BAHA Preservation Awards 2006

Part Two

Menefee House (photo: Carrie Olson, 2006)

George W. Menefee House
2131 Prince Street
(architect unknown, circa 1888)

This delightful modest Italianate False Front was a unanimous pick for the Awards Committee— both for the tasteful and excellent work of its exterior restoration and for the special grace it gives to its South Berkeley streetscape. Although it’s been owned by the same couple since 1990, the exemplary qualities of this hidden treasure were achieved through concentrated effort over the past two years.

The owners collaborated on extensive research and design decisions that were brought to fruition with in-house construction talents and craftsmanship. Much of the essential Victorian detail had been stripped away, and a great deal of inferior material and workmanship had to be corrected. Substantial quantities of new redwood moldings and brackets had to be created to achieve the building’s current elegance.

Before and after photos are an excellent lesson in the importance of accumulated small details. Note the corner brackets and turned drop over the rear angled window, the clever structural connection of the false front wing wall to allow drainage to the gutter below, and how correct the side entrance is in scale and detail. The deceptively simple color palette celebrates the restoration with richness, grace, and respect.

Stanley House, before (photo: Christopher Osborn)

Stanley House, after (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2006)

Stanley-Sadler-Finney House
2156 Ward Street
(A.W. Pattiani, 1889)

This splendid testimonial to Victorian exuberance was built just outside the then Berkeley border. In the 1910s it was expanded toward the rear and converted into two flats. During World War II, the second-floor flat was split into two apartments and a fourth unit was added in the enlarged third floor. With every successive remodel, the roofline was altered, rooms assumed new functions, and kitchens and bathrooms sprouted in any available space. This award recognizes the vast twenty-year effort of the current owners and their team in remaking the house as a grand single-family residence.

In 1985, after exhaustive research, the owners reclaimed the original bedrooms and bathroom out of the front second-floor apartment. Wood moldings were hand-stripped. Period brass hardware and antique light fixtures were installed. Bradbury & Bradbury Victorian wallpapers were put up. When authentic items weren’t to be found, replicas were made to order, as was the case with the master-bedroom doors, second-floor ceiling rosettes, and twenty corner blocks for the door frames.

In 1994, the front steps were rebuilt, receiving new railings and newel posts. A few years later, the house was reinstated as a single-family home via an internal stairwell in the 1910 rear addition. The dining was relocated from the back parlor to its original space across the hall, the kitchen was remodeled , and a large “antique” bathroom was created in the second-floor space previously occupied by the rear apartment’s kitchen.

Four years ago, it was time to attack the exterior, which not only looked haphazard but was seriously dilapidated. The restoration re-established cohesiveness, setting the second- and third stories apart from the ground floor through the use of shingles above and channel rustic siding below. The turret finial was taken down and repaired, and the turret was clad with scalloped copper shingles.

In the final phase, begun last year, the owners renovated the first-floor rooms and interior staircase. Newel post replicas were made to replace the missing original ones, the wainscoting was taken down, cleaned, and reassembled, and the parlors and hallway were painted.

A daunting challenge was met with great courage and perseverance. This landmark now convincingly portrays the essential Victorian spirit both within and without, .

King House (photo: Carrie Olson, 2006)

Wint King House
2500 Woolsey Street
(architect unknown, 1911)

The two-story, brown- shingle house straddles the Berkeley-Oakland border: the street address and front door are in Berkeley, taxes are paid to Oakland, which also issued the building permits. The current owners (the third for this house) began extensive work in February 2005 and completed the restoration in December of the same year. The foundation was replaced, and drainage added. Plumbing and electricity were updated. Chimneys were taken down to the roofline, reinforced, and reassembled with stainless steel flues. Three layers of old roof were removed and replaced. The weathered cedar shingles were removed and replaced with new cedar shingles, which were then stained. New copper gutters and downspouts with hand-detailed straps add subtlety to the detailing.

The frames of 27 of the 41 windows in the house were so sun damaged that they required replacement. New wooden windows with divided lights were constructed and installed. Finally, the trim, window frames, and porch were painted. Now a rejuvenated, vibrant Brown Shingle, completed in what must be record time, graces two East Bay cities.

Sides House (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2006)

Emma F. Sides House
2528 Regent St.
(architect unknown, 1902)

This Brown Shingle is located only one block off busy Telegraph Avenue. It stands out as an excellent example of what can be done when inner-city, multi-family residential property is restored with attention to detail. The building was a triplex when the current owners purchased it. They’ve since brought it back to the original two-flat configuration.

Two sides of the foundation and the entire roof were replaced. The building was seismically retrofitted, and a new deck constructed in the rear. All the exterior trim had to be stripped and repainted. The siding was badly weathered and was replaced with new cedar shingles.

The owners have begun to strip away layers of paint from the old-growth redwood woodwork inside the house. They have completely updated electrical and heating systems. A new fence, consistent with the style of the house, provides for the safety of children and pets. The landscaping was thoughtfully planned to provide shade, balance, and structure to the grounds.

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

Boudrow House, after (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2006)

Captain Charles C. Boudrow House
1536 Oxford Street
(Julius Krafft, 1889)

This Queen Anne Victorian, one of the largest and finest in Berkeley, was among the early houses built in the Antisell Villa Lots tract northwest of the University campus. The original owner was a San Francisco shipping magnate who lived here until his death in 1918.

The 1923 Berkeley Fire did away with much of the original housing stock on the Northside, and post-fire development took care of the rest. Of all the Victorian mansions that once graced this block, the Boudrow House is the only one remaining, now surrounded by apartment buildings. In 1970, this house, too, was threatened with demolition. Instead, it was converted into ten apartments. In 1976 it was designated a City of Berkeley Landmark.

The house recently emerged from a two-year restoration project that entailed careful replacement of the entire front staircase, two-tone roofing, some glazing, and painting. Working with a specialized color consultant, the owners chose over ten different colors for the exterior. The colors bring out the elaborate woodwork ornamentation: turned balusters and colums, spindlework, floral carving, sunbursts, medallions, panels, and fish-scale shingling.

The witch’s cap now sports a weathervane, crowning the breathtaking majesty of this historic gem.

Joralemon House (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2006)

Ira B. & Dorothy Joralemon House
168 Southampton Avenue
(Bernard Maybeck, 1924)

As part of a remodel of Bernard Maybeck’s 1924 masterpiece, the new owners rose to the challenge of restoring the unique, original exterior coating. Maybeck had prescribed “earth color,” a composition intermingling four colors of wet stucco—pale chrome yellow, deep ochre, Venetian red, and gray—to be spattered on the walls in turn. At Maybeck’s direction, the young Joralemons dipped whisk brooms into the mix and flipped them toward the walls, which scattered the colored stucco, creating what Maybeck called “vibrant colors.”

About 15 years ago, because of cracking in the original finish, the exterior was covered with a layer of commercially sprayed stucco. Hidden behind a planter pot by the front entrance, the new owners found a patch of the original finish and color, and sought to recreate the look and technique, but more efficiently executed with sprayed paint.

Faced with this intriguing challenge, their painting contractor enlisted the aid of a decorative painter known for her faux finishes. With air compressor, sheetrock hopper guns, and hoses, 100 gallons of paint were flung at the thousands of square feet of wall. After trial and error, the technique was refined and mastered, including brushes and sponges in the capable hands of the faux finisher. The result was a spectacular success, replicating the original look and returning Maybeck’s touch to the exterior of this very striking house.

Part Three
Awards 2006

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