Rowland & Rowland Permit Survey

The builder of record for our house is Rowland & Rowland, father and son team Volney and Hermon Rowland. They began working in Berkeley in 1924, possibly looking for work after the September 1923 Berkeley Hills Fire.

The core of our house mystery (“Maybe a Maybeck”) is a couple of Rowland & Rowland houses that appear to be Maybeck designs: the 1926 Reid House at 24 Northampton in Berkeley and our 1927 Kingsley House in Montclair (“The Lost Maybecks”). These were written about in a Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association tour pamphlet, though the author suggests that our Kingsley House might actually be designed by Rowland - the implication I believe is that Rowland had used his experience working for Maybeck in the ‘20s to “inspire” our house design. We believe, however, that our house is a real Maybeck design done off the record - and we also have the “proof” letter from 1951 that describes a visit to the house by Volney Rowland where he mentions it was designed by Maybeck. However it’s clear from the letter that Rowland put a lot of his heart into the house and his own touches on the carpentry which may be what throws people off from accepting it as a Maybeck.

Regardless of the debate on whether our house is a Maybeck design, I wanted to track the Rowland’s career in the Bay Area. The obvious question is “are there other Rowland houses that look like Maybeck designs?” The only way to investigate that question is to survey all the Rowland permits. I had a partial list from BAHA for Rowland permits only in Berkeley. One of the remodels on that list looked like a Maybeck remodel on one of his older designs. It was, like our house, built by Rowland & Rowland with no architect listed. I started to think there were actually “2.5” lost Maybeck designs. Then I wondered about why this might happen that the true architect was left off the paperwork. I also looked at all the houses listed under Rowland permits to see if there was evidence that Rowland was “influenced” by Maybeck in his other designs - to see if he was starting to adapt some of Maybeck’s design quirks. Besides the “Lost Maybecks” which have a bunch of mid-20s Maybeck specific touches, there didn’t seem to be much influence on the other, simpler houses that do actually look like Rowland designs. So if Rowland was copying Maybeck, he did an excellent job in 1926-7 on these two “lost Maybecks” but didn’t copy Maybeck’s style on his own designs before or after ‘26-27. To me it looked more likely these houses are real Maybeck designs that are not officially attributed to him. Maybeck designs are very difficult to imitate because they are site specific and had a lot of unusual features that rotated and changed over his career. One would really have to be an architecture student of sorts to pick up on the design principles and stylistic touches that would make a proper mid-‘20s Maybeck floor plan and exterior appearance (a basic set of plans). Only half of the design is on the building plans, and the beautiful interior touches, personally done or supervised by master artisan Maybeck, would add further difficulty to any attempt at a Maybeck copy.

In my research I came across some biographical information about Rowland in a book about his Klondike days. Volney Rowland’s formal education ended with the 3rd grade. The Rowlands were not architects - they were builders... so if we take the permits at face value, it seems pretty surprising that a builder with a very minimal formal education would be able to make such spot-on-yet-completely-unique late-period Maybeck “copies”.

Judging a likely Maybeck design is less subjective than you might think - and in my opinion it doesn’t require a PHD in Architectural History - you really just need to read through the books about Maybeck. There are certain features that were Maybeck touches that would be highly unusual to see on average buildings from the ‘20s. One is a large setback on the lot - many Maybeck hillside designs have the front of the house about halfway back on the lot. Where most houses might be set back 20 or 30 feet for a front lawn, our house is about 75 feet from the street. The front door is still another 20 or so feet from the front of the house, with the door facing perpendicular to the street. This is an impractical choice for the older woman who commissioned our house, but does fit into Maybeck’s Hillside Design philosophy. The Reid House has a very similar large setback to a living room with a private entrance on the left side far back from the street. The Kingsley and Reid houses also both have a stone-faced garage on the left front corner of the lot - not seen in other Maybeck designs, this may be a Rowland touch.

Rowland built house, 1929, Architect. B Reede Hardman. This is a more typical ‘20s design than below.

Rowland built house, 1929, Architect. B Reede Hardman. This is a more typical ‘20s design than below.

1926 Rowland built house. Rowland & Rowland are listed as the architects. Definitely looks like a ‘20s Maybeck design!

1926 Rowland built house. Rowland & Rowland are listed as the architects. Definitely looks like a ‘20s Maybeck design!

The 1929 Rowland built house for B Reede Hardman is actually next door to the 1926 Rowland built Reid House which looks like a Maybeck design. The comparison is not very subtle. The house on the left has a modest setback (A), exposed front door near the middle of the house (B), a “face” that presents itself to the street (C), and a regular chimney. The Reid House has a large setback (A), a “private” main entrance (B), a site specific living room that is tucked back and points at the view (C), and Maybeck’s signature Venturi chimney.

The 1929 Rowland built house for B Reede Hardman is actually next door to the 1926 Rowland built Reid House which looks like a Maybeck design. The comparison is not very subtle. The house on the left has a modest setback (A), exposed front door near the middle of the house (B), a “face” that presents itself to the street (C), and a regular chimney. The Reid House has a large setback (A), a “private” main entrance (B), a site specific living room that is tucked back and points at the view (C), and Maybeck’s signature Venturi chimney.

I my research I came across the realization that the easiest way to tell a Maybeck design is his signature Venturi chimney. Nearly all Maybeck designs after 1907 have it, and the Rowland “designs” in question have it too. It’s my belief that only Maybeck designs feature this unique chimney. 

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Reviewing the list of permits from Building and Engineering News (BaEN), the first appearance of Rowland in the Bay Area is in 1924.  In 1924 he is listed on 3 house permits on Le Roy Avenue in Berkeley. (It’s hard to know the exact order because the permit is only roughly correlated to the actual start of construction - plus or minus a couple months I’d guess). Sometimes completion notices were published in BaEN but usually not. For my purposes I will assume the houses were built in the order that they appear in BaEN.) 

The “second” house he built on Le Roy was for Lilian Bridgman, a Maybeck protégée. My best guess for how Rowland met Maybeck was Maybeck lived nearby and walked over to check out the project. 

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However they met, after the three houses on Le Roy, Rowland and Maybeck were first working together officially on the Geisler House (still in 1924). Their first project is their ONLY official project together, even though it’s known they were in close partnership in the ‘20s.

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In 1925, Rowland built another Maybeck & White, but this time no architect was listed. I view it as a transitional project between the formal first project and the completely informal projects that came after.

Known Maybeck & White design listed as “Architect-None“

Known Maybeck & White design listed as “Architect-None“

The “one room house” for Warren P. Staniford was one of several one room houses designed by Maybeck when he was experimenting with open floor plans. There’s an article about his ideas in Sunset Magazine from July 1923 (“The Maybeck One Room House”).


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So how is it that a known Maybeck & White design has a permit with no architect listed? It’s not as straightforward as you would expect - not all of a given architect’s designs would be recorded at the building department because it’s a matter of bureaucracy and paperwork. The official list of Maybeck works was published by Kenneth Cardwell in 1977 in the first major retrospective book about Maybeck. Cardwell compiled this list from Maybeck’s office records and interviews with the architect himself. Cardwell makes it clear that the official list could contain errors but later authors seem to accept the official list as the best that we can know. So if we know that the official list could be incomplete, then how and why isn’t Maybeck listed on certain permits?  My theory is that the name on the permit is usually the person who pulls the permit. Usually this would be the architect, but I believe this is in effect the “point person” for the job who has to deal with paperwork and inspections. If Maybeck trusted Rowland to take the project to completion, he could have Rowland pull the permit and it would reduce his workload of site visits and paperwork. At the bottom of permits at the time it says “signature of architect, owner or builder.” I think who ever goes to the building department and signs the permit application would be in charge of the project. It’s possible if an architect was listed, then they would be expected to be in charge of the project. 

The 1926 Reid House, one “Lost Maybeck” design, pictured earlier

The 1926 Reid House, one “Lost Maybeck” design, pictured earlier

The next two projects I think were a collaboration between Rowland & Rowland and Maybeck are the 1926 Reid House and the 1927 Kingsley House - “The Lost Maybecks”.  BAHA suspects the Reid House of being an informal Maybeck, and we have the letter for our house. If you believe my theory that the 1925 Staniford house was transitioning to a less formal collaboration, then these Lost Maybecks are completely informal - no office records that I have found mention these two projects at all. If there were records in the Maybeck papers, they would probably have mentioned these projects in one of the 3 main Maybeck books. But these two “Lost Maybecks” do look like Maybeck designs, and fit in with a pattern between Rowland and Maybeck of a working relationship where there was no mention of Maybeck on the permits. Some of these are known as Maybeck designs after the fact - but not from the permit record. 

Our 1927 Kingsley House says no architect but I think our letter that says it was designed by Maybeck tells the real story

Our 1927 Kingsley House says no architect but I think our letter that says it was designed by Maybeck tells the real story

The 1927 Kingsley House, like the 1926 Reid House, was built by Rowland and Rowland and looks like a Maybeck design. The Kingsley house also has a large setback, a private northern entrance, a west facing 1.5 story living room, the Venturi chimney, and a stone faced garage in the front corner of the lot whose roof is at ground level to add yard space, just like the Reid House.

The 1927 Kingsley House, like the 1926 Reid House, was built by Rowland and Rowland and looks like a Maybeck design. The Kingsley house also has a large setback, a private northern entrance, a west facing 1.5 story living room, the Venturi chimney, and a stone faced garage in the front corner of the lot whose roof is at ground level to add yard space, just like the Reid House.

Another project of note is the 1926-27 Keeler House remodel. The Keeler House was one of Maybeck’s first residential commissions which stands just North of UC Berkeley. The remodel in 1926-27 subdivided the house, and its exterior seemed to be updated to Maybeck’s ‘20s style with stucco exterior and signature Venturi chimneys. I considered this another Lost Maybeck design but the Mark Wilson book about Maybeck has it as an official design so there must be a record of it somewhere in the Maybeck papers. It seems Mark Wilson had access to additional Maybeck papers through Jacomena Maybeck and maybe that’s where he found out about the Keeler remodel being a Maybeck design. Again it’s a Rowland & Rowland permit with no architect listed. 

The Keeler House was sold by Keeler and later was subdivided and remodeled by Rowland & Rowland in 1926, now known to be a Maybeck design.

The Keeler House was sold by Keeler and later was subdivided and remodeled by Rowland & Rowland in 1926, now known to be a Maybeck design.

 

Another project worth mentioning is the addition to Maybeck’s 1924 Sack House. Maybeck’s own house burned down in the 1923 Berkeley Hills Fire. (It’s speculated by Mark Wilson that Maybeck started using almost exclusively fireproof siding and roofing after his 1915 Mathewson house (stucco exterior) survived the Berkeley Hills Fire while everything around it burned down). In 1924 Maybeck built a small house with a novel approach to siding - he used burlap sacks dipped into “bubblestone” (an aerated concrete product he was developing) and hung them by wires to create an effect like shingles. In 1926 the Sack House became the Maybeck Studio when an addition was built by Rowland. I don’t have access to this permit but I suspect there was no architect listed. Again my theory is that if Rowland was getting the permit, Maybeck would ask that his name be omitted from the permit card to avoid the paperwork. But I think it’s obvious that Maybeck designed the addition to his own home.

Another project of note, this time NOT by Rowland is Annie’s Cottage, 1933. It has distinctly Maybeckian features and is a known Maybeck but Bernard is listed nowhere on the permit - only Annie Maybeck. Again my theory is that Annie was going to the building department so Bernard was omitted from the paperwork. He just did the drawings. I think Maybeck enjoyed drawing and would have been content only doing the drawings for some projects.

I believe the last house of this Rowland and Maybeck collaboration was our 1927 Kingsley House. I can only speculate on the reason for this. Rowland was around retirement age in 1929 when the stock market crashed and he moved to the Central Valley (to “retire” and breed silver foxes). It does seem like work was drying up before then as the number of permits under Rowland was steadily declining from 1924-29. Maybeck better weathered the economic downturn with a couple large, ongoing projects - the Earl C Anthony mansion in LA and the Principia College plan in Illinois. Our house took exceptionally long at 14 months (from our letter) and went well into mid 1928. (Most houses during this time I would guess took around 6 months). After our house, Rowland next in 1928 worked on another house in Montclair. Rowland was doing about 3 houses a year from 1924-26 but only 1 or 1.5 from 1927-29.

McCreery was one of many architects that Rowland worked with. If you take the records at face value, only half of the Rowland projects have a real architect listed. If you take into account all the projects I think are Maybecks or are known Maybecks, Rowland only actually designed two houses and one remodel of of his 15 projects.

McCreery was one of many architects that Rowland worked with. If you take the records at face value, only half of the Rowland projects have a real architect listed. If you take into account all the projects I think are Maybecks or are known Maybecks, Rowland only actually designed two houses and one remodel of of his 15 projects.

Rowland finished his last house mid 1929 at 36 Northampton (next door to the Reid House.) it’s possible that the two friends simply didn’t have time to work together anymore after our house. I believe Maybeck just made the basic building plans, maybe 6-10 pages, for these unofficial collaborations and the rest was up to Rowland. Maybeck earlier in his career was very involved in all the fine details of the construction - sometimes actually doing some of the woodwork. After he was hospitalized briefly from a health scare potentially from overwork, Annie reorganized his office in 1924 and hired draftsmen to reduce his workload so he could focus on what he enjoyed - drawing “pretty little pictures”. Scholars note the decline in the quality of his work after this point, when he could no longer obsess over every square inch. With Maybeck not available, Rowland presumably had to fill in some details like the carpentry and tile work. Maybeck building plans like others from the time were rather sparse. Everything not on the plans would have to be filled in by the client and contractor. The Rowland touches combined with Maybeck’s plans make the Kingsley and Reid houses two of a kind, unlike any Maybeck before or since.

1929 completion notice for 36 Northampton, Rowland’s last project in the Bay Area before he moved away

1929 completion notice for 36 Northampton, Rowland’s last project in the Bay Area before he moved away

Of the 15 projects Rowland completed from 1924-29 in the BaEN, only 7 don’t have an architect listed meaning they were listed as “Architect-None” or the architect was listed Rowland & Rowland or V. H. Rowland (Volney Rowland).  Of these projects, many are known or suspected Maybeck designs. There are a couple that look like actual Rowland designs. These are relatively simple and would not be difficult for a contractor to design. One is 2031 Del Norte, which is a simple L shaped house on a corner type lot with a front door in the middle of the L. The simplicity of the form combined with the front facing door make it clearly NOT a Maybeck. The contrast between these contractor designs and the suspected Maybeck designs show that Rowland was a humble contractor, not a master at architectural forgery. At this point in my research, it seems much more plausible that Maybeck designed some projects for Rowland off the record, than Rowland somehow understanding Maybecks hillside design philosophy so completely that he could implement his ideals to unique lots with complex interactions between the building and the site it sits upon.

Below you can see my “Rowland” search of Building and Engineering News turned into a handy spreadsheet. The top is all the permits listed under the name Rowland. If you take away all the projects with no architect listed or Rowland as the architect, you have 5 houses and two remodels ostensibly designed by Rowland. (You need some type of design to build a house, and no architect is almost the same as contractor-designed though I supposed the client would have some input. Even with a client sketch, the builder would need to decide on the actual measurements and construction.)

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Within the “Arch:Rowland/None” group falls the 2 “Lost Maybecks” (yellow) and 2 known Maybeck designs that weren’t credited on the permit (green). Before and after what appears to be an off the record collaboration, are 2 houses and a remodel that look like contractor designs - like Rowland actually did design these (blue).

In summary, I think the actual Roland/Maybeck collaboration is as follows:

1924 Geisler House, Maybeck and White

1925 Warren P. Staniford House, (Maybeck and White)

1926 Keeler Remodel (Maybeck)

1926 Reid House (Maybeck?)

1926 Maybeck Studio (Maybeck)

1927 Kingsley House (Maybeck?)

If you take this one step further, you can try to calculate what percentage of Maybeck’s likely designs were off the record. If we have 4.5 house designs from the Rowland & Maybeck collaboration, then add Annie’s cottage, the Aikin house, another house I was told about on a tour, a concrete building in Berkeley - that’s about 8 or maybe more out of a total of 180 designs - that’s only about 4% of his total works. Since Maybeck definitely has off the record designs - it seems possible that there may be more lost Maybeck designs. This article is a “proof of concept” that the subject warrants further investigation.

Kingsley family church

I’ve been interested in the story of Mrs. William Kingsley, the woman who built our house in 1927 under the name Mary Kingsley. The couple separated around 1917-1918 and the ex- Mrs. William Kingsley, formerly Susan Buek, began going by the name Mary Kingsley after she moved to California in 1918. I don’t know the reason behind the name change, but maybe it was a fresh start on the West Coast after the break in her marriage.

After I began researching the family background, I found the Kingsley family had previously been a very socially prominent family. William Kingsley had begun his career in the stock market and had enjoyed a meteroric rise in his career throughout the rest of his life, even appearing on the coveted Social Register for a time - which was a “who’s who” of prominent wealthy people in New York.

Like many prominent families of the time, they had a public life that included an association with a church. It would be hard to be considered upstanding citizens without appearing at church regularly and also giving “not so private” generous donations.

This idyllic family image the Kingsley’s has would not last forever. Religion may ultimately have been part of what divided the couple. William Kingsley was a conservative and devout Christian, but Susan/Mary Kingsley began to get more into Theosophy, Rosicrucianism, Spiritiulism and other “new age” spiritual beliefs around the turn of the 20th century that William might have found strange or even heretical. But previous to Mrs Kingsley’s interest in the occult, it seems she was supportive of the more traditional side of her family’s spirituality for at least the first decade after their marriage in 1890. Proof of that is evidenced by donations to the Madison Square Presbyterian Church by Mrs Kingsley and little Myra Kingsley, almost 4 years old in February 1901.

 

 

$27 dollars was a lot of money in 1901!

$27 dollars was a lot of money in 1901!

Pictured below is the newer church they may have attended in a few years later but the donation record is from a church kitty corner to the Beaux-Arts masterpiece below that was completed in 1906. From Wikipedia “The congregation's church had previously been located on the opposing, southeast corner of Madison and 24th Street, in a Gothic-style structure, also called the "Madison Square Presbyterian Church", whose cornerstone was laid in 1853 and which was completed the following year.“

  Madison Square  Presbyterian Church    (1906-1919)

 Madison SquarePresbyterian Church

(1906-1919)

Wikipedia: “The new church, valued at $500,000 and called the "Parkhurst Church" after its pastor, Reverend Charles Henry Parkhurst, was described as "one of the most costly religious edifices in the city"; it was awarded the Gold Medal of Honor of the American Institute of Architects.”

The reason I think they attended this newer church as well was William Morgan Kingsley and his father Ezra Munson Kingsley had been close with Charles Henry Parkhurst. William even named his first born son Charles Parkhurst Kingsley. (Other naming trends - I believe his first daughter was named Myra after his mother Almira Kingsley. His second son was named Mabon Kingsley after William’s first stock market business partner - and Mabon later named his son William M Kingsley after his grandfather.)

 

Charles Henry Parkhurst

Charles Henry Parkhurst

Charles Henry Parkhurst was also a notable figure in New York. From Wikipedia: “Charles Henry Parkhurst (April 17, 1842 – September 8, 1933) was an American clergyman and social reformer, born in Framingham, Massachusetts. Although scholarly and reserved, he preached two sermons in 1892 in which he attacked the political corruption of New York City government. Backed by the evidence he collected, his statements led to both the exposure of Tammany Hall and to subsequent social and political reforms.”

William Kingsley was also involved in the Union Theological Seminary in New York so you can see how there might be a conflict with Mrs Kingsley’s interest in Spritualism and the seances she began having at the family summer retreat in Elizabethtown, NY in the early 1900s. This could have created a wedge between the two that ended with their separation around 1918. William remarried and the ex-Mrs Kingsley, now going by Mary, lived with her adult kids where possible (1919-around 1923) but ultimately lived alone (with a servant) for most of the rest of her days in California. Mary called the breakup of the family “the great break” of her life in a letter she wrote to Helen Keller around 1923 after moving to Berkeley: https://www.afb.org/HelenKellerArchive?a=d&d=A-HK01-03-B066-F08-002.1.1&e=-------en-20--1--txt--------3-7-6-5-3--------------0-1

In 1923 I believe she lived with Mabon at 135 Tunnel Rd in Berkeley but after that he moved to student housing and she was alone at 135 Tunnel Rd until 1927 when our house was under construction. Around mid 1928 she moved into our house until the end of 1940, when Myra came and helped her, at age 70, move back east to Charles P Kingsley’s farm in Maryland where she lived her last two years. (Additions in 1939 suggest she was making the one bedroom house livable for two people, by adding a second bedroom and a dining room. Myra was at the peak of her astrology career, and probably didn’t have time to care for her aged mother.)

Despite their differences, after about a decade apart, it seems William probably paid for the construction of our house as it was pretty expensive for a one bedroom house at the time and Mary didn’t have much if any income to speak of. A couple expensive touches were the extensive use of redwood throughout and the industrial sash Fenestra windows had imported amber glass from Belgium for ALL of the original windows. (The additions she did in 1939 appear much lower budget).

From the limited information I can find on Mary Kingsley, I have to assume the most important things to her were family and spirituality - the latter interfering with the former. 

Reconstructing the Original Building Plans

I’ve come up with a theory to explain the Maybeck involvement with our house. I think it’s possible that Maybeck made the plans and simple got paid a flat rate - the rest of the details were up to his friend Rowland to execute. Early Maybeck work is very detail oriented but Annie Maybeck restructured his office in 1924 to ease Bernard’s workload. His work in general seems to take a turn around 1920 where he seems more concerned with layouts and city planning and experiments with concrete and open floorplans. The interior finishes depended on his availability. The 1937 Wallen #2 house for example - it’s said that Bernard walked 3 miles everyday from his house to supervise construction. I would call that very intense participation from an architect! I have worked on projects with architects and I don’t think I’ve ever seen an architect come to a job site more than 3 times. 

I guess it’s important to note what building plans used to look like. The Maybeck plans I’ve seen are basically only enough for the rough inspection. The rough phase is foundation, framing, plumbing and electrical and you need to get signed off in order to close up the walls and start the finish phase. To start construction, you need a plot map to locate the house on the lot, floorplans and elevations to determined how to frame the rooms and shape the house and what windows to install and what the roof looks like. The floorplan also lets subcontractors know how to run the plumbing and electrical because it depicts plumbing fixtures and lights etc. Sometimes they would include notes about flooring or wall coverings, but they didn’t always tell the builder all the information needed to build the house. Old plans used to be more like “the basic idea” of a house compared to the amount of detail that is specified now. This inset from Storybook Style by Arrol Gellner & Douglas Keister sums it up perfectly.

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Back to my theory - I was rereading our “proof letter” with the insight I’ve gained into historic building plans and I had the realization that Rowland says the house was “designed by Maybeck” but then he goes on to say “I placed and replaced every board until Mrs Kingsley was satisfied” and he describes how he did the woodwork and everything... so since all other the details of the letter so far seem to be true, what does designed by Maybeck really mean? It seems like Rowland is really taking the initiative so does “designed by Maybeck” mean Maybeck just got a flat rate for basic plans and walked away? The exterior appearance and floor plan look to me like Maybeck designs and that would be on a basic set of plans. I thought it would be a good idea to explore what Maybeck plans looked like. If we understand how Maybeck makes plans, then we can know what details were likely specified by Maybeck on the plans (assuming Maybeck made no site visits. We have ideas about what we think looks like Maybeck and what is probably not. Then there’s some stuff in the middle. We can now approach it from the other end in sort of an “inductive reasoning” approach - where we use other building plans to tell us what kind of details he would specify on the plans. Then if there were still features we thought were Maybeck that he didn’t usually include on his plans, we could assume those would require a site visit. 

Here’s one example of using the house to determine what the plans looked like -

The house below is a “real” Maybeck Swiss chalet made for Albert Schneider. This is a southern elevation. The view would be facing downhill, to the West like a lot of the inland east bay hills up the coast.

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Here’s our house, Southwest side. Look familiar? You can see that or house probably had a drawing like the one above to show how this side of the house was supposed to look. 

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What else? Well the house has that Venturi chimney, so I think the plans must have included how to build one for this house. Below you can see the elliptical shape of the firebox for example is very specific to Maybecks ideas about draft and about Venturi’s principles. The Venturi aspect is the narrow point in the chimney which is supposed to accelerate draft because the smoke will be expanding as it rises to the larger upper chamber and that is supposed to help suck up air.

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I like to call The Calkins house, our house and the Wallen #1 house “Maybeck Chalets” because they seem to sorta diverge from his older Swiss chalets and take their own form which is a progressive floorplan, hillside hugging “fireproof” design. I think my plans probably were similar to the 1921 Calkins house - similar form and 6 years apart. One thing I noticed when I visited with the sweet folks at the Calkins house was we both have tan-stained concrete fireplaces. Well if you look very closely at this longitudinal section you can see it’s specified on the plans. I’d assume our plans had this detail as well.

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To sum up, I think we had the following pages in our building plans  

-plot map: the house hugs the hillside and had a tree growing through the master bedroom roof so it needed to be located precisely on the lot and the floorplan is based around the slope and shape of the hillside (as mentioned in the Hillside Homes pamphlet)

-floor plans that depict locations laterally of walls, rooms, light fixtures, doors, windows, cabinets, plumbing fixtures, stairs etc

-elevations: elevations are flat perspective drawings, most often for the exterior appearance of each side of the house. 

-transverse section for chimney: like the Calkins house, the concrete chimney is poured pretty early with the maybe the first floor framing platform or foundation. Our Venturi chimney would need a cross section to get the geometry right

-fireplace drawing - longitudinal or interior elevation: all Maybeck designs have unique fireplaces. That means he would need to make a drawing or sketch to show what it was supposed to look like. 

-landscaping sketch: mentioned in the Rowland letter

-kitchen elevations?: the kitchen cabinets are original redwood that have some design to them.. there is even this weird hinged under sink box that looks like the Wallen #1 has the same thing. Interior kitchen elevations would show Rowland how to build them. 

-gate and door designs: the house has a lot of rustic redwood doors all around and they are all unique. One is similar to a gate at Maybeck’s own home - the “Sack house”. Maybe these were depicted on interior sections? Or maybe they were Rowland’s designs. Rowland says he carved all the handles and did the roadwork but I think at least some of the doors and gates were designed by Maybeck and shown on the plans somehow.

 

I am planning on ordering scans of real plans from UC Berkeley CED Archives who have a lot of original Maybeck building plans. Then I’m hoping to make reproductions of what the original plans looked like - as accurately as possible. Coming up sometime this year I hope!