Historical Preservation Once Again a Burning Issue in Davis

At the May 15, 2007 Davis City Council Meeting, the City Council will have a hearing on the Anderson Bank Building EIR (environmental impact report) and a decision as to whether to forward one of the project alternatives.
The issue of the Bank Building has been an issue in Davis for a number of years. On December 18, 2002, the City Council denied owner Jim Kidd permission to alter the windows. However, as seems to be the case with many developers, Mr. Kidd is holding onto his property that he purchased with full knowledge that it could not be developed under the current regulations that regulate historical preservation. However, that has not prevented him from bringing the issue up once again with a different council hoping that a governing body will eventually get elected which would grant his wishes to do the alteration. Preliminary indications are that it may not be this council either. We shall find out the answer to that soon.

In March, the Historic Resources Management Commission (HRMC) voted unanimously to recommend the “No Project” alternative, after voting down recommendations for Project Alternatives A and B.

One of the guiding principles here is Chapter 16 of the “Goals and Policies” from the City of Davis General Plan:

“The City shall review proposed alterations to City designated historic resources and improvements within historic districts utilizing the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings and the State Historic Building Code.”

The Anderson building is one of the few historic landmarks remaining in Davis–one person in the minutes to the HRMC meeting suggested there are just 16 historic buildings left in Davis following a lot of the renovations that took place in the 1960s and 1970s where a number of historic buildings were bulldozed in the name of progress. The current owner of the building was fully aware that the Anderson Bank Building was a City Landmark when he bought it.

This is not the first time the issue of the Anderson Bank Building has come up. In fact, it came up just five years ago. The argument used by the owner then as now is that redesigning the windows are necessary for business purposes. The HRMC expressed the view recently that they were not convinced that the pursuit of Design Option A would improve the chances of retail success for businesses located in the building. Furthermore, as some commissioners suggested at their meeting, one of the single most important features on a building are its windows. The commission argued that “if the windows of this historic building are altered, the fabric of the historic structure will be altered irretrievably and unmitigably.”

This issue arose in the newsletter of the Davis Historical Society in January of 2003. Retired UC Davis Professor John Lofland in his Op-ed, “Magical Beliefs, Small Retailers and Preservation” wrote:

“In Jim Kidd’s recent effort to add out-of-character windows to the Anderson Bank Building, we saw many small business people again and again proclaim that certain kinds of windows were critical to the success of the small retailer.

Curious about this, I went on the web and researched the topic of small business success and failure. This turns out to be a well investigated question on which there are a great many quantitative, scholarly inquires.

Signal to me, while there are some well-identified causes of failure and success, the nature of a store’s windows are not among them.”

Professor Lofland speculates that the idea that windows are vital to business success as one of the magical myths, constructed to mitigate the uncertainty of business endeavors rather than rooted in any reasonable notion of scientific discovery.

Nevertheless Jim Becket, the volunteer director of Davis’ Hattie Weber Museum, in his Davis Enterprise op-ed last week writes:

“The building’s owner and the maverick Davis Downtown Business Association are urging the council to override the recommendation of the Davis Historical Resources Management Commission by selecting “Option B” in the recently completed environmental impact report. This option proposes to drastically enlarge the windows of the old bank building in an attempt to enhance its use as a retail outlet.”

Mr. Becket following the commission also suggests that the owner purchased the building both knowing of its window limitations and its historical nature:

“I think owner Jim Kidd also made an error at the outset when he bought the building, which had already been designated with landmark status, with the evident intention of using the old bank and post office section for retail. It was a bad business decision, and I do not believe the council, the city or the public owes it to Kidd to bail him out of a bad business decision.”

The building is a key part of Davis’ rich history. As Mr. Beckett goes on to describe:

“I suggest that the downtown businesses should support restoring the Anderson Bank Building as a visible symbol of its vibrant, successful past. That is why the building was built — the downtown was generating so much cash that J.B. Anderson could not store it in the safe in his store anymore, so he sold his business and established a bank!

But the building was more than just a bank. Pause for a moment and look at the whole building and consider its significance. This businessman, who became the first mayor of Davis a few years later, had the business acumen and foresight to not only build a bank (with windows appropriate for the time period), he built the early-1900s equivalent of the beautiful, modern, present-day Chen Building that proudly stands across the street. The Anderson Bank Building makes a positive contribution to the framing of the contemporary entrance to the downtown.”

The decision by the Davis Enterprise to run a computer generated graphic with a caption next to Mr. Beckett’s column generated criticism and controversy among those in preservation community who believed it undermined and compromised the message of the author and therefore was inappropriate for placement next to the op-ed. Certainly even if the editors disagree with the opinions expressed in an op-ed, they could provide response or the picture in another location so as to not confuse the reader or dilute the message.

Instead, the caption asserts that the Option B window change would improve the property for business use. It also implies that the computer generated “photo” is attached to the op-ed. It neither states the source for the graphic nor indicates that neither the graphic nor its caption are the work of the author of the op-ed text.

In short, the complaint is that while the Davis Enterprise provided Mr. Beckett op-ed space, it used its editorial discretion and ability to control space to dilute his message.

And it is an important message. As I have become more and more acquainted with contemporary Davis politics, I have also learned in greater and greater detail about Davis’ rich history. With so few buildings remaining from the time of Davis’ founding in 1917, a founding that we are celebrating this year as a 90th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Davis, it only makes sense that we fight to preserve not only the current character of our city, but also its heritage. That means we preserve whatever historical buildings remain from an era that in the scheme of things was not all that long ago. Hopefully in this year of the 90th anniversary of the founding of Davis, that fight can become just as pertinent as the fight to preserve our present character from large new development or the influx of national chain big box retail.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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52 thoughts on “Historical Preservation Once Again a Burning Issue in Davis”

  1. Brian in Davis

    Several years back, in fact two businesses ago for the Anderson building, I looked casually into leasing the ground floor retail space for a business idea I wanted to pursue. For me, the windows were not an issue. In fact they were an asset for the type of retail business I wanted to run, let alone their historical value. Predictably, the lease rates were extraordinarily high so I didn’t pursue it beyond the initial telephone inquiry. It would be interesting to ask the current futon shop tenants if the windows are a business liability.

  2. Brian in Davis

    Several years back, in fact two businesses ago for the Anderson building, I looked casually into leasing the ground floor retail space for a business idea I wanted to pursue. For me, the windows were not an issue. In fact they were an asset for the type of retail business I wanted to run, let alone their historical value. Predictably, the lease rates were extraordinarily high so I didn’t pursue it beyond the initial telephone inquiry. It would be interesting to ask the current futon shop tenants if the windows are a business liability.

  3. Brian in Davis

    Several years back, in fact two businesses ago for the Anderson building, I looked casually into leasing the ground floor retail space for a business idea I wanted to pursue. For me, the windows were not an issue. In fact they were an asset for the type of retail business I wanted to run, let alone their historical value. Predictably, the lease rates were extraordinarily high so I didn’t pursue it beyond the initial telephone inquiry. It would be interesting to ask the current futon shop tenants if the windows are a business liability.

  4. Brian in Davis

    Several years back, in fact two businesses ago for the Anderson building, I looked casually into leasing the ground floor retail space for a business idea I wanted to pursue. For me, the windows were not an issue. In fact they were an asset for the type of retail business I wanted to run, let alone their historical value. Predictably, the lease rates were extraordinarily high so I didn’t pursue it beyond the initial telephone inquiry. It would be interesting to ask the current futon shop tenants if the windows are a business liability.

  5. Anonymous

    The Enterprise practice of adding editorially-biased illustrations, captions, and titles to Op-Eds has been long-standing. It is an effective technique for controlling the message and sometimes even making an Op-Ed appear to support the opposite point of view.

  6. Anonymous

    The Enterprise practice of adding editorially-biased illustrations, captions, and titles to Op-Eds has been long-standing. It is an effective technique for controlling the message and sometimes even making an Op-Ed appear to support the opposite point of view.

  7. Anonymous

    The Enterprise practice of adding editorially-biased illustrations, captions, and titles to Op-Eds has been long-standing. It is an effective technique for controlling the message and sometimes even making an Op-Ed appear to support the opposite point of view.

  8. Anonymous

    The Enterprise practice of adding editorially-biased illustrations, captions, and titles to Op-Eds has been long-standing. It is an effective technique for controlling the message and sometimes even making an Op-Ed appear to support the opposite point of view.

  9. davisite

    The newer Davis residents read The Bee or increasingly, this blog to be informed. Old-time residents make up the Enterprise readership and fully understand(either with skepticism or enthusiasm) that the line between journalism and editoral bias is difficult to determine in our limited circulation(no more than one-third of households), small-town newspaper.

  10. davisite

    The newer Davis residents read The Bee or increasingly, this blog to be informed. Old-time residents make up the Enterprise readership and fully understand(either with skepticism or enthusiasm) that the line between journalism and editoral bias is difficult to determine in our limited circulation(no more than one-third of households), small-town newspaper.

  11. davisite

    The newer Davis residents read The Bee or increasingly, this blog to be informed. Old-time residents make up the Enterprise readership and fully understand(either with skepticism or enthusiasm) that the line between journalism and editoral bias is difficult to determine in our limited circulation(no more than one-third of households), small-town newspaper.

  12. davisite

    The newer Davis residents read The Bee or increasingly, this blog to be informed. Old-time residents make up the Enterprise readership and fully understand(either with skepticism or enthusiasm) that the line between journalism and editoral bias is difficult to determine in our limited circulation(no more than one-third of households), small-town newspaper.

  13. 無名 - wu ming

    i have always thought that the anderson building would make a fantastic bar or restaurant. the string of businesses from barney’s records all the way to the current futon shop have been underwhelming, in the sense of how they used that space.

    at any rate, i agree with the point here wholeheartedly. when you have a great old building with that degree of style, especially in a city so wanting in cool old buildings, the only changes you ought to make to it are seismic or other safety retrofits that allow you to keep using it.

  14. 無名 - wu ming

    i have always thought that the anderson building would make a fantastic bar or restaurant. the string of businesses from barney’s records all the way to the current futon shop have been underwhelming, in the sense of how they used that space.

    at any rate, i agree with the point here wholeheartedly. when you have a great old building with that degree of style, especially in a city so wanting in cool old buildings, the only changes you ought to make to it are seismic or other safety retrofits that allow you to keep using it.

  15. 無名 - wu ming

    i have always thought that the anderson building would make a fantastic bar or restaurant. the string of businesses from barney’s records all the way to the current futon shop have been underwhelming, in the sense of how they used that space.

    at any rate, i agree with the point here wholeheartedly. when you have a great old building with that degree of style, especially in a city so wanting in cool old buildings, the only changes you ought to make to it are seismic or other safety retrofits that allow you to keep using it.

  16. 無名 - wu ming

    i have always thought that the anderson building would make a fantastic bar or restaurant. the string of businesses from barney’s records all the way to the current futon shop have been underwhelming, in the sense of how they used that space.

    at any rate, i agree with the point here wholeheartedly. when you have a great old building with that degree of style, especially in a city so wanting in cool old buildings, the only changes you ought to make to it are seismic or other safety retrofits that allow you to keep using it.

  17. Don Shor

    The advantage of the picture is that it gives the reader a chance to judge the merits of the request. From a retail standpoint enlarging the windows would be a big improvement. It would make the building useful for more types of businesses, and would encourage window-shopping. “Critical to success”? I don’t know about that, although the history of retail on that corner is pretty mixed. But I don’t see the change as being that dire.

  18. Don Shor

    The advantage of the picture is that it gives the reader a chance to judge the merits of the request. From a retail standpoint enlarging the windows would be a big improvement. It would make the building useful for more types of businesses, and would encourage window-shopping. “Critical to success”? I don’t know about that, although the history of retail on that corner is pretty mixed. But I don’t see the change as being that dire.

  19. Don Shor

    The advantage of the picture is that it gives the reader a chance to judge the merits of the request. From a retail standpoint enlarging the windows would be a big improvement. It would make the building useful for more types of businesses, and would encourage window-shopping. “Critical to success”? I don’t know about that, although the history of retail on that corner is pretty mixed. But I don’t see the change as being that dire.

  20. Don Shor

    The advantage of the picture is that it gives the reader a chance to judge the merits of the request. From a retail standpoint enlarging the windows would be a big improvement. It would make the building useful for more types of businesses, and would encourage window-shopping. “Critical to success”? I don’t know about that, although the history of retail on that corner is pretty mixed. But I don’t see the change as being that dire.

  21. sharla

    The space cannot be a restaurant because there is no access to the alley for garbage, fire access, etc. The building could be renovated to be a restaurant, but that would mean having the entire ground floor change including taking over Togo’s place. It could be done, but that would require a motivated owner.

  22. sharla

    The space cannot be a restaurant because there is no access to the alley for garbage, fire access, etc. The building could be renovated to be a restaurant, but that would mean having the entire ground floor change including taking over Togo’s place. It could be done, but that would require a motivated owner.

  23. sharla

    The space cannot be a restaurant because there is no access to the alley for garbage, fire access, etc. The building could be renovated to be a restaurant, but that would mean having the entire ground floor change including taking over Togo’s place. It could be done, but that would require a motivated owner.

  24. sharla

    The space cannot be a restaurant because there is no access to the alley for garbage, fire access, etc. The building could be renovated to be a restaurant, but that would mean having the entire ground floor change including taking over Togo’s place. It could be done, but that would require a motivated owner.

  25. Anonymous

    don shor said …

    “But I don’t see the change as being that dire.”

    Based on what criteria? The windows are one of the main character defining features of that building. You take away their integrity and you take away the historic essence of the building.

  26. Anonymous

    don shor said …

    “But I don’t see the change as being that dire.”

    Based on what criteria? The windows are one of the main character defining features of that building. You take away their integrity and you take away the historic essence of the building.

  27. Anonymous

    don shor said …

    “But I don’t see the change as being that dire.”

    Based on what criteria? The windows are one of the main character defining features of that building. You take away their integrity and you take away the historic essence of the building.

  28. Anonymous

    don shor said …

    “But I don’t see the change as being that dire.”

    Based on what criteria? The windows are one of the main character defining features of that building. You take away their integrity and you take away the historic essence of the building.

  29. Vincente

    “The advantage of the picture is that it gives the reader a chance to judge the merits of the request.”

    The disadvantage is that if that were the point of such an entry, it would be good to have a before and after picture and then ask people what they believe–the inclusion as it read suggested that this was part of what the writer wrote, when it was not.

  30. Vincente

    “The advantage of the picture is that it gives the reader a chance to judge the merits of the request.”

    The disadvantage is that if that were the point of such an entry, it would be good to have a before and after picture and then ask people what they believe–the inclusion as it read suggested that this was part of what the writer wrote, when it was not.

  31. Vincente

    “The advantage of the picture is that it gives the reader a chance to judge the merits of the request.”

    The disadvantage is that if that were the point of such an entry, it would be good to have a before and after picture and then ask people what they believe–the inclusion as it read suggested that this was part of what the writer wrote, when it was not.

  32. Vincente

    “The advantage of the picture is that it gives the reader a chance to judge the merits of the request.”

    The disadvantage is that if that were the point of such an entry, it would be good to have a before and after picture and then ask people what they believe–the inclusion as it read suggested that this was part of what the writer wrote, when it was not.

  33. Anonymous

    It would be interesting to ask the current futon shop tenants if the windows are a business liability.

    It is interesting that a futon shop occupies that space. If there ever was a business that might want lower windows, it would probably be a retailer whose wares are mostly below eye level. If a futon shop can get by with the original windows, I would think that almost any business could.

    Would the futon shop be willing to pay a higher rent to have lower windows? I don’t think Mr. Kidd would spend the money to remodel, only to leave the rent unchanged….

  34. Anonymous

    It would be interesting to ask the current futon shop tenants if the windows are a business liability.

    It is interesting that a futon shop occupies that space. If there ever was a business that might want lower windows, it would probably be a retailer whose wares are mostly below eye level. If a futon shop can get by with the original windows, I would think that almost any business could.

    Would the futon shop be willing to pay a higher rent to have lower windows? I don’t think Mr. Kidd would spend the money to remodel, only to leave the rent unchanged….

  35. Anonymous

    It would be interesting to ask the current futon shop tenants if the windows are a business liability.

    It is interesting that a futon shop occupies that space. If there ever was a business that might want lower windows, it would probably be a retailer whose wares are mostly below eye level. If a futon shop can get by with the original windows, I would think that almost any business could.

    Would the futon shop be willing to pay a higher rent to have lower windows? I don’t think Mr. Kidd would spend the money to remodel, only to leave the rent unchanged….

  36. Anonymous

    It would be interesting to ask the current futon shop tenants if the windows are a business liability.

    It is interesting that a futon shop occupies that space. If there ever was a business that might want lower windows, it would probably be a retailer whose wares are mostly below eye level. If a futon shop can get by with the original windows, I would think that almost any business could.

    Would the futon shop be willing to pay a higher rent to have lower windows? I don’t think Mr. Kidd would spend the money to remodel, only to leave the rent unchanged….

  37. Don Shor

    “You take away their integrity and you take away the historic essence of the building.”

    The windows make the historic essence of the building? I am not an expert on historical designations. But it would still look old, the roofline and exterior would be mostly the same. The windows would be bigger.

    The building was built for a particular purpose, for which it is no longer being used. The remodel would make it more suitable for its current and likely future uses; I doubt if anyone is going to put a bank in there again.

    It would be handy to have side by side pictures. Maybe one of us could go take a digital image of the building so Doug can post it here.

  38. Don Shor

    “You take away their integrity and you take away the historic essence of the building.”

    The windows make the historic essence of the building? I am not an expert on historical designations. But it would still look old, the roofline and exterior would be mostly the same. The windows would be bigger.

    The building was built for a particular purpose, for which it is no longer being used. The remodel would make it more suitable for its current and likely future uses; I doubt if anyone is going to put a bank in there again.

    It would be handy to have side by side pictures. Maybe one of us could go take a digital image of the building so Doug can post it here.

  39. Don Shor

    “You take away their integrity and you take away the historic essence of the building.”

    The windows make the historic essence of the building? I am not an expert on historical designations. But it would still look old, the roofline and exterior would be mostly the same. The windows would be bigger.

    The building was built for a particular purpose, for which it is no longer being used. The remodel would make it more suitable for its current and likely future uses; I doubt if anyone is going to put a bank in there again.

    It would be handy to have side by side pictures. Maybe one of us could go take a digital image of the building so Doug can post it here.

  40. Don Shor

    “You take away their integrity and you take away the historic essence of the building.”

    The windows make the historic essence of the building? I am not an expert on historical designations. But it would still look old, the roofline and exterior would be mostly the same. The windows would be bigger.

    The building was built for a particular purpose, for which it is no longer being used. The remodel would make it more suitable for its current and likely future uses; I doubt if anyone is going to put a bank in there again.

    It would be handy to have side by side pictures. Maybe one of us could go take a digital image of the building so Doug can post it here.

  41. Anonymous

    I wonder if Don Shor has read the EIR. Sounds like he hasn’t. The purpose of the EIR is to inform the public of the issues, the expert conclusions, the legal issues, including that such things as whether and how the change would affect the historical integrity (a technical term). Precisely because leaving these issues up to uninformed subjective opinions has resulted in destruction of so much of our cultural & historic heritage, and led to them being regulated by the CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act). That’s why there is an EIR process, which includes a 45 day comment period (now of course passed for this building) on the Draft EIR. Please, please people: at least read the final EIR to see what it’s all about. There are two more EIRs affecting historic resources in Davis in the pipeline, the B Street one which involves amendments to the General Plan, and the project for replacing part of the Hunt-Boyer Mansion Landmark property, the Tank House and 100 year old orange trees with a 3 or 4 story office building. The B Street issue is already at the Final EIR stage too with insufficient public attention (there will be a public workshop on the Final EIR later this month, then the Council decision soon after), but the Tank House demolition project EIR hasn’t yet issued the Draft, on which all of you public will have 45 days to comment and attend hearings. Make you comments informed and input them to the EIR process where they’ll count.

  42. Anonymous

    I wonder if Don Shor has read the EIR. Sounds like he hasn’t. The purpose of the EIR is to inform the public of the issues, the expert conclusions, the legal issues, including that such things as whether and how the change would affect the historical integrity (a technical term). Precisely because leaving these issues up to uninformed subjective opinions has resulted in destruction of so much of our cultural & historic heritage, and led to them being regulated by the CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act). That’s why there is an EIR process, which includes a 45 day comment period (now of course passed for this building) on the Draft EIR. Please, please people: at least read the final EIR to see what it’s all about. There are two more EIRs affecting historic resources in Davis in the pipeline, the B Street one which involves amendments to the General Plan, and the project for replacing part of the Hunt-Boyer Mansion Landmark property, the Tank House and 100 year old orange trees with a 3 or 4 story office building. The B Street issue is already at the Final EIR stage too with insufficient public attention (there will be a public workshop on the Final EIR later this month, then the Council decision soon after), but the Tank House demolition project EIR hasn’t yet issued the Draft, on which all of you public will have 45 days to comment and attend hearings. Make you comments informed and input them to the EIR process where they’ll count.

  43. Anonymous

    I wonder if Don Shor has read the EIR. Sounds like he hasn’t. The purpose of the EIR is to inform the public of the issues, the expert conclusions, the legal issues, including that such things as whether and how the change would affect the historical integrity (a technical term). Precisely because leaving these issues up to uninformed subjective opinions has resulted in destruction of so much of our cultural & historic heritage, and led to them being regulated by the CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act). That’s why there is an EIR process, which includes a 45 day comment period (now of course passed for this building) on the Draft EIR. Please, please people: at least read the final EIR to see what it’s all about. There are two more EIRs affecting historic resources in Davis in the pipeline, the B Street one which involves amendments to the General Plan, and the project for replacing part of the Hunt-Boyer Mansion Landmark property, the Tank House and 100 year old orange trees with a 3 or 4 story office building. The B Street issue is already at the Final EIR stage too with insufficient public attention (there will be a public workshop on the Final EIR later this month, then the Council decision soon after), but the Tank House demolition project EIR hasn’t yet issued the Draft, on which all of you public will have 45 days to comment and attend hearings. Make you comments informed and input them to the EIR process where they’ll count.

  44. Anonymous

    I wonder if Don Shor has read the EIR. Sounds like he hasn’t. The purpose of the EIR is to inform the public of the issues, the expert conclusions, the legal issues, including that such things as whether and how the change would affect the historical integrity (a technical term). Precisely because leaving these issues up to uninformed subjective opinions has resulted in destruction of so much of our cultural & historic heritage, and led to them being regulated by the CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act). That’s why there is an EIR process, which includes a 45 day comment period (now of course passed for this building) on the Draft EIR. Please, please people: at least read the final EIR to see what it’s all about. There are two more EIRs affecting historic resources in Davis in the pipeline, the B Street one which involves amendments to the General Plan, and the project for replacing part of the Hunt-Boyer Mansion Landmark property, the Tank House and 100 year old orange trees with a 3 or 4 story office building. The B Street issue is already at the Final EIR stage too with insufficient public attention (there will be a public workshop on the Final EIR later this month, then the Council decision soon after), but the Tank House demolition project EIR hasn’t yet issued the Draft, on which all of you public will have 45 days to comment and attend hearings. Make you comments informed and input them to the EIR process where they’ll count.

  45. Don Shor

    Ok, I have now read through the Final EIR for the Anderson Bank Building. Anyone else who wishes to can go to http://www.city.davis.ca.us/cdd/projects/andersonbank/
    It seems that a more accurate statement of my belief, using the jargon, would be that in my opinion the aesthetic impact of Design Option B would be minimal.
    A number of mitigations have been proposed – something like a dozen, by my count. Some have already been performed by the owner.

    “Design Option A, if mitigated, reduces the impact to a less than significant level.”
    Do any of those who oppose Jim Kidd’s application support Design Option A? or the ‘glass wall’ version mentioned by Richard Berteaux?

    The report cites the Core Area Specific Plan about retail window space: “Typically, most modern retail windows range from six inches to two feet above ground. The southwestern portion of the building elevation already has lower retail windows.” The report notes that the Core Area plan also says that “inappropriate historical themes should be avoided.” So we have a conflict here between successful retail and historical preservation. The history of retail on that corner tends to support the owner’s application.

    The arched windows, “a major character defining feature,” would remain. The owner proposes adding window space below them. The cornice would be restored, the second floor windows would be replaced to match the original, the exterior would be cleaned or repainted, the fixtures would be replaced with accurate ones, the grate for the bank bell would be restored, the terra cotta plaque would be restored.

    With Option A, the building would still be eligible for City of Davis Landmark status and for inclusion in the state historic registry, but not the national one. With Option B, it would no longer be eligible for those designations.
    Pictures would be helpful; maybe I didn’t see them. But from the descriptions, my opinion is that Option B would be less aesthetically intrusive, as the window expansion would be contiguous with the existing arched windows, while Option A would break up the wall space more.

    I concur with architect Gale Sosnick’s letter (which is inserted into the report as an image, or I’d copy and paste it here). A key paragraph: “The Anderson bank building would still have its cornice and brick details, bas-relief tiles and its arched windows. Lowering the sill would not effect the above, and would make the building a viable retail space. The public would hardly notice the difference.”

    Rich Rifkin wrote some interesting comments. In particular he seems to be suggesting non-retail uses (bar, coffee shop, poker lounge). Loss of retail in this key downtown location would be unfortunate, in my opinion, as that trend is already likely to be exacerbated by the voter approval of peripheral big-box retail. It is the mix of retail, food-service, professional, and residential that makes a successful downtown.

  46. Don Shor

    Ok, I have now read through the Final EIR for the Anderson Bank Building. Anyone else who wishes to can go to http://www.city.davis.ca.us/cdd/projects/andersonbank/
    It seems that a more accurate statement of my belief, using the jargon, would be that in my opinion the aesthetic impact of Design Option B would be minimal.
    A number of mitigations have been proposed – something like a dozen, by my count. Some have already been performed by the owner.

    “Design Option A, if mitigated, reduces the impact to a less than significant level.”
    Do any of those who oppose Jim Kidd’s application support Design Option A? or the ‘glass wall’ version mentioned by Richard Berteaux?

    The report cites the Core Area Specific Plan about retail window space: “Typically, most modern retail windows range from six inches to two feet above ground. The southwestern portion of the building elevation already has lower retail windows.” The report notes that the Core Area plan also says that “inappropriate historical themes should be avoided.” So we have a conflict here between successful retail and historical preservation. The history of retail on that corner tends to support the owner’s application.

    The arched windows, “a major character defining feature,” would remain. The owner proposes adding window space below them. The cornice would be restored, the second floor windows would be replaced to match the original, the exterior would be cleaned or repainted, the fixtures would be replaced with accurate ones, the grate for the bank bell would be restored, the terra cotta plaque would be restored.

    With Option A, the building would still be eligible for City of Davis Landmark status and for inclusion in the state historic registry, but not the national one. With Option B, it would no longer be eligible for those designations.
    Pictures would be helpful; maybe I didn’t see them. But from the descriptions, my opinion is that Option B would be less aesthetically intrusive, as the window expansion would be contiguous with the existing arched windows, while Option A would break up the wall space more.

    I concur with architect Gale Sosnick’s letter (which is inserted into the report as an image, or I’d copy and paste it here). A key paragraph: “The Anderson bank building would still have its cornice and brick details, bas-relief tiles and its arched windows. Lowering the sill would not effect the above, and would make the building a viable retail space. The public would hardly notice the difference.”

    Rich Rifkin wrote some interesting comments. In particular he seems to be suggesting non-retail uses (bar, coffee shop, poker lounge). Loss of retail in this key downtown location would be unfortunate, in my opinion, as that trend is already likely to be exacerbated by the voter approval of peripheral big-box retail. It is the mix of retail, food-service, professional, and residential that makes a successful downtown.

  47. Don Shor

    Ok, I have now read through the Final EIR for the Anderson Bank Building. Anyone else who wishes to can go to http://www.city.davis.ca.us/cdd/projects/andersonbank/
    It seems that a more accurate statement of my belief, using the jargon, would be that in my opinion the aesthetic impact of Design Option B would be minimal.
    A number of mitigations have been proposed – something like a dozen, by my count. Some have already been performed by the owner.

    “Design Option A, if mitigated, reduces the impact to a less than significant level.”
    Do any of those who oppose Jim Kidd’s application support Design Option A? or the ‘glass wall’ version mentioned by Richard Berteaux?

    The report cites the Core Area Specific Plan about retail window space: “Typically, most modern retail windows range from six inches to two feet above ground. The southwestern portion of the building elevation already has lower retail windows.” The report notes that the Core Area plan also says that “inappropriate historical themes should be avoided.” So we have a conflict here between successful retail and historical preservation. The history of retail on that corner tends to support the owner’s application.

    The arched windows, “a major character defining feature,” would remain. The owner proposes adding window space below them. The cornice would be restored, the second floor windows would be replaced to match the original, the exterior would be cleaned or repainted, the fixtures would be replaced with accurate ones, the grate for the bank bell would be restored, the terra cotta plaque would be restored.

    With Option A, the building would still be eligible for City of Davis Landmark status and for inclusion in the state historic registry, but not the national one. With Option B, it would no longer be eligible for those designations.
    Pictures would be helpful; maybe I didn’t see them. But from the descriptions, my opinion is that Option B would be less aesthetically intrusive, as the window expansion would be contiguous with the existing arched windows, while Option A would break up the wall space more.

    I concur with architect Gale Sosnick’s letter (which is inserted into the report as an image, or I’d copy and paste it here). A key paragraph: “The Anderson bank building would still have its cornice and brick details, bas-relief tiles and its arched windows. Lowering the sill would not effect the above, and would make the building a viable retail space. The public would hardly notice the difference.”

    Rich Rifkin wrote some interesting comments. In particular he seems to be suggesting non-retail uses (bar, coffee shop, poker lounge). Loss of retail in this key downtown location would be unfortunate, in my opinion, as that trend is already likely to be exacerbated by the voter approval of peripheral big-box retail. It is the mix of retail, food-service, professional, and residential that makes a successful downtown.

  48. Don Shor

    Ok, I have now read through the Final EIR for the Anderson Bank Building. Anyone else who wishes to can go to http://www.city.davis.ca.us/cdd/projects/andersonbank/
    It seems that a more accurate statement of my belief, using the jargon, would be that in my opinion the aesthetic impact of Design Option B would be minimal.
    A number of mitigations have been proposed – something like a dozen, by my count. Some have already been performed by the owner.

    “Design Option A, if mitigated, reduces the impact to a less than significant level.”
    Do any of those who oppose Jim Kidd’s application support Design Option A? or the ‘glass wall’ version mentioned by Richard Berteaux?

    The report cites the Core Area Specific Plan about retail window space: “Typically, most modern retail windows range from six inches to two feet above ground. The southwestern portion of the building elevation already has lower retail windows.” The report notes that the Core Area plan also says that “inappropriate historical themes should be avoided.” So we have a conflict here between successful retail and historical preservation. The history of retail on that corner tends to support the owner’s application.

    The arched windows, “a major character defining feature,” would remain. The owner proposes adding window space below them. The cornice would be restored, the second floor windows would be replaced to match the original, the exterior would be cleaned or repainted, the fixtures would be replaced with accurate ones, the grate for the bank bell would be restored, the terra cotta plaque would be restored.

    With Option A, the building would still be eligible for City of Davis Landmark status and for inclusion in the state historic registry, but not the national one. With Option B, it would no longer be eligible for those designations.
    Pictures would be helpful; maybe I didn’t see them. But from the descriptions, my opinion is that Option B would be less aesthetically intrusive, as the window expansion would be contiguous with the existing arched windows, while Option A would break up the wall space more.

    I concur with architect Gale Sosnick’s letter (which is inserted into the report as an image, or I’d copy and paste it here). A key paragraph: “The Anderson bank building would still have its cornice and brick details, bas-relief tiles and its arched windows. Lowering the sill would not effect the above, and would make the building a viable retail space. The public would hardly notice the difference.”

    Rich Rifkin wrote some interesting comments. In particular he seems to be suggesting non-retail uses (bar, coffee shop, poker lounge). Loss of retail in this key downtown location would be unfortunate, in my opinion, as that trend is already likely to be exacerbated by the voter approval of peripheral big-box retail. It is the mix of retail, food-service, professional, and residential that makes a successful downtown.

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