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Tours reveal vibrant downtown, historic sites and colorful art

By From page OC11 | September 24, 2013

Downtown Davis is highly walkable, as it has benches, lighting, landscaping, kiosks, signage and trash receptacles — all important amenities for walkability — as well as many points of interest, including historic and modern architecture, trees of significance and public art.

Tours to take
* Since 1977, the National Arbor Day Foundation has designated the city of Davis as a “Tree City USA.” Many of the city’s landmark trees are downtown. Tree Davis, a local nonprofit organization, has a self-guided downtown landmark tree walking tour. Brochures of the tour are available at Tree Davis’ kiosk at Second and D streets, in front of the Coldwell Banker-Doug Arnold Real Estate office.

Thirteen historic tree sites are on the tour, which features valley oaks, the sycamore grove in Central Park, a deodar
cedar and many others. Some trees are more than 100 years old. For more information, visit http://www.treedavis.org.

* The city of Davis has a walking tour guide to historical resources in the downtown area. The guide includes historical sites and buildings, some of which date back to 1875.

A variety of architectural styles — including Italianate, Spanish Colonial, Craftsman, Mission Revival and Classic Revival — can be seen. Watch for the Lincoln Highway marker, commemorating the first highway connecting New York to San Francisco, in Central Park at the corner of Fifth and B streets.

The guide is available at the Hattie Weber Museum, 445 C St.; the Davis Downtown Business Association office, 826 Second St.; and the Yolo County Visitors’ Bureau at 132 E Street, Suite 200 .

Great examples of modern architecture can be seen by looking at some of the award-winning mixed-use buildings that have been built in downtown the past few years, including the Chen Building at 803 Second St.; the McCormick Building at 707 Fourth St.; and The Lofts at 105 E St.

* If you’re out walking on a Wednesday or Saturday, take a break to learn about local history by stopping at the Hattie Weber Museum, 445 C St. in Central Park.

This downtown museum was named in honor of Harriet Elisha (Hattie) Weber, a librarian in Davis from 1910 to 1953.

The museum is run by community volunteers who are knowledgeable about the history of Davis dating back to 1870. Rotating exhibits depicting Davis’ history are often on display. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. Admission is free, but donations are always welcome.

* For art aficionados, downtown Davis affords many public art pieces on outdoor display, representing a diversity of style and media. Sculptures, murals and functional art pieces are found in many places downtown, including Tony Natsoulas’ “The Joggers,” at the corner of Third and F streets, and “Clepsydra,” the clock, water feature and benches at the E Street Plaza in the 200 block of E Street. A guide to public art for all of Davis and UC Davis (including a public art walking tour) is available at downtown galleries, city offices and the Davis Chamber of Commerce, 604 Third St.

* You’re not into walking, but you love to bike? We suggest taking the city of Davis’ historic bike tour where you can view Davis’ history at a leisurely pace. The self-guided tour (available at http://www.cityof davis.org/pcs/historic/biketour) includes downtown historical sites and buildings.

And, of course, while riding or walking around downtown Davis, stop at the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame at Third and B streets.

* Finally, if you’re into evening walks, on the second Friday of each month, many of the galleries and stores in downtown Davis hold Second Friday ArtAbout, an evening of gallery openings and artist receptions, where you can walk from one venue to the next and enjoy art. A schedule for the openings is available at http://www.davis downtown.com/events/2nd-friday-artabout.

Enterprise staff

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