BAHA Preservation Awards 2010

Part One

Noteworthy Projects

Dildine Speculative House (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2010)

Verne Dildine Speculative House
3025 College Avenue
(Verne Dildine, developer, 1918)

This one-story, two-bedroom, one-bath house was situated on a block of two-story structures. The owners lived here for more than seven years before they were ready to start a family and needed room to grow. The house was lifted, and a new ground floor constructed. The second floor retains the original proportions and windows, except where windows were too decayed to keep. Replacement windows were made of wood in the same style. On the new ground floor, compatible windows and doors were installed. The front porch, although slightly larger than the original, was built with 60% of the original porch; two of the pillars have been incorporated in the structure. Although the little house was clad in wooden shingles, a composite shingle was chosen with an eye to easier maintenance. The expanded house now completes the skyline on this block’s east side.


Fluth House

Photos: Daniella Thompson, 2010

John H. & Edna E. Fluth House
1608 McGee Avenue
(John H. Fluth, builder, 1910)

This Craftsman-style house, originally a one-story bungalow built by a carpenter for his own family, was insensitively modified in the second half of the 20th century to accommodate two separate living spaces, losing much of its historic ambiance. A previous owner began development of the attic space but never finished the work.

The current owners, who acquired the house in 2006, asked their architects for a design that would respect architectural integrity, bring back the original charm, and update the structure in a manner appropriate to both the Craftsman heritage and 21st-century goals for energy conservation and the health of our planet.

The living and dining room, separated by a framed wall, were reunited. Through scraping, plastering, and painting, the two rooms were restored to their original integrity. In the kitchen, renewable materials were used: bamboo plywood for the cabinets and Lisbon cork for the floor. The attic space was turned into a modern study, whose finish materials are compatible with those on the ground floor. A tumbledown structure in the back yard was replaced by a pleasant, energy-efficient office/library. Throughout, the emphasis was not on the flashy but on the livable.

Thanks to forward thinking and informed action, this much-abused house is once again a lovely home worthy of the Craftsman moniker.



Giesler House

(photos: Daniella Thompson, 2010)

Edward F. & Jessie E. Giesler House
2577 Buena Vista Way
(Maybeck & White, 1924)

Built after the Berkeley Fire for a telegraph lineman, this outwardly modest house conceals a dramatic living room with a massive fireplace and an overlooking gallery. By the time the house was acquired by its current owners, the house was structurally compromised. The restoration project entailed the building of an extra thick and high foundationand complete overhaul of the electrical, plumbing and heating systems. The two lower levels were remodeled, solving problems created by earlier, somewhat eccentric changes. New exterior shingles follow Maybeck’s flared design. Maybeck’s quatrefoils are replicated in several new elements, such as the exterior stair baluster, the concrete chimney, and several stained-glass windows.


Baptis House in 2001 (courtesy of Shirley & Dennis Caputo)

Baptis House now (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2010)

John H. Baptis House
1425 Milvia Street

This two-story house, originally an Italianate, was one of the earliest residences in this part of town. Its first owner, John H. Baptis, was a Civil War veteran and a manufacturer of gold pens in San Francisco. Over time, the structure lost much of its original fabric and structural integrity. In 2002, the current owners embarked on a heroic rehabilitation project, recreating the house within and without. They tore down an ugly free-standing garage at the front and an unsympathetic addition in the rear. The house was lifted to make room for the garage in the basement, and the structure was shored up with a massive I beam.

Asbestos shingles on the exterior walls gave way to traditional wood siding. Two new wooden windows and a pair of 19th-century entrance doors were installed at the front, and the porch was expanded, its new turned details replicating the old.

Inside, the entry hall and main staircase, which had been enclosed by an inappropriate addition, were restored to their historic space. The staircase received a custom-made Victorian-style balustrade to replace the one it had lost years ago. All the rooms were refurbished in period style.

Hall & stairs (courtesy of Shirley & Dennis Caputo)

Breakfast room (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2010)

Part Two
Awards 2010

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