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Guide to the John W. Davis papers
MC 16  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content Note
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: John W. Davis papers
    Dates: 1945-1987
    Bulk Dates: (bulk 1946-1954)
    Collection number: MC 16
    Creator: Davis, John W.
    Collection Size: .5 linear ft. (1 archival box)
    Repository: Sacramento Public Library. Sacramento Room
    Sacramento, California 95814
    Abstract: John W. Davis, a Sacramento architectural designer, worked for many years in partnership with local developer Jere Strizek to design and construct Sacramento's Town and Country Village shopping center and affordable homes in the Town and Country community, both located in the Arden area. The bulk of his papers consist of correspondence, plans, photographs, and clippings documenting his design work between 1946 and 1954.
    Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please contact the Sacramento Room.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Use of the described materials may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Sacramento Public Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], John W. Davis papers, MC 16, Sacramento Room, Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento, California.


    John W. Davis was born to John O. and Mary C. Davis on August 22, 1910, in Illinois. He received his B.S. degree in architecture from the University of Illinois in 1934 and served as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the Second World War. Following the war, Davis was engaged as a private designer and construction coordinator with partner Jere Strizek, a noted Sacramento developer. The two designed Town and Country Village shopping center and homes in the Town and Country community, both located in the Arden area in Sacramento.
    Built in 1946, the Old West-themed Town and Country Village was one of the first shopping centers in the region and was modeled after a center of the same name located in Palo Alto, California. The nearby Town and Country community advertised low-cost family homes. Town and Country houses became known for Davis' distinctive "flat top" design and were featured in a number of publications, including Parents' Magazine, which awarded one of the 3-bedroom, 2-bath designs with a merit award in 1951. In addition to homes in the Town and Country developments, Davis designed original furniture for Town and Country Village.
    After his partnership with Strizek ended, Davis worked briefly with the firm Dreyfuss and Davis (1956-1958), and then as a general contractor from 1958-1961. In 1962, he became general manager of Associated Development Co. Davis retired by the mid-1960s.
    John W. Davis, his wife Charlotte and their three children lived for many years in a home on Gwen Drive in the Town and Country community.

    Scope and Content Note

    This collection is primarily comprised of the professional papers of John W. Davis, the bulk of which consists of correspondence, plans, photographs and clippings documenting his design work between 1946 and 1954. Project Files were compiled by Davis and include sketches, photographs, correspondence and printed material on individual design projects - the Chuck Wagon restaurant, May Shurr Antiques, Town and Country Village Signs, and his application for the Parents' Magazine merit award (1951). Correspondence concerns Davis' application for the Parents' Magazine merit award, and includes letters from William J. Sheick, president of the National Research Council's Building Research Advisory Board. Photographic prints comprise interior and exterior views of new homes in the Town and Country community and many images of Town and Country Village shopping center, including views taken during construction and interiors and exteriors captured over the subsequent decade. Plans include plot master plans for Santa Anita Village and floor plans for the Town and Country Modern Personality Home design. Clippings and printed material consists of both ephemeral publicity material for Town and Country Village and articles written about Davis' projects, including the Town and Country Village and Town and Country homes.
    This collection is organized into six series:
    • Series 1. Project files
    • Series 2. Correspondence
    • Series 3. Photographs
    • Series 4. Plans
    • Series 5. Clippings and Printed Material
    • Series 6. General

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Shopping centers -- California -- Sacramento.
    Sacramento (Calif.)
    Davis, John W.
    Architectural design -- California -- Sacramento.
    Architects -- California -- Sacramento.