Kenney Cottage needs a home!
Kenney cottage on the move down Addison St. in 1906
(photo courtesy of the Berkeley Firefighters Association provided by Richard Schwartz)
The Kenney-Meinheit cottage, a prefabricated panel house whose design was patented by William H. Wrigley in 1881, may be the oldest existing example of this type of prefab construction in America, according to Howard Decker, Chief Curator of the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.
William H. Wrigley was a Berkeley carpenter and one of the signatories to the 21 January 1878 memorial in favor of the incorporation of Berkeley. On 13 December 1881, Wrigley was awarded U.S. Patent no. 250,867 for his portable house design.
The portability of the Kenney cottageCity of Berkeley Landmark, Structure of Merit no. 236was tested for the first time in 1906, when the house was moved from its original location at 2114 Addison Street to 1725 University Avenue. On Sunday, 24 August 2003, the Kenney cottage was moved again in order to make room for an affordable housing development.
The City of Berkeley is providing a temporary site for the 3-room cottage at 1275 University Avenue. The Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association, which has taken title to the cottage, is on the lookout for a permanent site.
Moving day: Kenney cottage at 1275 University Ave. (photo: Jerry Sulliger)
In addition to a permanent site, the cottage requires complete restoration.
The cottage is built entirely of redwood. Dimensions: 25 W x 40 L x 20 H. There is no insulation or plumbing. A preservation easement would come with the structure. Technical drawings in pdf format may be viewed and downloaded here.
If you would like to get involved,
call BAHA at (510) 841-2242
or send us an e-mail.
Following stucco removal, September 2004
(photo: Daniella Thompson)
Copyright © 20032013 Daniella Thompson. All rights reserved.