Historic Renovation

A National Award Winner

The National Trust for Historic Preservation awarded this project second place for historic renovation design in its nationwide Great American Homes competition, 1994.

The client wanted a second home in the small rural town of Tomales, so we renovated two dilapidated circa 1880 buildings on his property. Local design review requirements dictated retaining the original envelopes and architectural detailing visible from the street.

Tomales house exterior before

To create a better balance between the two buildings and to provide space for a front yard and driveway, we moved the smaller studio building farther away from the residence, toward the rear of the lot.

Neither building had a foundation; new foundations were designed and installed. A new front porch was added on the studio where evidence indicated an original porch, long since removed. The new porch design was adapted from old photos and from detailing on neighboring buildings of similar vintage.

Tomales house afterwards

The original floor plans of both buildings were completely changed. Windows and doors were shifted to accommodate the new floor plans and for architectural symmetry. Exterior doors are restored originals. All glazing was replaced with insulated units, with wood frames custom-made to the original sizes and style.

Tomales house 3/4 view

Tomales interior
After, looking west

Tomales interior
After, looking east

In 2002 we redesigned the studio building as a master bedroom suite with a bath, cathedral ceiling with skylights and a walk-in closet. For another example of updating an older home, see this addition to a Victorian house in San Francisco's Mission District.

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