California Heritage Council



Minutes of September 18, 2008 Board of Directors & Members’ Meeting

NEXT MEETING: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2008, 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM: ALICE CAREY & CO., INC. (Architects), HISTORIC OLD ENGINE CO. NO. 2, 460 BUSH STREET (Grant/Kearney), SAN FRANCISCO. Convenient parking at the Sutter/Stockton garage, 1 block west, enter parking garage on Bush Street. Street parking is not advised due to meters and tow away. Please bring prospective new members to our meeting.

Alice Carey, owner and founder of Carey & Co. Inc., has over twenty-five years experience in historic preservation architecture, planning, history and sustainability. Her firm specializes in the restoration and rehabilitation of historic structures. Carey & Co. practices in California, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah and has won over 100 design and preservation awards. The firm's portfolio of historic rehabilitation projects includes San Francisco City Hall, San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, Spreckels Temple of Music, California State Capitol, and the Sunol Water Temple. Current projects include the Palace of Fine Arts, Golden Gate Park's Murphy's Windmill, Marin Civic Center, and the Noe Valley Library in San Francisco.

Ms. Carey has served on the board of directors of many historic organizations, including the Historic State Capitol Commission, the San Francisco Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board, San Francisco Beautiful, and Oakland's Camron-Stanford House Board. She currently is serving on the boards of the College of Environmental Design Archives at U.C. Berkeley, San Francisco Architectural Heritage, and the 640 Historic Preservation Foundation.

President’s Message - William Applegate:

Greetings CHC members and friends: Doyle Drive promises to keep us alert to issues similar to those that have their history in the CHC’s inception in 1959. We will look to our CHC colleagues with more institutional memory and long term involvement to guide us through ways CHC can effectively have a meaningful impact on anticipated Doyle Drive developments. The CHC is listed in the Doyle Drive Programmatic Agreement as a consulting agent to the Doyle Drive project. We have been working on this for three years.

As many of us know, the CHC founding members were instrumental in diverting a proposed super highway through the Gold Country, thus saving many historic buildings that would have been in its path. Given that special CHC legacy, we can look forward to a memorable Springtime visit to the beautiful and exciting architecture and culture of the Gold Country as arranged by John Hodges and his wife, Susan Walima.

Invitations to our annual Holiday Dinner, set for December 10, will go out before the November meeting. Remember to set aside the date and invite a potential new CHC member to the dinner. As arranged by Christopher Layton, our invitee speaker is Diana Painter, a preservation expert from Stanford University. Gary Widman will also be honored at this dinner for the outstanding contributions he has made not only to CHC but for his guidance to the Presidio Historical Association. Christopher Layton has asked Diana Painter to join us at the upcoming CHC meeting this Thursday, October 30, at which time we can become more acquainted.

Report from Board Chair, John Hodges:

You see I believe that architecture is like a printing press of all the ages of our societies. It gives us a history of the society in which the building was built. And to fully understand the architecture you must study the culture.

Right now with our US society being in a state of change, will novelty be considered for progress? No, that should be rewritten to read "will change for novelty be mistaken for progress?"

Now you may think I am talking about politics when I speak of building styles, and in a sense I am. You see buildings reflect the political culture of the time they were built. We can go into this in greater detail at another time but trust me for a moment when I tell you that the great buildings reflect the attitudes of the culture at the time they were built.

In fact, you get a better look at culture because of the permanence of the architecture! Real cultural issues are often clouded by superficial ones, momentary passions like who is running for election may obscure permanent realities. Architecture freezes culture and forces us to look into the rooms of the house! No political noise, no spin, no argument, no propaganda, just truth of design. Parthenon, Chartres, or the unassuming County Court House; you know it is right when you see it.

Sue and I moved to Grass Valley two summers ago. And frankly, because of a number of competing priorities (primarily health), I am just now really exploring the architecture of this place. So with that as my excuse let me tell you about William B. Bourn and his experience with architecture reflecting the culture of his time.

Bourn owned the Empire Mine, the largest, most productive gold mine ever in the US. Many new and elegant homes constantly sprang up in these parts and so the Grass Valley/Nevada City area turned from a wild west set of competing towns into a solid attractive community at the turn of the century.

The Bourn's, rich from the Empire gold, lived in great style. They traveled from their San Francisco mansion (on Webster Street), to Filoli (46 rooms in San Mateo), and to their Grass Valley "cottage," an English country style mansion built close to the mine and designed by Willis Polk in 1894.

Oh what a manor it was: 10 gardeners, 1500 rose bushes and one of every kind of tree growing in California, tennis courts, bowling alley, even the dance floor of the ballroom is mounted on springs!

Well, all things come to an end as they must. The Bourns are both buried at Filoli, the Roths (Matson Line) subsequently bought Filoli and it is now in the hands of the National Trust.

And the "Cottage," one of the most magnificent designs by Willis Polk, is now happily a state property watched over by the locals up here and in beautiful condition. And there it stands proudly built from local rock, with an interior of clear California redwood.

We will be visiting this house this spring and several others, including a beautiful Julia Morgan mansion undergoing restoration. So when we announce the spring tour to the Gold Country please remember we will be visiting not only beautiful architecture but also a society and a culture that once was as political as ours and, for better or worse, the wealth was not spread around. And now all that remains is the architecture, frozen in time and a gift to people.

Minutes of the September 18, 2008 Board of Directors & Members’ Meeting:

Our meeting was graciously hosted by Board Member, Lynn Armstrong Winkel, at her lovely home. President William Applegate presided. Directors present: William Applegate, Marsha Calegari, William Fries, Winchell Hayward, John Hodges, Herb Konkoff, Christopher Layton, William Palmer, Betty Ann Prien, Dianne Rowe, Claire Skall, Stephen Steczynski, Susan Walima, Lynn Armstrong Winkel.

The Old North Waterfront, John Kaufman, author: President Applegate brought a copy of the book to the meeting for all to see and suggested we take a walking tour of the area in the Spring. Mr. Kaufman has offices in the area and we hope to tie it in with our monthly meeting and meet the author. Neil Malloch has also volunteered to lead the tour.

Another suggestion for a meeting site is the Woodside Store, suggested by Tony Aguirre. This will be investigated, however, we may need to meet there on a weekend due to the travel time and rush hour traffic concerns. Winchell Hayward stated that the owner of Benziger Family Winery offered to give us a tour of his ranch in Glen Ellen. Winchell will contact him regarding holding one of our future monthly meetings there.

Presidio Update - John Hodges: (Gary Widman and Redmond Kernan were not present due to a conflict.) John read excerpts of a letter written to the Trust by the Presidio Historical Association. There are 2 main points: (1) Any new buildings in the Presidio should be compatible with the buildings and character of the Presidio; (2) the footprint of any new building should be in the same location and the same size of the building removed. The Trust is attempting to remove buildings and lump all the square footage together in order to build large buildings, such as the Fisher Museum, in any location they desire. John also read an August 22 letter sent to the Trust from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors which stated, in part, that the style of the proposed new buildings for the Main Post are not traditional and do not fit. Look below at the calendar of events for the deadline and address of where to write to the Trust and for the latest date of the Trust’s public meeting.

Awards Committee - John Hodges/Chris Layton: We have one award, approved last year but not presented, to the Culinary Institute of America in Napa. John asked for suggestions for awards and, in particular, awards outside the Bay Area. Winchell Hayward and Bill Palmer volunteered to be on the Awards Committee. A discussion followed regarding creating a special award category for new construction of classical buildings. We have given awards of appreciation in the past to architects, such as Mr. Butterfield for the design of the Pine Street Towers, and to Dario Sattui for educating craftsmen in the art of medieval construction, however, we have never given awards to new buildings. After much discussion, this subject, and a motion by John Hodges and Chris Layton, was tabled.

December 10th Holiday Dinner Update: The dinner will again be held at the old Presidio Golf Club, beginning at 6:00 PM with no-host cocktails and a silent auction. Dinner will begin at 7:00 PM and rack of lamb was voted as the entre. Chris Layton asked architect and historian, Diana Painter, to be our speaker. Diana Painter has twenty-five years of professional experience in historic preservation, urban design and urban planning, and architecture in California, the Northwest and the Northeast. Ms. Painter studied architectural design in the graduate programs at the University of Washington and University of Pennsylvania before earning her PhD in architectural history and theory at the University of Sheffield in Sheffield, England. She also holds a Masters Degree in Urban Planning and Certificate in Urban Design from the University of Washington. Her PhD dissertation focused on how models in architecture and urban design have been adapted over time to respond to technological and social change. Her master’s thesis explored the design and public involvement process for a large scale redevelopment project in Newcastle-on-Tyne. Ms. Painter also holds a BA in interdisciplinary design from Fairhaven College.

Ms. Painter has been awarded three American Planning Association Awards and been the recipient of two research fellowships, in Sheffield, England and Rome, Italy. She has taught architecture, urban design and historic preservation at the University of Washington, University of Sheffield, and Sonoma State University, and publishes and speaks regularly on planning, urban design and historic preservation issues.

New Business: Winchell Hayward advised that the municipal railway was founded in 1912 and their centennial will occur in 2012. Winchell suggested that we propose the extension of the California Street cable car to Presidio Avenue. Winchell will get more information about the feasibility of this proposal.

Betsy Dohrmann suggested we organize a train trip, for example, in the Gold Country in order to obtain publicity for CHC along the lines of short excerpts as seen on Good Morning America. John Hodges stated that the train station in Auburn is an excellent reproduction of an old train station.

Herb Konkoff suggested that any editorial remarks in our newsletter by the President or Chair of the Board be especially sensitive to political or partisan remarks, and cited the September, 2008 Chair of the Board remarks.

The meeting adjourned at 6:15 PM. A reception, provided by our hostess, followed. Minutes recorded by Secretary, Dianne Rowe.


(Please mark your calendar):

Oct. 22 - War & Dissent - The U.S. in the Philippines, 1898-1915. Wednesday.-

Feb 22, 2009 Sunday, 11 AM-5PM Presidio9 Officers’ Club Exhibition Hall, 50 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco. There are many events and lectures regarding this exhibit. Go to for the list or call the Trust and get on their mailing list (or give them your email address at their website), for this and other events happening at the Presidio (415) 561-5300.

Oct. 29 The Redmond Kernan Lecture: The Philippine Wars of Independence. Join Filipino historian, Ambeth Ocampo, for this presentation. Mr. Ocampo is the chair of the Philippines’ National Historical Institute and chair of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

Nov. 13: 6:30 PM: Presidio Trust Public Meeting regarding Main Parade Ground, Fisher Museum. Location to be announced. (Note: Oct. 14th meeting was cancelled).

Nov. 17: Deadline to respond in writing to June Drafts of the Main Post Update of the Presidio Trust Management Plan and Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement Email comments can be sent to Written comments may be faxed to Main Post at (415) 561-5315 or submitted by mail or hand delivery to Main Post, Attention Compliance Manger, Presidio Trust, 34 Graham Street, P.O. Box 29052, San Francisco, CA 94129-0052. For information call (415) 561-4183 &/or pick up the pertinent documents at 34 Graham Street.

Thurs. 11/20 4:00 PM: CHC Board of Directors/Members’ Meeting. Location pending. NOTE CHANGE OF MEETING DATE DUE TO THANKSGIVING.

Wed. 12/10: 6:00 PM: CHC Annual Holiday Dinner Party. Presidio Golf Club.


Jefferson Street Mansion in Benicia, CA Jefferson Street Mansion
   in Benicia, CA

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