Sunday, May 8, 2011

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.

1. 1933 Tax Appraisal
            The 1933 City of Davis “Appraisal of Property” inventory shows 626 D as constructed in 1919 (Image 1). In Image 2, we see the home’s “footprint” on the 1921 Sanborn map of Davis (circled in red). Notice the footprint is identical to its northern neighbor, 630 D. And, on the 1945 Sanborn, both 626 and 630 are still there, footprints unaltered (Image 3).
       I searched the City’s database of early building permits and found several approved for 626 D remodels and additions spread over the 1950s and early 1960s. One of these permits is reproduced in Image 4 (which may look a little odd because it is a photograph of a permit as it appears on a low resolution City computer screen).
2. 1921 Sanborn
        In Image 5 (above), 630 D and 626 D are shown side-by-side. This juxtaposition makes clear that the right hand extension of 626 was once a porch and is a match for the front of 630 D. But unlike 630 D, 626 D has been expanded on its north side.
         The interior of 626 has been extensively developed in recent years. The place is also much larger than its original configuration. (The home is currently for sale & a “walk through” video is on YouTube.)
3. 1945 Sanborn
          In a 2003 historic character assessment of 626 D, a professional preservationist opined that “the building has been drastically remodeled and no longer retains its architectural character or integrity.”  Even worst in the eyes of this professional: “It does not contribute to the historic character of Old North Davis . . . .”   (Eye of the beholder and all that.)

4. 1951 Living Room Addition
          An Aside: A real estate person has told me that the county assessor claims this house was built in 1932. Based on what I report above, this cannot be true. But, this is not the only Old North house where the assessor appears to be wrong about construction dates.  After all, the assessor is about viable tax collection, not historical accuracy. JL