High-Peaked Colonial Revival

Part 2: A plethora of designs

Daniella Thompson


2223 Ward St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

2709 Dana St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

15 February 2005

The quintessence of the High-Peaked Colonial Revival genre is expressed in the Palladian window set within a shingled gable. Strange? Yes. But very appealing nonetheless. At 2709 Dana St., the Palladian window (with elaborate glazing and charming Ionic pilasters) is accompanied by an ornament that looks like an anchor but is actually a stylized (Dutch?) tulip. Exactly the same design in mirror image can be seen at 2516 Etna Street, where the 1906 house is painted pink. Another mirror-image twin was erected just behind 2709 Dana, at 2716 Telegraph Avenue. Both were designed by C.M. Cook and built in 1904 by the developer John A. Marshall.


2716 Telegraph Ave. (courtesy of Mrs. John A. Marshall Jr.)

2709 Dana St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Although the tulip gable ornament at 2716 Telegraph Avenue appears to be a modern restoration, it closely resembles the original. The only visible difference is the shape of the two leaves at the bottom, which used to look like those on the Etna St. and Dana St. gables.


2716 Telegraph Ave.

2716 Telegraph Ave.

2516 Etna St.

2709 Dana St. (photos: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Two variations on the Palladian window, both including Ionic pilasters, may be seen below. At 1014 Hearst Avenue, the two flanking windows contain diamond panes, while the upper, curved pane of the central part is solid glass. At 2314 Russell Street, the squared-off Palladian window is surmounted by decorative friezes. An unusual note is struck by the window box with its arched perforations. The wide-gauge clapboard above and below appears to be vinyl siding. Sadly, the graceful lines of this house are marred by unsightly aluminum windows.


1014 Hearst Ave. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Detail, 1014 Hearst Ave. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

2314 Russell St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

From the postcard below we can deduce that the house at 1014 Hearst Avenue once had four Ionic capitals on the Palladian window pilasters where now only the two external ones remain. A plain board window box has replaced the turned spindle balustrade of old, the chimney has given way to metal flues, and the horizontal window in the entry porch is now a second door. In all other respects, the house (if indeed it is the same house and not a twin) remains intact.


1014 Hearst Ave. or its twin on a 1907 postcard (courtesy of Anthony Bruce)

1014 Hearst Ave. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Some High-Peaked Colonial Revival houses display Arts & Crafts details, such as the stairway with the wide, curving parapet seen at 2343 Carleton Street. The parapet is shingled, but the rest of the ground floor is clad in narrow shiplap siding, and the porch column is Neoclassical. The unusual color scheme—cobalt blue, carmine red, and grayish green—was inspired by the lovely porch window with the colored glass diamonds.


2343 Carleton St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

2343 Carleton St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

More Arts & Crafts details may be observed at 2210 Derby Street, 3050 Shattuck Ave., and 2520 Webster Street. On Derby, Craftsman-style porch posts and front door are the telltale marks. On Shattuck and Webster, the gable is half-timbered, and an irregularly shaped beam makes up the bottom of the triangle. The porch posts are straight. Yet there’s not a single shingle on these very similar buildings. Note that in the Webster Street house (built by editor-turned-developer Warren Cheney), the dormers occupy the entire length of the roof.


2210 Derby St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

3050 Shattuck Ave. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

2520 Webster St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

The two-gauge clapboard house at 2022 Woolsey Street (see below) is the only example I’ve seen in Berkeley of a lopped-off high-peaked roof. The 2744 Fulton Street house was featured in last year’s Berkeley 1890 house tour. It was built in 1899 by contractor John C. Rogers. The distinguishing marks are a curved ground-floor window bay and a wedge-shaped prow window in the gable (see a closeup photo in Part 1). Similar features can be seen on a commercial Colonial Revival building at 3025 Adeline Street.


2744 Fulton St. (photo: Daniella
Thompson, 2005)

2022 Woolsey St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

It was probably John C. Rogers who around 1900 built five High-Peaked Colonial Revivals on Woolsey Street, including this trio between Whitney and Tremont. The houses at 2000 and 2004 are adjacent to each other, and the builder found ways to make them look different. But it’s evident that 2000 and 2014, with two houses between them, are mirror-image twins, differing only in slight decorative details.


2014 Woolsey St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

2004 Woolsey St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

2000 Woolsey St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Continue to Part 3


See also:
Colonial Revival buildings in Ashby Station


Essays & Stories

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