BAHA Preservation Awards 2006

Part One

2426 Fulton St.

2424 Fulton St.

2132 Haste St.

2130 Haste St.
Photos: Daniella Thompson, 2005

Bertha Boss� House, 2424 Fulton St. (1884)
Bertha Boss� House, 2426 Fulton St. (1884)
2130 Haste St. (1905); 2132 Haste St. (1905)

To the City of Berkeley Landmarks Preservation Commission on behalf of the public, a BAHA Preservation Award is given both in recognition of the difference the Commission can make in the preservation of Berkeley’s irreplaceable historic resources, and for the contribution that these projects make to the streetscape in a fragile residential neighborhood bordering the commercial corridor.

As a result of their effort, a cluster of early houses at the busy corner of Fulton and Haste streets has been preserved and renovated over a period of several years. These houses became splendid examples of preservation and adaptive reuse as they were transformed from a state of staggering dilapidation.

Now complete, all are visibly pleasing, with the two houses on Haste St. as fine examples of the High-Peaked Colonial Revival style so prevalent in Berkeley; these remain single-family buildings. The Victorian houses on Fulton Street were raised to become two-story 2- and 3-unit residences, completing the restoration of this group of early houses.

Berkeley Piano Club (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2006)

Berkeley Piano Club
2724 Haste Street
(Woollett & Woollett, 1912)

A distinguished hidden Berkeley treasure, not visible from the street, the understated and gracious Berkeley Piano Club is one of the oldest clubs in town. The restoration of the club building was a four-year project that involved major fundraising and the landmarking of both the clubhouse and the house in front of it. Committees of dedicated members dealt with every phase, including financial details and planning. Nearly every part of the small building was carefully restored and updated—made safer, brought up to code, and all with a gentle touch. Concertgoers can still walk through the gate and the garden, cross the patio, and enter the redwood clad concert hall, which would still be recognizable to the early members of the club.

The renovation of the Berkeley Piano Club is an outstanding success with credit to those involved and the support of the entire membership.

Gorman Bldg., before (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

Gorman Bldg., after (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2008)

J. Gorman & Son Building
2599 Telegraph Avenue
(architect unknown, 1877, 1906)

The Gorman Building has been a prominent feature on Telegraph Avenue for over a century, housing Berkeley’s oldest continuing business, run by four generations of Gormans until 1997. The Gormans sold the building in 2001. After sitting empty for several years, the building was acquired and beautifully restored to its original appearance.

Like many historic structures, the building underwent undesirable “renovations” in the mid-20th century. At that time, the witch’s cap on the corner turret was removed, as was the false-front parapet on top of the Telegraph Avenue fa�ade. On the second- and third-floor fa�ades, more than twenty windows were boarded up, including all eight windows in the corner turret. The storefront windows, originally wood-framed and graced with small-paned clerestories, gave way to plain aluminum-framed windows. The clapboard on the exterior walls was covered over with asbestos siding.

Old photos reveal that before the mid-century “modernization,” the building had two distinct parts. Following restoration, the two parts are distinguishable again through the use of different widths of clapboard siding. The witch’s cap and the false-front parapet were recreated to match the originals. The storefront windows are once again framed in wood, with attractive small-paned clerestories. Best of all, 22 new windows on the second and third floors replace those that had been removed in the process of “modernization.”

The Gorman Building is a prime example of adaptive reuse. Its turreted fa�ade, which for so many years presented a semi-blind aspect to the street, is now the pride of the Telegraph-Parker intersection.

Jockers House (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2006)

Elsa L. Jockers House
1709 La Loma Avenue
(Maybeck & White, 1911)

When the current owners purchased this intimate Maybeck gem, the exterior was looking tired. Maybeck’s color scheme—natural textured stucco with cream-colored trim and roof-eaves accents in turquoise and red—could use some freshening up. The owners also found the kitchen dark and depressing and sought a more workable living space that would be respectful to Maybeck’s design.

The architect looked up Maybeck’s original plans at the University of California’s Environmental Design Archives. On the elevation drawings he found window shutters that had long since disappeared from the actual house. Shutter replicas were fabricated, and the original color scheme carefully matched.

The kitchen was opened up to include adjacent space previously occupied by a dark pantry, a closet, and a service porch. All the original exterior walls and windows were retained. With light streaming in from three sides, this room has become airy and inviting. Vertical-grain Douglas fir cabinetry and a copper stove hood flood the space with warm tones. A door-height board-and-batten wainscot, also fir, lends coziness to the eating area. The extensive countertops are faced with light-blue Heath tile, a modern reference to Arts and Crafts. Peach- and sky-blue Marmoleum flooring echoes the tile.

Between kitchen and hallway, a new pair of swinging redwood French doors was installed. These match and blend seamlessly with the hallway’s existing doors and cabinetry.The extensive landscaping includes the addition of over 20 trees; 30 shrubs; 1,500 daffodils; mature potted plants; and attractive stone pathways and steps.

Hunt House, before (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

Hunt House, after (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Loren E. Hunt House
2625 Ridge Road
(George Frederick Estey, 1896)

This venerable Brown Shingle with a Dutch gambrel roof is one of the Northside’s oldest surviving buildings. Members of the Hunt family lived here for almost a century. When the present owners acquired the house, the interior was in good shape, but the exterior shingles were worn, making the house look dowdy.

The old double-hung windows were not only drafty but provided no soundproofing. This was a major disadvantage, considering that the house is located in close proximity to two large student residential co-ops with a combined population of 200. The second-floor front windows had been previously replaced with aluminum, further contributing to the house’s disheveled look.

One would expect a reshingling job to be a straightforward project. Not so in this case. At first, the City plan checkers refused to allow wooden shingles on the gambrel sides, insisting that these were part of the roof and had to be clad in asphalt composition shingles. The homeowners fought back valiantly and eventually overcame the obstacle by citing a surface percentage technicality. Owing to their persistence, the gambrel sides received the same wooden shingles applied to the other walls.

When it came to the windows, no corners were cut. The 21 replacement windows are custom-made, double-paned, and match exactly the original windows of this 110-year old house. The dowdy brown trim gave way to smart black paint, which lends this old dame an extra touch of elegance.

Hunter House (photo: Carrie Olson, 2006)

John Hunter House
2418 California Street
(architect unknown, 1895)

This 19th-century farmhouse—owned for many years by a dedicated BAHA member who was not able to restore the house—had been designated a City of Berkeley Structure of Merit after neighbors feared that the now dilapidated house might be demolished by a new owner. Instead, the property was purchased by a local architect and his wife, who were seeking a house with a garden on flat land to raise their family.

They had many challenges to overcome. There were holes in the roof and raccoons in the attic, leaving three inches of scat behind. The first floor was raised seven feet from a dirt floor. The new owners stripped the structure to the rafters and installed a new foundation. The ceiling was raised two feet to accommodate two 2-bedroom apartments. The second and third floors were extended into the back to enlarge bedrooms and add a kitchen and an internal staircase.

Because there were no pictures indicating the color of the house or the design of the front staircase, the owners chose a color combination and staircase design that capture the flavor and sensibility of the late 19th century.

Part Two
Awards 2006

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