In 2009 the “Friends of Old Oxnard” (residents of ‘F’ and ‘G’ Streets’ Henry T. Oxnard Historic District) began a Nativity Restoration Fund to restore and replace some figures. The Nativity was donated to the City of Oxnard by the Oxnard Ministerial Association in 1952. The exhibit was originally on display at Plaza Park, or nearby, for decades and was enjoyed by thousands of Oxnard residents. It was, and is, one of the most fondly remembered holiday experiences for many in the community. After a brief placement in storage, and then finding a home on Christmas Tree Lane in the early 90’s, it has had a long life.
In 2012, a fundraising effort for the restoration of the scene was a great success with over $5,000 donated at Christmas Tree Lane and online. The funds held by the Friends of Old Oxnard for the project though are still not enough to complete the restoration or replenishment of the human figures.
What most people do not know is that the human figures are not the originals and are the second-generation part of the exhibit. Unfortunately, when they were acquired (date unknown), the scale was not correct to the 1952 exhibit size. In order to have correctly-scaled figures it is necessary to replace those smaller scale figures to match the original components (camels, etc). In addition, the quality of the second generation human figures was not nearly as impressive as that of the originals. The cost of new, correctly-scaled figures is about $8,600 more than current funding for the restoration project.
The Friends of Old Oxnard will partner with the Downtown Oxnard Merchants Association (DOMA) to complete the “Restoration/Replenishment” of this exhibit. DOMA will advance the funds for the replacement figures so that the fully restored exhibit can be debuted this 2013 holiday season. In exchange, DOMA will bring the exhibit back to downtown for just one year. A private property owner has pledged a lot on the 400 block of ‘A’ Street (behind Centennial Plaza). A new manger will be built that will be donated to go with the exhibit and a professionally lit and musical setting will be constructed to showcase this piece of Oxnard’s history. The public is invited to the exhibit unveiling on Sunday, December 8th at 6 p.m., when ‘A’ Street will be closed in order for the public to see the Nativity for the first time in its restored state.
The Henry T. Oxnard Historic District, located in downtown Oxnard, California, and the Wilson Neighborhood, welcomes you to our historic community. As homeowners in one of the city's earliest subdivisions, we take great pride in the charm of our historic neighborhood and surrounding community.
That pride is reflected in carefully manicured landscaped yards and sensitively restored homes. Ten city blocks reveal wonderful surprises in - Craftsman, Spanish Colonial, Period Revival bungalows and eclectic homes. If you work downtown or in the greater Oxnard area, like to attend cultural events or take in a movie, the Oxnard Historic District neighborhood is the perfect place to live.
About the Henry T. Oxnard National Historic District
The Henry T. Oxnard National Historic District is unique because it began as the “heart” of Oxnard, and, in many respects, remains so to this day. The neighborhood is still home to the same blend of community leaders, professionals and trades people as it was at its inception.
The first residential areas in Oxnard were established in the adjacent Hill tract (“C” through “E” Streets) when the City was plotted out in 1898. The Henry T. Oxnard subdivision opened in 1911: including “F” Street from Fifth Street to Magnolia Avenue. It was the “finest subdivision with a broad street, exceptionally deep lots and first-class residences”; as the advertisements of the day announced. Later, other tracts were added; including the Tom Hill tract, which is now Magnolia Avenue; the Henry Lathrop addition of “G” Street; the Lathrop addition of Colonia Gardens; the Palm Drive tract; the Lathrop-Eastwood subdivision; and the Dawley subdivision. These expanded the town boundaries first west, then north.
The “F” Street portion of the Henry T. Oxnard subdivision and the “G” Street portion of the Lathrop subdivision make up The Henry T. Oxnard National Historic District. This neighborhood was home to dentists, lawyers, physicians, merchants, confectioners, carpenters, bank officials, sugar beet factory officials, ranchers and machinists. The local business owners as well as their employees built and lived in the district.
The residences in the district range from small craftsman bungalows and revival cottages to large two-story craftsman, revival, and prairie-style bungalows. Most of the subdivision continued to be developed in the classic California bungalow styles until the 1920’s when the revival styles reached the apex of their popularity.
The 144 homes were placed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 5, 1999 because it has one of the highest ratios of contributing structures: meaning the homes have not been greatly modified and because the neighborhood has maintained its character, many of the homes have remained within the same family for generations.