Fifty years ago developer Alan Lindsey launched a plan for a place called El Dorado Hills — “a new community with a noble purpose.” A Community Services District was formed in 1962 to help deliver that purpose, and is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Lindsey’s master plan was designed by Viennese architect Victor Gruen, who Malcolm Gladwell, writing in the New Yorker, argued was a strong candidate for the most influential architect in the 20th century.
In the preface to Lindsey’s marketing brochure, Gruen promised the plan would provide “lasting convenience, safety and delight; generous allocation of permanent open lands to preserve the best assets and character of the setting; village clusters to encourage maximum individual living with convenient opportunities to participate in social and community activities; emphasis on recreation facilities to anticipate the way of life the more abundant future holds for all of us.”
The brochure goes on to describe a place where “the vital qualities of privacy, physical convenience, appearance and environment reappear as important and meaningful parts of the total family living experience.”
Village Life will explore Lindsey’s promise, laid out artfully in brochures replete with illustrations of pipe-smoking dads in dinner jackets and housewife moms living the good life in El Dorado Hills. We’ve sought out some of the real Ozzies and Harriets who the bought into the 1960s dream, and will describe how it played out for them.
We’ll also dig into Village Life’s forerunner, the “Voice of the Village,” first published as a CSD newsletter in 1963, and pull select pieces that evoke the concerns of the day.
The resulting “living history” series will run this summer, concurrent with the summerlong anniversary celebration, which kicks off Friday night, May 18 in the Community Park, with the first summer concert.
The CSD will provide activities for the kids, food booths and, of course, live music. The jams kick off at 7 p.m. with 1970’s hits performed by Pop Fiction. Bring your dancing shoes or, better yet, take them off. Victor Gruen would approve.
The summer concerts continue every other Friday night, with Michael Jackson tribute Foreverland on June 1, Motown revue Nathan Owens on June 15, old school R&B artist Clean Slate on June 29, rockers Superbad on July 13 and Latin and R&B Solsa on July 27.
On the opposite Fridays from June 8 to July 20, come out at 8:15 p.m. for a family movie under the stars in the park.
The party extends into the neighborhood parks with food and free family activities on Wednesday nights at 6:30 p.m.: Murray Homestead on June 13, Lake Forest on June 20, Kalithea on June 27, Art Weisburg on July 11, Oak Knoll on July 18 and Bertelsen on July 25.
On 50-cent Fridays, June 1 though Aug. 10, take a dip in the pool for just a half a buck.
The CSD also wants pictures of your summer fun in El Dorado Hills. The winner of the Summer Photo Contest will get their winning entry included in an upcoming Recreation Guide. Deadline is noon, Aug. 1, so get out the instamatic and stock up on flash cubes.
There’s something to do at the CSD every day this summer. A full calendar, and more information on all the summer fun is available at csd.org.