High-Peaked Colonial Revival

Part 4: The unique and the lookalike

Daniella Thompson

Miltenberg (Russell Sturgis Collection)

2334 Curtis St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

22 February 2005

Clearly influenced by northern European traditional half-timbering techniques is the High-Peaked Colonial Revival house on the corner of Curtis (formerly Bruce) and Chaucer Streets, one block east of San Pablo Avenue. In addition to the balconied front gable, there are two side gables with half-timbered patterns. Neoclassical pilasters support the four corners. The house was built in 1911 by the carpenter Andrew (Arne) Lundgren, who constructed and owned a number of houses in the neighborhood. In 1918, Lundgren replaced the original narrow clapboard siding with stucco. The second floor dormers, once located only under the side gables, now take up the entire length of the roof on both sides. Even clad in stucco, this house a rarity in Berkeley owing to its playful half-timbering patterns.

2334 Curtis Street, southwest aspect (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Pilaster (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

North gable (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Not rare but quite harmonious is the pair of mirror-image twins on Haste Street between Fulton and Shattuck. Designed by C.M. Cook in 1905, the two have been nicely restored, retaining their original windows and ornamentation.

2132 Haste St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

2130 & 2132 Haste St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

2130 Haste St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

The fanciful mastheads and the carved ornaments at the ends of the bargeboards lend a touch of grace to these simple houses, as does the leaded glass in the upper window panes and in the transoms above the front gable windows.

2132 Haste St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

2132 Haste St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

The two houses shown below display mixed parentage. On the gable at 2816 California Street, the sunburst harks back to Victorian architecture and the curlicues at the ends of the bargeboards recall Art Nouveau. At 1940 Francisco Street, unusually slender porch brackets hint of Arts & Crafts, as does the recessed gable with its exposed rafters.

2816 California St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

2816 California St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

1940 Francisco St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

A side-by-side demonstration of “dos and don’ts” is offered by the Harper Street pair below. The houses appear to have been built by the same contractor at the same time. Each one was given its own distinguishing marks: 3024 Harper St. has a roofed side entrance and a canopied double window in the front gable, while 3022 Harper St. has a front-porch entrance, a hipped-roof dormer, and a rare demi-lune recess in the gable. Yet while the house on the left retains all its charm, its yellow neighbor has undergone renovations that destroyed much of its character. Did the original windows look like those next door? And was there always ornamental ironwork at the corner of the porch instead of a Neoclassical column?

3024 (left) and 3022 Harper St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

The two Francisco Street houses below are separated by one house. Each has an unusual trait. The green-roofed house sports uncommonly chunky and straight porch columns and a balcony railing. Its red-roofed neighbor has a small and squarish hipped-roof dormer with a window set at its very bottom.

1836 Francisco St. (photo: Daniella Thompson,

1832 Francisco St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

What sets the pair below apart from most High-Peaked Colonial Revivals is the angular recess of their gables (see another example at 2326 Webster Street). At 2707 Fulton St., the gable is clad with fishscale asphalt shingles, and its upper triangle protrudes from the recess. At 2913 Newbury St., the gable shingles are wooden, and the upper window is graced with a miniature spindle balustrade.

2707 Fulton St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

2913 Newbury St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Continue to Part 5

See also:
Colonial Revival buildings in Ashby Station

Essays & Stories

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