Saturday, January 19, 2008

Eugene Mowry: A Retrospective

These are all of the local houses I could find that are in some way credited to the local builder and architect Eugene Mowry. He is the man I suspect built my house. You can click on most of the photos to bring up large format image.

All of these are relatively recent photos, except for The Grand Hotel, and all of the buildings still stand, except for The Grand Hotel {sniff!}. For any locals reading, The Grand originally stood across from The Eagle House and Chapalla Café, where that butt-ugly, low-rise warehouse complex now stands. What a loss. It was torn down in the 40s.

You can really watch as his style changes from the Eastlake cottages with the square bays, to the more elaborate Queen Anne style in his later work . My personal favorite is the second to the last house. I mean, its just absolute perfection. Why, I could go on and on about it.

The Grand Hotel - 1887

1025 J Street - 1887 (Mowry’s own house)

1035 J St - 1888 (The first Petch House)

1006 2nd Street – 1888 (Moved from 6th street. Second story lost in fire)

309 O Street 1889 (Moved from 3rd street)

1731 & 1739 Third Street - 1889

1807-19 California - 1889 (A pair of rare, early duplexes. Both the purple and the green homes are each a duplex.)

942 G Street - 1890

1323 I Street - 1891

915 G Street - 1892 (I tried desperately to buy this house. The owners wouldn't budge)

The Bell – 2nd & E Streets - 1892

The Simpson-Vance House - 1892


220 Hillsdale - 1893

216 Hillsdale - 1893

The Petch House - 1895

738 K Street - 1896

PS: Al, I can’t seem to get your email address. Are you still interested in helping. If so, email me at petchhouse at windswetpsoftware dot com.


Monica... Media Professional said...

Alright, Greg... did you just Photoshop blue skies into all those photos for the sake of your long-distance readers? I'm dubious. :-)

Those two Hillsdale houses were viewable right outside my bedroom window, until I moved last month. I'm going to miss those places. Mowrey obviously did some gorgeous work. Someday, I'd love to live in one of those little cottage-type places, like the one at the corner of 10th and J. So cute.

HPH said...

Is fren15_lg also possibly a Mowry masterpiece?

Greg said...


Actually I PhotoShopped in the fog on some. I mean, I don't want people to really know that it is always sunny, warm and beautiful here, and that the fog is a rare occurrence {cough}


I can't say that it is or is not at this point, but I'm glad you asked. As I was Googling for it, another Mowry House popped up!

Anonymous said...

216 Hillsdale needs to have their crayons taken away. Seriously. lol

Greg said...

Yea, I am not a fan of those crazy paint jobs either. That lime green on the porch goes around most of the first floor siding. I just don't care for it.

Ron said...

Those garish colors found on the Hillsdale house are not the only ones in town. It is not uncommon to find paint jobs like this on houses in San Francisco, and while not correct for the original date of construction, they represent a more modern notion of how houses like this should have been painted. Some people are quite annoyed by what they consider a "non-authentic" paint job, others love the bright colors that allow all the gingerbread to stand out.

Greg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sandy said...

A huge WOW on The Gingerbread Mansion!

Greg said...


That place is pretty wild, isn't. Believe or not, that was converted to a hospital at one time.

Alicia said...

Why did you get interested in buying a victorian house in the first place? Why were you looking at the white cottage?

Greg said...


Read Wednesday's post.