Sunday, December 28, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

They’ll pave over history and put up a history plaza

By
From page A10 | October 13, 2013 |

The issue: Even an outhouse can have historical value

The small, rectangular building in the northeast quadrant of Central Park is not the usual sort of historic landmark. Built in 1937, the park bathroom’s spartan lines are typical of the Works Projects Administration, which put millions of unemployed men to work during the Great Depression building up America’s infrastructure.

ITS FATE seemed sealed in November 2011, when the Davis City Council voted 3-2 to demolish the building as part of the Central Park Master Plan to refurbish the whole area. City staff considered the old restroom to be a blight and Davis police worried about illegal activity by people loitering about at all hours. The plan envisioned new landscaping, a handicap-accessible playground and, in a bit of irony, a “history plaza” where the bathroom stands.

Undaunted, volunteers for the Hattie Weber Museum and the city’s Historic Resources Management Commission worked to change the council’s mind. They returned in May 2012 with a plan to gut the structure of its plumbing fixtures and non-load-bearing walls, turning it into much-needed storage space for the museum’s ever-growing collection of Davis artifacts. The exterior also would be refurbished, not least by removing an ill-conceived wooden trellis that spoils the building’s lines and obscures its WPA plaque.

It was enough to sway the council to refrain from tearing down the restroom and direct staff to report on the “cost, revised design of park, and challenges of retaining the building.”

Since then, the old restroom has sat in limbo with no decision on its fate. (No report from city staff has been forthcoming.)

NOW, ALMOST two years after the initial vote to condemn the old bathroom, the Hattie Weber Museum has returned with a more detailed proposal. For $4,000, volunteers say, they can make all the improvements they need to turn it into a storage facility.

The trellis would be gone, the iron gates would be replaced by doors and proper landscaping would turn the area into a true “history plaza.” Some of the museum’s collection could be displayed in the refurbished building’s windows, to be viewed from the outside by visitors to Central Park. They even say they can get rid of 70-plus years’ worth of bathroom odor.

It’s time for the council to act and approve this plan. In one move, council members can preserve a piece of local and national heritage, and help the Hattie Weber Museum in its mission to catalog Davis’ history. The issue has dragged on long enough.

Comments

comments

.

News

 
Yolo makes hydrogen connection

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
N. Korea uses racial slur against Obama over hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
AirAsia plane with 162 aboard missing in Indonesia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Sacramento man convicted for 2011 bar shooting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Drugs, stolen car lead to women’s arrests

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
NYC officer mourned at funeral as tensions linger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Supplies collected for victims of abuse

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Holiday hours continue at The Enterprise

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Reserve tickets soon for Chamber’s Installation Gala

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
UC Davis debate team wins national championship

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Covell Gardens hosts New Year’s Eve dance

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Portuguese breakfast set for Jan. 25

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
USA Weekend calls it quits

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Nominate teens for Golden Heart awards

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sweet success: Cancer Center helps young patient celebrate end of treatment

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

At the Pond: It all started with kayaking on Putah Creek

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Find the first cabbage white butterfly, and win a pitcher

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Does pre-eclampsia raise autism risk?

By Phyllis Brown | From Page: A6

 
Long will talk about value of hedgerows for adjacent farms

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
It’s a wonderful life — and a wonderful state

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

College sees benefits in loan guarantees

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Tickets for New Year’s Eve party going fast

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

.

Forum

It was a busy, black-eye year for disease control

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
 
Say thanks to the caregivers

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

Bombing is not the answer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Just Us in Davis: Despair and hope for the new year

By Jonathan London | From Page: A10

Commission’s list needs vetting

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Rifkin’s statement is offensive

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Cuba policy changes highlight a momentous opportunity

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Writer’s arguments fall flat

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A11

.

Sports

Sacramento survives Knicks in OT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Kings cruise past Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Lady Blue Devils top Tigers to reach Ram Jam title game

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS boys get good film in tournament loss

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Sports briefs: Republic FC to host camp series

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
College bowl roundup: Sun Bowl goes to the Sun Devils

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Rob White: Davis tech community is growing

By Rob White | From Page: A9

 
Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

First Northern adds Peyret to agribusiness loan team

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Kaiser’s trauma center in Vacaville earns verification

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Obituaries

Ruth Allen Barr

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Charles ‘Bud’ Meyer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, December 28, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8