Take a Hike: Morgan Homes in Alameda
Take a Hike: Morgan Homes in Alameda
In more normal times, Eric J. Kos and I lead a tour that features seven Julia Morgan-designed homes on the Island City. This year, we invite our readers to step out and have a look for themselves. We ask that you respect social-distancing and mask-wearing norms and that you do not disturb the owners of the historical homes.
The tour starts at Franklin Park at Paru Street and San Antonio Avenue and passes by Morgan-designed homes on Dayton Avenue, Sherman Street, Bay Street and Central Avenue.
From Franklin Park:
n Walk south (toward San Francisco Bay) on Paru Street to Dayton Avenue, walk west (right) on Dayton about a block to:
l 1315 Dayton Ave. Morgan designed this home with her early partner Ira Hoover in 1909 for insurance executive Louis Weinmann and his wife, Caroline. Morgan and Hoover met while working for the famous architect John Galen Howard. The homeowner has copies of the original architectural plans.
n Continue to walk west on Dayton to Sherman Street; look just across on Sherman to:
l 1025 Sherman St. Morgan designed this home in 1913 for Mrs. Alfred Durney; T. F. Frost built the home.
n Walk north (toward the Estuary) on Sherman to:
l 1121 Sherman St. Julia designed this home in 1912; her simple shingle-style design makes a statement by deliberately contrasting her creation with the Colonial Revival home next door. Architect Bernard Maybeck likely influenced Morgan’s design.
Continue north past Clinton and San Antonio to:
l 1326 Sherman St. Morgan designed this simple four-square home in 1911. Like the home at 1121 Sherman, she had something to say by contrasting this home with the fancier turreted Queen Anne-style residence next door.
n Walk back to San Antonio Avenue and west (left) to Bay Street. Walk north (right) on Bay to 1232 and then to 1205 and 1232.
l 1232 Bay St. Morgan’s first Alameda creation. She and Ira Hoover designed this home in 1909 or investment banker George Walker and his wife, Lucy, in the Tudor Revival style. The Walkers paid the architects and builders the handsome sum of $9,755 — about $260,00 in 2020 dollars — for their home.
l 1205 Bay St. This Morgan design rose up on Bay Street in 1912. Note that the home is built sideways to the street with the front “sideways to the street” with the front entrance “tucked away.”
n Return to San Antonio and walk east (right) on San Antonio to return to Franklin Park.
The walk to the “house that whisky built” is a longer one but worth it. You can tell all your friends that you saw it, and then amaze them with the story.
n Walk north (toward the Estuary) on Paru; cross Encinal and Alameda avenues to Central and east (right) on Central to Lafayette Street and
1901 Central Ave., which Morgan designed for Frederick Staude. It was called the “house that whiskey built” because Frederick married Louisa Lutgen and into a whiskey fortune.
Louisa’s father, John Lutgen owned Wichman & Lutgen Wines and Spirits. Staude became president of the firm when Lutgen retired in 1912. Staude guided the firm until Prohibition shut it down in 1919. Lutgen listed his address as Alameda as early as 1890.
The blueprints are dated April 21, 1910. That was shortly after architect Julia Morgan went completely on her own.
Pacific Coast Architecture Database states that Hoover left for Pittsburgh late in 1910, so he may have assisted Morgan with the home’s design.
Morgan and Hoover hired contractor Joseph Neil to execute their design. The city issued the permit on May 26, 1910.
Retrace your steps on Central and Paru to return to Franklin Park.