Alameda’s history, preservation highlighted in Legacy Home Tour

This 1895 Transitional Queen Anne Colonial home, built by Marcuse & Remmel, features restored woodwork and other features for visitors to enjoy. (Courtesy of the Alameda Museum and the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society)

ALAMEDA — The upcoming Legacy Home Tour promises to transport visitors back in time. The Sept. 24 event includes six homes and one commercial building, most based in the center of Alameda and all built from 1894 to 1917.

The tour is organized by the Alameda Museum and the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society, which will share the proceeds and use funds for their educational and other activities.

“There are some spectacular houses to see this year,” said Jim Smallman, an event volunteer, former board member of both organizations and assistant to tour director Conchita Perales. The event typically attracts over 500 guests, he said.

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While the buildings are attractive “eye candy” for visitors, the structures also can aid homeowners “looking for inspiration on what to do with a Victorian or other historic home,” Smallman said.

“It’s very helpful to see what folks do with authentic restoration,” he said.

As part of the event, visitors can enjoy refreshments and tour the Frank Bette Center for the Arts, which was built in 1894 in the Eastlake Queen Anne style to house a business and family. It remains one of the most intact commercial structures in town.

This 1895 Transitional Queen Anne Colonial home, built by Marcuse & Remmel, features restored woodwork and other features for visitors to enjoy. (Courtesy of the Alameda Museum and the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society)

“The original living area upstairs is pretty much as it once was when the (William Gunn) family ran a grocery store there on the first floor,” Smallman said, “so you get a sense of what living was like back then.”

Overall, this year’s Legacy Home Tour includes neighborhoods at the center of the Island, “a richly diverse area with a history stretching back to the Gold Rush,” said historian Woody Minor, who wrote part of the tour’s guidebook. “The homes on the tour span four decades, displaying the breadth of our architectural legacy.”

The seven buildings “showcase the work of architects and builders from the Victorian heyday to World War I,” Minor added. Large local firms completed many of them, serving as the architect, builder and real-estate agent at the same time.

One home on the tour is an 1894 Queen Anne built by John Marquis on San Jose Avenue and later bought by newspaper advertiser Theodore Lotter and his wife Gladys, who taught

Source:: East Bay – Lifestyle

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