DATELINE JUNE 19, 2013
Antique & Classic Boat Society
I love the great maritime tradition of the San Francisco Bay, always have. Maybe it’s because I kept a boat in Sausalito for years or my service in the U.S. Navy. Anyway I love the lore and the tradition of it so when it was decided that this year CHC would feature our marine history as part of our Awards Dinner I was over the top with enthusiasm.
Our dinner this year will be at the Saint Francis Yacht Club and as we are right on the water it could not be more appropriate as this is also the summer of the America’s Cup.
The America's Cup "World Series" is currently scheduled on San Francisco Bay this summer and will race at astonishing speeds along the waterfront, displaying Olympic class maneuvers in close proximity to shore, and whetting our appetites for the 34th America's Cup race on the Bay featuring extreme, 13-story high, carbon fiber, flying wing yachts. While these modern boats have captured the public's imagination, their designs have evolved over centuries, and their sailors are in fact continuing a long tradition of yachting that began, on San Francisco Bay, more than 150 years ago.
And that tradition continues to this day maintained by the several excellent historic yacht preservation organizations we will be honoring at our dinner. The list of clubs and awards for this year are listed in this newsletter. In addition we have some of the most exciting honors to award and I know we all will enjoy the evening.
See you at the hosted reception at the SFYC. PS "Go Navy"
John Hodges, Board Chair
CHC Celebrates the Season
As the Year 2012 Comes to a Close
DATELINE JANUARY 2013
Once again, members of the California Heritage Council gathered at the Saint Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco for their 53rd annual, and much anticipated, Christmas Dinner. The evening was enhanced dramatically by the magnificent setting, the unequaled views over the bay, and the festive decorations. Good friends from around California exchanged holiday best wishes.
As a featured high point, Dr. Anthea Hartig, eminent historian and gifted storyteller, captivated the crowd with her presentation, “Re-imagining the Future of Heritage in California” and brought a truly imaginative aspect to her subject. She spoke about the importance of our roles as historians, who must keep the past alive to give a sound foundation to the future.
At the evening’s conclusion, yours truly conferred our organization’s most prestigious “Distinguished Service to California History” award upon Dr. Hartig. The celebration and ceremony made it an evening to be remembered.
Happy New Year!
President, California Heritage Council
Dr Anthea Hartig, Executive Director of the California Historical Society, joyously receives CHC’s “Distinguished Service to California History” award from CHC President Christopher Layton.
CHC Members and Friends Gather
For the Annual Holiday Dinner.
DATELINE JANUARY 2013
Please enjoy the smiling faces of the CHC members and friends, pictured below, as they celebrated the season at CHC’s Christmas Dinner, held December 12th 2013 at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco.
As a footnote, CHC Executive Officer Dianne Rowe reports that the silent auction of the evening was a great success. Thanks to you all for your participation.
(All photography by manningmagic.com)
Consider this a eulogy I would have delivered had I had the chance; a testimony to Mr. “Everyman” who on reflection was really Mr. “Extraordinary.”
First some facts: Win was 86 when he passed, the eldest of four boys, a graduate of MIT, served in the U.S. Navy until 1947 and in the Navy Reserves long after World War 2.
He came to San Francisco in 1954 and worked until retirement for the city as an electrical engineer.
He loved music and was active in the San Francisco Symphony and member of the Symphony Chorus, the SF Opera, Boy Scouts, and was active in many outdoor clubs. He was a long time member and deacon of his Presbyterian Church and played the piano every Sunday. He played Christmas carols for the CHC Holiday Dinner each year to the delight of our revelers.
I first met this man 25 years ago at an Officers’ Mess, an unofficial gathering of retired or ex-military men who got together monthly to put their old military decorations on a too-tight tux, eat roast beef, drink scotch, and generally regale each other with war stories of days gone by.
What I remember about Win in those days is that he had the oldest, well worn, but absolutely the finest tuxedo you have ever seen. I asked him about it once, and he told me he bought it when he graduated from MIT! It was not black, but midnight blue, and it looked great with his old military ribbons proudly pinned on.
We remained members of that club for many years, as did our friend John Ritchie, and during this period we both were members of CHC. Now to understand Win, you need to understand the “long view” of things. By this I mean wisdom, pure and simple wisdom.
Wisdom is a tough thing to define. We can describe it better than we can define it. Wisdom speaks of maturity, of profound recognition. When I think of wisdom, I think of the elders of CHC or any community, for that matter, who have seen so much that they are not thrown off course by short-term good news or bad news.
Wise people like Win have a long view of life in that, like that old midnight-blue tux, they are not blown about by fads, or the emotions of any given event or moment. He was consistent and stable in what was good. He loved old religious hymns, old ideas, and old concepts of good for the community because they were time-honored and classic.
Win had a great mind. When it came to San Francisco city matters, he was doggedly relentless in solving its problems. I remember him showing up at a CHC meeting with a pile of papers and page after page of columns of numbers. He proudly announced that, with these pages of numbers, he had calculated that the Presidio had enough money to restore some key buildings. We asked him how he got this confidential, guarded data and he told that he side-stepped the main Presidio Trust office and went to an old friend in the maintenance department, who just happened to have that data. Win was well connected.
He did the same thing when he identified that the Lucas buildings at the Presidio were too large and several stories too high for the number of people that would be working there. His research showed that, had the calculations been done properly, in advance, two stories could have been removed from the too-tall buildings that impeded sight lines of the bay and all of us could have had a better view; not just the top two floors’ occupants.
The last project that Win was working on was documenting the cable car tracks in SF that are still in place but were simply paved over by the city. Win was, many times, way out in front of an issue. He saw the growing Presidio area as an ever-increasing tourist attraction and was concerned about traffic and parking. He remembered that the California line had once run out California to the Presidio from downtown, but there were no longer any visible tracks of this old line. Re-establishing the extended California line was his solution to a future traffic problem not yet identified as a problem. But where were the tracks?
So, Win rented one of those beachcomber metal detectors and he walked up and down California Street dodging traffic and searching for lost cable car tracks. And he found them!
In addition to his aforementioned relentless pursuits, I am going to miss Win’s written reports which he sent to newspapers, elected officials, just about anybody connected to whatever he was reporting on. Understand that he typed his own reports on an old manual typewriter that had to be fifty years old. The final product was always tight, dense logic but you had to get past the whiteout corrections, the handwritten comments, and the scotch-taped paragraph additions. But oh man, the phenomenal quality of his CHC observations looked, appropriately, like an engineer from MIT developed them!
Men and women like this are valuable members of their community. They crunch the numbers, play the piano, and support the causes of all the congregations. They rediscover the tracks. They sing in the choir. They carry the tune. But now it is time for us to carry the tune for Win.
This is what we do in the California Heritage Council -- we take turns carrying the tune for one another. Win will forever be in our hearts just like a faint tune, heard long ago; a melody played in the past from somewhere that you can’t quite put your finger on. But memories are like a tune you can’t get out of your thoughts as played perhaps by a proud piano man in an old blue tux.
So long, old friend. God Bless.
John Hodges, CHC Chairman
CHC Awards Expand and Revisit at 2012 Annual Dinner
Members, guests and honorees were all smiles at the June Awards event held at the St. Francis Yacht Club. (Photos by Ron Henggler).
At the CHC Awards Dinner, members and guests enjoyed the beautiful views from the windows of the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco as the recipients of seven California restoration and preservation projects were honored on June 28, 2012. A church, a windmill and a classic car were part of the array. And the winners are:
ST. JOHN'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH, Lakeport. Designed by Willis Polk and built in 1899. This Award was nominated by Bernard Butcher and accepted by Father Leo Joseph, assisted by Barbara Knight, Senior Warden of the Church.
This small sanctuary is beautifully rendered and constructed of the finest redwood. It receives recognition as an example of some of architect Willis Polk's outstanding work outside of San Francisco. Restoration and expansion of the building has been done in such a way as to fully preserve the original structure as it was designed more than 110 years ago. Willis Polk, a prominent San Francisco architect, designed St. John's to be what he called a “mini-cathedral.” The church's wood framed, shingled exterior is in the carpenter Gothic style. The lynch gate was designed by Mr. Richard Duce, a retired set designer from one of the major studios in Hollywood. The pews are made of solid planks of redwood. The redwood burl altar table is original, as is the baptismal font and the brass lectern.
EDGEHILL MANSION, now known as Dominican Heritage & Alumni House, San Rafael. This award was nominated by Richard Torney and accepted by Anne Reid, University Archivist, on behalf of Dominican University. Additionally, Mohammad Sadrieh, architect, accepted an award for the restoration work performed by his firm.
Constructed in 1887, the 19th century Queen Anne Victorian House was originally acquired by the Dominican Sisters in 1920 from the widow of William Babcock. Over the years it was converted into a residence hall and dining hall, and later served as classrooms, offices and a pre-school. The structure was closed in 1985 due to seismic concerns, four years prior to the Loma Prieta earthquake. The $8-million-dollar renovation was completed last fall just in time to host a private reception for California gubernatorial candidates Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman, who engaged in a televised debate on the University campus. The building now houses the offices of Alumni Relations, the Campus Ministry, Career and Internship Services, Dominican Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Student Life, International and Student Lounges as well as the St. Catherine Benincasa Chapel and Interfaith Hall.
The Grand Salon at the Leland Stanford Mansion (Photo by Timothy D. Manning).
LELAND STANFORD MANSION INTERIORS, Sacramento, Circa 1856. This award was nominated by John Hodges and accepted jointly by Professor Hank Dunlop and Interior Designer, Paul L'Esperance, on behalf of the California department of Parks & Recreation. Individual awards were also presented to Professor Hank Dunlop in recognition of his evaluation of historic furnishings and replacement of missing items, along with his consulting and guidance to the members of the restoration team for historic accuracy and appropriateness of the restoration of the furnishings and interiors, and to Paul L'Esperance of L'Esperance Design, West Hollywood, CA, in recognition of his research and design of the flooring, furnishings and drapery details.
Originally built in 1856 by Gold Rush merchant Sheldon Fogus, the Mansion was later purchased and remodeled by California Governor Leland Stanford and his wife Jane. The Mansion served as the office of three governors during the 1860's. As a pro-Union Civil War governor and president of the Central Pacific Railroad, Leland Stanford negotiated political and business deals at the Mansion that helped complete the transcontinental railroad.
LUTHER BURBANK HOME AND GARDENS, Santa Rosa, circa 1884. This award was nominated by CHC member Dianne Rowe and accepted by Daniel Flock, Acting Chair of the Luther Burbank Home & Gardens Association, accepting on behalf of the City of Santa Rosa Recreation, Parks and Community Services. Additionally, Carol Skold, Board Member, accepted an award for the Luther Burbank Home & Gardens Association, in recognition of their oversight, maintenance and preservation of the home and gardens.
The historic Burbank home property was given to the City of Santa Rosa by Burbank's widow, Elizabeth, upon her death in 1977. The Luther Burbank Home & Gardens Board and City staff cooperatively oversee and maintain the property. The site is open to the public and its programs are staffed by volunteers.
The Burbank Home: This modified Greek-revival house is where Luther Burbank lived from 1884 to 1906. After Burbank's death in 1926, Elizabeth moved into this charming old cottage where she lived until her death in 1977. The Carriage House: Originally a place to store carriages and horse tack, the carriage house was renovated in 1986 as a museum. The building accommodates exhibits relating to Burbank's life and work, the gift shop, and the tour registration desk. The Greenhouse: Designed and built by Luther Burbank in 1889, this building provides changing exhibits, and includes a replica of his office, which contains many of his tools. Luther Burbank was born in Lancaster, Massachusetts, on March 7, 1849. The famed horticulturist made his home in Santa Rosa for more than 50 years, and it was here that he conducted plant-breeding experiments that brought him world fame. During his career, Burbank introduced more than 800 new varieties of plants, including over 200 varieties of fruits, many vegetables, nuts and grains, and hundreds of ornamental flowers. Burbank was a friend of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford and both men visited at the Burbank home
A crane lifts a construction worker to secure the windmill blades to the reconstructed Murphy Windmill. (Photo by Ron Henggler).
MURPHY WINDMILL, San Francisco, circa 1905. This award was suggested by CHC member
Betty Ann Prien and researched by Dianne Rowe. The award was accepted by Phil Ginsburg, General Manager, San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.
Additional awards were presented to Ruairi Murphy, owner of Roebuck Construction, the firm that performed the restoration; Natasha Yankoffski, as President of the Campaign to Save the Golden Gate Park Windmills and fund-raiser for the restoration; and Ron Henggeler, photographer, who historically documented, through photography, the restoration. He took over 9,000 photos, many of which were displayed during dinner.
With the success of the Dutch Windmill, in 1905, a second windmill was built to the south, known as the Murphy Windmill, after Samuel G. Murphy, who donated $20,000 for its construction. This windmill was even larger than the first — 95 feet high, with sails 114 feet across, capable of pumping 40,000 gallons per hour. In June of 2000, Friends of Recreation and Parks held a reception at the South Windmill and presented plans for a Community Center Pavilion. On behalf of the City of San Francisco, Supervisor Mark Leno announced that the city would commit $500,000 towards the restoration process. The Murphy Windmill is now restored and was officially opened to the public this past April of 2012.
1934 PACKARD CUSTOM DIETRICH CONVERTIBLE SEDAN. This award was nominated by Chris Layton and was presented by Ed Gilbertson, Chief Judge, 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, to owners, John & Lorraine Kilkenny, in appreciation of the restoration and preservation of the car. The vintage roadster was displayed at the entrance to the St. Francis Yacht Club on the night of the awards.
CHC member Tim Manning poses with Packard owner John Kilkenny at the CHC Awards Dinner. (Photo by Ron Henggler).
The Packard car was custom built in 1934 for Mary Ann Magnin of the I. Magnin Department Store, San Francisco. It was sold on Van Ness Avenue at the Earl C. Anthony Dealership. The cost of this Packard was $7,300.00 delivered. This car was originally restored in the late 50's in San Francisco. The Kilkenny's are the 5th owners of this car and, with the help of their son, worked on the car to bring it back to its glory. This included electrical, motor, body work, new leather interiors, and a mechanical rebuild. All the work was done in the Kilkenny's garage from 2004 to 2009.
Budding architect Heather Wright receives her award from CHC President Christopher Layton.
HEATHER WRIGHT, Architect, North Star House. The award was nominated by John Hodges and accepted by Heather Wright. Built in 1905, the North Star House in Grass Valley, California, was designed by the renowned California Arts and Crafts architect Julia Morgan. The house served as the superintendent's house for the North Star Gold Mine. Decades of neglect contributed to the deteriorated state of the house, but a gradual, constant effort by collaborating forces within the local community are returning this masterpiece to its former glory. The original plans for this house were lost, and to remedy the need for architectural drawings, Heather Wright, AIA, age 26, is reconstructing the working plans pro bono for the return of this house to its place as an active hub of the Gold Country community. Ms. Morgan would be very proud of this young architect's effort and achievement.
CHC's Gary Widman, SF's Julia Morgan and
Leland Stanford Highlight CHC's Overnighter
Dateline: June 2012
Story and comments by John Hodges, Board Chair
Story edited and assembled by Timothy D. Manning
On our remarkable field trip last month to Sacramento and points east, we visited the Leland Stanford Mansion and the Crocker Art Museum, and followed up with an overnight stay in the Gold Country to visit the North Star House in Grass Valley. The fact-finding mission created some great new memories for the CHC members who were lucky to attend.
The Leland Stanford Mansion will be awarded a second time by CHC for its exquisite interior design. (Photographs by Timothy D. Manning)
CHC members and guests gaze in awe at the original home entrance to the Crocker Museum. (Photographs by Timothy Manning)
First, our trek to Sacramento proved to be an art, architecture and interior-design feast for the eyes. We visited the exquisitely preserved Leland Stanford Mansion, and the recently expanded Crocker Art Museum where we focused on CHC's Gary Widman and his impressive collection of art revolving around "fishing." His exhibit brings together etchings and engravings spanning five centuries on the subject.
CHC's Gary Widman poses in front of his Cocker Museum signage.
(Photograph by Mary Hardy)
Later that afternoon, a smaller group of us proceeded on up the hill to Grass Valley to enjoy dinner at the historic Holbrooke Hotel. The following morning we were off to a Farmer's Market and then made a first-hand inspection of the restoration of the stunning North Star House.
Bluegrass music and homespun goods and foods highlighted the Grass Valley Farmer's Market while, on the same grounds,CHC members visited the Northstar House and marveled at the craftsmanship of the main salon and its grand fireplace. (Photographs by Timothy Manning)
Folks, it is wonderful to see this Julia Morgan masterpiece slowly coming back to life after so many years of neglect. CHC has played a significant role in the cheer-leading of this effort, and we look forward to our on-going involvement in the preservation of this structure.
And the celebration of the 75th anniversary
of the Golden Gate Bridge is so important, especially as the Doyle Drive construction progresses. The CHC participated in at least a dozen discussions to better integrate the new roadway into the existing Golden Gate architectural landscape, since an update and retrofit of Doyle Drive, for a number of reasons, was not possible. Some may feel the roadway design, full of compromises, is a bit lean on aesthetics, but thanks to the CHC, the final solution is much better than many of the early design revisions.
And as we celebrate the Golden Gate's 75th year, some of us are still baffled by the fact that there is no museum in The Presidio honoring the GGB.
On June 28 we will have our annual Awards Dinner
at the Saint Francis Yacht Club. This year's award set is very interesting and I promise you will be entertained by the details of each story. We will be using a lot of big screen video this year; the evening will be fun as well as educational. And we thank CHC's Betty Ann Prien for underwriting the reception prior to the dinner.
A windmill, a Luther Burbank landmark, and a 1934 San Francisco Packard are among the CHC awardees this year.
We are lucky to live in a land with so many historic memories, and I am proud to be associated with CHC for celebrating those memories. Again, I for one, raise my voice for a proper “Museum of the West” in the Presidio celebrating, among many things, the greatest bridge in the United States.
--John Hodges, Board Chair
This site is dedicated to the memory of Henry Prien, whose untiring efforts to the preservation of California's creative heritage still inspires us all; and to Betty Ann Prien who continues Henry's legacy