Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mowry Spotting

Have you ever bought a new car, or at least a different car, and for the first month or so that you own it, you see “your car” being driven by other people all over town? That’s kind of what I’m going through with Mowry houses right now. It seems like ever since I searched out all of those other Mowry houses, new Mowry houses seem to be crawling out of the wood work.

I went out and snapped a few shots after work today. The light wasn’t the best, but the worst part is, the first house I went to shoot, the picture didn’t come out. It was a good one too. This was the first one I saw about a week ago when I had my first Mowry Moment. I walked by it and suddenly stopped, and said to myself, “Hey, look, its that Mowry house over on I street, but its here on Grant as well”. After that I started seeing them every where.

All of the houses that I reference here can bee see on Saturday’s post: Eugene Mowry: A Retrospective

As I said, the first house, which I didn’t get a picture of, is a nearly identical copy 1323 I Street – 1891. The Grant street version has been butchered a bit, but it is still a very cool house. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

The one above is definitely a Mowry house, no question. It is almost a carbon copy of 309 O Street - 1889. For some reason I started calling houses like this Eastlake Cottages. I think I may have made that term up, and have no idea how accurate it is. Probably not very.

This one is sort of a squished down version of 915 G Street – 1892. I’m fairly confident in calling this a Mowry House. This type of house, with the double front bays, is commonly referred to locally as a Bay Cottage. I know I didn't make that up. There must be more than 4 dozen of them in town. Some have square bays, like this, and others have the rounded bays. Who knows, maybe it was a Mowry Invention. Either way, it is Very nice.

This one I’m a little less certain of. It doesn’t really match any of his other houses, but it has some traits in common with The Vance House – 1892, along with other Mowry Houses. It just smells like a Mowry House.

None of the ones above are suspected Mowry houses, but it’s a cool shot. The one in the middle is an absolute Monster House, and one of my favorites in town. I tried desperately to buy the one at the far end. I made several offers to the owners and never heard a peep out of them. It was kind of irritating because if they had turned me down cold after the first offer I would have left them alone. As it was, I assumed their silence was an effort to get me to sweeten the deal. Maybe it was, and I just didn’t go high enough.

Alicia asked the other day, why I wanted to buy 915 G Street - 1892. I mentioned the other day that I tried to buy it as well. Before I bought The Petch House I had sold my last house and was living in a crappy apartment with most of my stuff in storage. After about 6 months of looking at dozens of hopelessly remuddled old homes that I didn’t want, I decided to get pro-active. I picked out houses I liked, and if they were rental units, I contacted the owners to see if they were interested in selling. Nothing ever came of it. Oh well, it worked out just fine in the end.


Jennifer said...

I've been doing that with my new (old) subaru! They're EVERYWHERE! And my house... ALSO everywhere.

It's fun to have your eyes "opened" to something like cool architecture like that.

Greg said...

Yea, it is neat. Its like, how did I miss that connection before?

Alicia said...

I was reading on the website for the local registry (trying to figure out which street of eureka I have been on, it was sixth street and 14th and one of the lettered cross streets)and was thinking the same thing, particularly in regards to the cottages. Does the green book touch on the building industry and the history of the local craftsmen in an indepth way? It can get very technical; I have a colleague who works on houses in a town in France, and it's really a lot of art history/architectural history. But fun technical. (Did I mention that I got tenure?!!?

(Yah! Yah! Yah!)

Greg said...

The Green Book does have a large section about architecture in the city. I haven't read the whole thing, and it was years ago that I read any of it. Mostly I just look at the inventory information at the back.

As for where you were in the city, 6th street is one-way and parallels the Hywy 101 business district, which are 4th and 5th streets. It is kind of business district itself, but does have some residential at the north end.

14th is major artery, although only 2 lanes. It is all residential, except for the last few blocks. It has some very nice houses on it.