on April 3, I called attention to Google Earth’s error in terming our area “Old Davis North.” Several people joined me in using Google’s process to tell it about errors.
       I wish I could say that made a difference, but I cannot.
       Instead, a couple of weeks ago Google introduced a new program called Map Maker that allows anyone to enter suggestions for changes that are then reviewed by what Google calls “trusted reviewers.”

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Picnic Day Hangover: An ON Yard as a Toilet (41)

The two people shown in this 41-second slide-show converted into a video are unlawfully penetrating an Old North intimate space on private property (the man is peeking through a living room window). More important, the man engages in an act that is disrespectful, arrogant and illegal in this location. 
      The photos were taken by a webcam sitting on a windowsill connected to a computer running a motion-activated camera program. No other humans were present when these two triggered the camera twenty times. JL
      To play, click on the lower left-hand arrow. For a full-screen view, click on the lower right-hand corner.

Reconfigured Old North Homes #1: 626 D Pedder House (40)

5. 630 D, left, and 626 D

This is the first in a series of posts in which I describe “historic period” Old North homes that have been “reconfigured” (redesigned? remodeled?).
          The house at 626 D Street is one of  almost two dozen essentially identical bungalows built between 1915 & 1919 in Davis by Contra Costa county architect and contractor A. R. Pedder. By my count, nine of them survive. Seven are in the Old North, including 626 D’s neighbor to the north, 630 D.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Best Old North Flowering Landscape Award, If There Was One (39)

My first post on this blog is titled “Best Old North Christmas Decorations.” In it, I opined that although there is no such award, there was a house to which it might be given--and I provided a snapshot of that display.
       Well, now the season has turned and another possible award comes into view: “Best Old North Flowering Landscape.”

Monday, May 2, 2011

OND Assoc. Letter to UCD Officials on Picnic Day, 2011 (38), by the Old North Davis Neighborhood Association

Steve Tracy, President and Members of the Board
Old North Davis Neighborhood Association
Davis, California 95616

Fred Wood
Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs
University of California at Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616-8507

May 2, 2011

Dear Vice Chancellor Wood:  

Following discussion at the April 28 meeting of the Old North Davis Neighborhood Association (ONDNA) Board, we are writing to you to describe a few of the unfortunate incidents that took place in our neighborhood during the most recent University Picnic Day festivities (Saturday, April 23, 2011).  Our descriptions come from complaints we have received, made by residents of Old North Davis who witnessed and suffered them.  Overall they represent for neighbors of the University a partial breakdown in civil society on Picnic Day, prompting our decision to take this action.  We chose you as our point of contact due to your position in the University as Chancellor of Student Affairs. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

539 E Street c. 1941 & 2010: Then & Now #1 (37)

This is the first in what I hope to be a series of “then and now” juxtaposed photos of Old North buildings. This will, though, be a short series unless people with early Old North pictures I can scan contact me at With those “thens,” I can photograph “nows.”

We begin with 539 E Street, built in 1938, and pictured here in two views taken about 1941.

The first set, showing the front of 539 E, is most conspicuous for the fact that we can barely see the building now because of the large landscape. I have begun to notice that this change is, indeed, fairly common in the Old North (including my own house at 523 E). Let me report that behind the landscape the house today is almost unchanged in essentials from what we see in the 1941 view.