Legacy Home Tour on Tap for this Weekend
This Sunday, the Alameda Museum once again will join with the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society to present the Alameda Legacy Home Tour. The tour features six homes, three on the city’s fabled Gold Coast, one of which Julia Morgan designed and another a city landmark that Denis Straub designed and built with his stepson Fred Fischer.
Denis and Fred have one of the more touching stories among the Island City builders and designers. Fred’s father, Frederick Carl, a carpenter by trade, and mother, Louisa, both hailed from Ilsfeld, Germany, not far from Stuttgart. The family left Europe and lived in Pennsylvania for a time. The 1860 federal census lists the Fischers living in Alameda, where Fred was born on April 23, 1862. Fred was just seven years old when a lumber truck accident in Alameda took his fathers’ life.
Frederick Carl’s death left Louisa with eight children to raise. They included two teenagers—Charles, 15; and Louisa 13 — as well as six younger children: Annie, 11; Kate, 9; Henry, 5; Fred, 7; John, 4; and Lewis, just 2 years old. The Aug. 8, 1870, census records show that Louisa had married Denis. A photo of Denis, Louisa and the children hangs in the Alameda Museum.
Denis trained his son Fred in the home-building trade, both as a carpenter and architect. They worked together as Denis Straub & Son. Fred married Anna Louise Meyer. The couple had a daughter Bertha. Fred “signed” his home at 1601 Lincoln Ave. While standing on the Paru Street side, look above the window on the eave to see the letters “FPF” for Frederick Philip Fischer.
Advance tickets for the tour cost $35 and are available through this Saturday, Sept. 22, at: Alameda Shade Shop, 914 Central Ave.; Daisy’s, 1347 Park St.; Wescafe, 1518 Webster St.; Frank Bette Center for the Arts (FBCA), 1601 Paru St.; and the Alameda Museum, 2324 Alameda Ave. Check for business hours.
Tickets are also available online through Eventbrite, www.alameda-legacy-home-tour.org/ticket-page. Exchange tickets from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday for wristbands at either Franklin Park — San Antonio Avenue and Morton Street — or FBCA. Day-of-the-tour tickets cost $40 and will be available at Franklin Park and FBCA.
The ticket wristband has the addresses of the home tour locations printed on it. They will not be published online. On Sunday, Sept. 23, start the tour at any of the locations. Participants can pick up guide books and maps at their first stop on the tour.