Chico Pt. 2 – Old Buildings and New

I will have more natural wonders of the Chico area in another series from a separate trip, but this post is about mostly the built environment of the downtown area.

There are so many beautiful old buildings in the downtown Chico area they publish a walking tour, I hit up some highlights

But along the way this very large park with lots of art was showing itself off

I bet they host different events and music shows from here

But the central fountain in the late summer heat was quite nice

I think it is also a kids play area

Loved the embedded glass beads

I think this is the old city hall

But my favorite was this art deco mayan revival building with spanish accents

I wonder if this one was a theater at one point

Nearby the state university takes up a good chunk of downtown on property gifted by the founding Bidwell family

Lots of beautiful brick architecture, likely trying to reflect that of other famous campuses in California

I wonder if they have a walking tour here?

The administration building was almost ostentatious

It was a very plain building inside, but had a few flourishes like this spiral staircase

And giant glass tile globe

One highlight on campus was the very, very old trees. This is a ginko

Silverleaf maple, likely planted by the Bidwells in the late 1800’s to about 1930

Other parts of campus are more modern, and this one is a clear transitional building with both modern materials and the familiar brick

I think it was the library, and felt very brutalist in design

A lovely clock tower

Then you get to a much more modern part of campus

This newer building also evokes a brutalist past

A little imposing, no?

This was a surprisingly large building for a city of 90,000 (human at bottom right for scale)

One of the science buildings had a great mineral collection on display. If on a college campus, go check out the science buildings because they often have both natural history displays and posters describing cutting edge research with relatively straightforward language and graphics

And the newest area with lots of bland 21st century design

The old Bidwell mansion is a state park now and offers tours much of the time

However I was too late in the day and had to get window shots

The old stables were well preserved (too well, I thought the parks had no money)

Filled with wonderfully restored carriages

More giant trees, this one is over 5 feet across

And this massive magnolia was similarly oversized

In the park the Bidwell’s gifted to the city there is a grove of cork oaks imported from europe

They are absolutely beautiful trees, but not so much when the bark is harvested

You can easily cut the spongy bark and peel off sections

While it does not kill the tree, it does leave ugly scars

To end the day I went and checked out this place in the park called sycamore pool

The creek that runs through the park and town goes through here where they created a natural swimming pool that is constantly filled with fresh water

It is a true gem in this very nice city


Next up – Nevada desert and opals

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