BAHA Preservation Awards 2011

Part Two


Wilkes House (rear), before (courtesy of Nick Lawrence)

George Wilkes House
835 Delaware Street

This beautifully restored two-story transitional Italianate Victorian was probably moved to its current West Berkeley location in 1891, when George Wilkes, a well-to-do capitalist, settled at this address.

Wilkes House, after (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2009)

A handsome window bay, arched windows with carved wide moldings, fishscale-shingled gables, and carved eave brackets lend it elegance. However, by 1987, when the current owners purchased the house, it had been turned into a duplex. The front door had been replaced, and the windows’ style altered. The new owners set about restoring the house and turning it back into a single-family residence.

Although friends assisted with carpentry, The owner undertook to carry out most of the work himself. This included researching the house’s past and looking for appropriate materials and correct historic details. Peeling layers off the house sometimes revealed earlier styled. When the fishsacle shingles were removed from the second-floor fašade, earlier horizonal siding was discovered underneath. Restored, the house is truly a gem, making a major contribution to the historic ambience of the neighborhood.


Chinn House, before

Chinn House, after (photo: Carrie Olson, 2011)

Blanche & Leonore Chinn House
26 The Uplands
(Peterson & Pearson, designers, 1910)

This stately and rustic shingled residence in Claremont Park had an old, cramped, and dark kitchen. The project entailed careful reworking of the space. Old walls were moved, and the resulting space opened up to natural light and rear garden views. Hand-crafted natural wood cabinetry, cupboard doors glazed with old, wavy glass, and attention to quality and detail make the new kitchen fit seamlessly and beautifully into its century-old home.


Coggins House, before

L. Y. Coggins House
964 Indian Rock Avenue
(Harold G. Stoner, 1928)

Lumberman L. Y. Coggins had this Mediterranean-style house built as his retirement home.

Coggins House, after (photo: Carrie Olson, 2011)

The current owners, who both have deep roots in California, returned to the Bay Area several years ago after living for many years on the East Coast. This house reconnected them with their California roots.

Before renovating the house, they sought inspiration from various sources. Reading Kevin Starr’s books on California’s history, they discovered such details as the precise color of the paint on the Golden Gate Bridge and chose it for the walls of their home office. Christopher Alexander’s A Pattern Language taught them about the relationships between people and the spaces in which they live, inspiring them to make this house their own while respecting Stoner’s original design.

Grandchildren’s play “cave” (photo: Carrie Olson, 2011)

The library (photo: Carrie Olson, 2011)

This influence is particularly notable on the ground floor. For reasons of seismic stability, the major excavations were dug, extending the foundation to correspond exactly to the footprint of the two floors above. The result was new square footage, giving them an opportunity for personal, creative spaces in the spirit of Alexander: the husband’s library, the wife’s studio, and a play area and “cave” for their grandchildren.

An avid baseball fan, the husband was delighted to use white oak from Cy Young’s Ohio barn for floors on the main level and the stairs to the ground floor. Terracotta and limestone flooring from France and the tessellated Tunisian floor in a powder room recall the couple’s travels. Pallets from a brickyard in South America have been recycled to make the two garden gates. These and numerous other objects have been found and woven together to make the new home a very personal expression of their lives.

Part Three
Awards 2011

Copyright © 2011 BAHA. All rights reserved.