There are 223 historic properties in and around the city of Davis as identified in the Historic Property Data File Historic Resources Inventory (HRI), maintained by the State Office of Historic Preservation; this includes properties that are listed in the National Register. Some of these buildings can be seen on the Davis Historic Bike Tour, and the Davis Historical Society is an excellent information resource. For Historic Resources in Davis, see City of Davis Cultural Resources. For the city's three traditional (historic) neighborhoods see Neighborhood Associations.
Please be sure to read our Town History to see how these properties figure into local lore, why some of the names you see around town appear so frequently, and to learn about some of our more recent history.
Also, please take a look at the oldest surviving buildings, some of which are not listed in this entry.
Brief Historical Context
see also Town History
In 1850, Joseph B. Chiles acquired roughly 4,200 acres of the Rancho Laguna de Santo Calle Mexican land grant and later divided the land between his sons-in-law, Jerome C. Davis and Gabriel Brown. Large agricultural production ranches developed over the next decade, and our young farming community came to be called Putah Township by the 1860s. When the California Pacific Railroad came to town and established Davisville as a new township by 1871, the area became a legitimate agricultural center. In 1907, the University State Farm was established, and the character of the Davisville was forever changed as it embarked upon the road that would mark it by 1959 as a university town surrounding UC Davis.
National Register of Historic Places
- Animal Science Building (West Quad & Peter J. Shields Avenue)
- Davis Subway aka Richards Underpass (constructed 1917 City of Davis Landmark)
- Dresbach-Hunt-Boyer Mansion (604 2nd Street, built in 1875 City of Davis Landmark)
- Southern Pacific Railroad Station (H Street & 2nd Street built in 1913 City of Davis Landmark)
- Tufts House (434 J Street, built in 1890 City of Davis Landmark)
The City of Davis has four classes of historic cultural resource designation that recognize the local historic importance of buildings, areas and trees:
Landmark is the highest local designation for a site or structure, usually one also eligible or actually listed on the national or state register
Merit Resource is the next level
Contributing means a structure would contribute to a potentially designated Historic District or neighborhood (Davis has 4 such districts, identified in historic resource surveys, but none have actually become designated districts so far.)
Landmark Trees are trees outstanding for age, beauty, rarity or historic association.
- AJ Plant House (221 1st Street, City Merit Resource)
- Anderson Bank Building (203 G Street, built in 1914 City of Davis Landmark)
- Anderson-Hamel Home (623 7th Street, built in 1903 City of Davis Landmark)
- Arlington Farm, LaRue-Romani Home (Russell Blvd., built in 1887)
Avenue of Trees (Walnut trees along Russell Blvd west of Hwy 113 City of Davis Landmark Trees)
City of Davis Landmark)
- Bank of Yolo (301 G Street, built in 1910, now occupied by Taste of Thai City Merit Resource)
- Baravetto Home (209 2nd Street City Merit Resource)
- Baravetto Tank House (209 1/2 2nd Street built in 1925 City Merit Resource)
- Bentley House (513 F Street, built in 1910 City Merit Resource)
- Boy Scout Cabin (1st & F Streets, built in 1927 Merit Resource)
- Brinley Block (714-726 2nd Street, built in 1926 City Merit Resource)
- Clancy House, built in 1913, now occupied by Alpha Chi Omega (137 C Street, City Merit Resource)
- College Park (neighborhood laid out in 1924)
- Davis Cemetery (820 Pole Line Road, first burial in or around 1855 City of Davis Landmark)
- Davis Community Church (412 C Street, built in 1926 City of Davis Landmark)
- Eggleston Home (232 3rd Street, City Merit Resource)
- First Presbyterian Mansion (619 4th Street, City Merit Resource)
- Glide Ranch (36355 Russell Boulevard, probably built 100 years ago.
- Greive-Asbill Home (310 A Street, built in 1909 City Merit Resource)
- Grady House (602 D Street, City Merit Resource)
- Hart Hall (formerly known as the Animal Science Building, built in 1928)
- Hattie Weber Museum (445 C Street, First Davis Library, built in 1911 City Merit Resource)
- Historic City Hall (226 F Street, built in 1930 City of Davis Landmark)
- H.J. Hamel Home (505 2nd Street, built in 1920 City Merit Resource)
- Hunt Rooming House (corner of Front and Elm streets in the early 20th century)
- Jacobson-Wilson House (232 B Street, City Merit Resource)
- Jerome C. Davis Homestead Site (previously located on the spot now occupied by two olive trees and two fig trees just east of Olson Hall, built in 1851 )
- Masonic Lodge (225 G Street, City Merit Resource)
- McBride Home (405 J Street, built in 1912 City Merit Resource)
- McDonald House (337 B Street, City Merit Resource)
- Montgomery House (923 3rd Street, City Merit Resource)
- North Hall (built in 1908)
- Old Davis High School aka City Hall (23 Russell Blvd., built in 1927 City of Davis Landmark)
- Old North Davis Traditional Neighborhood, Davis' first subdivision, 1913)
- Ricci Tank House (in Putah Creek Greenbelt)
- Russell-Ham House (on Russell Boulevard 2.5 mi. west of Davis at The Russell Ranch, built in 1869 and home to the Russell Family until 2002)
- Schmeiser Home (334 I Street, built in 1911 City of Davis Landmark)
- South Hall (built in 1912)
- The Silo (built in 1908)
- University House (built in 1908)
- Varsity Theatre (built in 1950 City of Davis Landmark)
- Walker Hall (built in 1929)
- Werner-Hamel House (1140 Los Robles Street, City of Davis Landmark)
- William H. Scott House (301 B Street, built in 1922, now occupied by Ciocolat City of Davis Landmark)
- Williams-Drummond-Rorvick Home (320 I Street, built in 1914 City of Davis Landmark)
Other Places of Historic Interest
- Bomb Shelter - Popular in the 1950s when future nuclear annihilation was a fact of life, the Bomb Shelter on Anderson Road now serves as a performance venue and a quiet reminder as to how lucky we are to not be living under a visible threat of immediate annihilation...
- Hog Barn - saved from demolition by a clause in the contract with the 1910-era donor, the Hog Barn was moved onto the lawn on the north side of Bainer Hall in 2004, and in 2007 is finally being retrofitted as office space for a staff training facility. Bainerites still bemoan the loss of about 60 high quality parking spaces and a 1950s era decorative concrete planter that were removed to make way for the hog barn.
- Lincoln Highway - Part of the first transcontinental highway, dating to 1913 and spanning from Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco, 1930s era roadway is still visible (though under several layers of asphalt) on Olive Drive and the Old US 40 Bike Path.
- Stevenson Bridge - 1920s era concrete arch bridge of an unusual "drive through" design.
- The Domes - UC Davis Campus, Orchard Park Circle at Orchard Park Road, built in 1972. Excellent example of 1970s eco-architecture and communal lifestyle)
- Sycamore Lane and 8th Street bike lanes - First bike lanes in the United States, built 1967.
Please add stuff. It doesn't have to be official.
2011-01-24 17:02:03 Does anyone know the story behind that run-down looking brick building between Arlington Farms and Russell? I see it every once in a while and think "I wonder what that is/was" but always forget by the time I get to a computer. —JoePomidor
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