Category: ‘Uncategorized’

A new book by Krista Van Laan

March 6, 2017 Posted by Franklin Maggi

We’re pleased to announce Krista Van Laan’s new book WOLFE & HIGGINS: Master Architects of the Spanish Revival, published by Archives & Architecture, now available at

One hundred years ago, San José architect Frank Delos Wolfe, his son Carl Wolfe, and Santa Clara architect William Ernest Higgins formed what would become one of the most prolific architectural firms of all time. Early adopters of the Spanish Revival style that swept California in the 1920s, the firm of Wolfe & Higgins lasted only fourteen years but in that short time produced more than 500 homes, commercial buildings, and institutional buildings. Among these are some of the most recognizable architectural landmarks in Northern California.
In Wolfe & Higgins: Master Architects of the Spanish Revival, architectural historian Krista Van Laan provides an in-depth look at the prodigious output of this little-known but highly influential firm. From the iconic Venetian Court of Capitola to the San José Woman’s Club, from cottages and bungalow courts to grand mansions, Wolfe & Higgins played a major role in establishing the architectural style that still today says “California” to the world.
224 pages hardcover. ISBN: 978-0-692-58098-1 LCN: 2015919093
Available for $39.95 at

ACRA webinar on future of CRM in US

November 29, 2016 Posted by Franklin Maggi

With questions about the future of Cultural Resources Management in the coming years now up in the air, the American Cultural Resources Association has put together a 30 minute video discussing the the outcome of the 2016 elections on this field. It is anticipated that the Trump Administration and new Congress will attempt to repeal or weaken the legal framework on which the industry is built. ACRA‘s government relations consultant, Marion Werkheiser, presents some thoughts on the transition plans for the Trump administration, expectations for the new Congress, and ways that ACRA is organizing to respond to these challenges.

Mercury News building on Ridder Park Drive

May 5, 2015 Posted by Franklin Maggi

An interesting hearing Wednesday May 6 at the San Jose Historic Landmarks Commission: SuperMicro has nominated it’s newly purchased San Jose Mercury News building as a Historic Landmark in order to see if the San Jose City Council will actually designate it. They have filed for a demolition permit but have to do an EIR since the historic evaluation says its a CEQA resource under City of San Jose criteria. If the City Council refuses to designate, then it appears the Building Official can issue a demolition permit.

This is the staff report:

Mercury News building

Santa Clara Weekly reports on Van Laan talk

May 3, 2015 Posted by Franklin Maggi

Krista Van Laan’s talk at the Santa Clara Public Library was covered by Santa Clara Weekly, which published a review by Cynthia Cheng:


The Santa Clara Library has indicated that they want Krista back for a similar presentation to be advertised to the general patron audience at the library.


April 21, 2015 at Santa Clara County Historical & Genealogical Society

April 7, 2015 Posted by Franklin Maggi

Our publications manager Krista Van Laan will be speaking April 21, at 6:00 p.m. at the Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogical Society at the Santa Clara Library on Homestead Road. The talk will focus on her research methods in searching for buildings designed by architect Frank Delos Wolfe, as presented in her book on his Prairie-style buildings.

The talk is free and open to the public.

Berkeley’s Shattuck Avenue – a survey

February 6, 2015 Posted by Franklin Maggi

Archives & Architecture has been charged with the task – by the City of Berkeley – to conduct an intensive-level survey and evaluation for the establishment of a historic district in the downtown commercial area. The study area is along Shattuck Avenue from about University to Durant Avenues. We will be bringing forth up-to-date recordings of all the buildings in this commercial area, and developing a historic context that can be used for local, state, and/or national listing. Check back soon at where the process will be chronicled.

A view from Bing Maps

Old Zanger House on the market

October 16, 2014 Posted by Franklin Maggi

Old Zanger House

Old Zanger House

During the late 1990s, Sacred Heart Community Service bought the property at the northwest corner of South First Street (1381 S. 1st St.)  and Alma Avenue in San Jose to build their new Community Service Center. The site was occupied by a large old house owned by Joe Zanger that was at that time a San Jose City Landmark. Joe Zanger of Casa de Fruta near Gilroy on Pacheco Pass, was a descendant of the Bisceglia family, a family that had built the Bisceglia Cannery that was to become Sun Garden Packing. The family also created Casa de Fruta.

Glory Anne Laffey prepared a historical evaluation of the house which identified an 1889 date that the San Jose Herald noted real estate manager/ insurance and load broker/notary/ James B. Capp was “placing” this house on the site. The site at that time consisted of four vacant lots on South First Street at what was then called Almaden Road.

To save the house, a Santa Clara resident by the name Marine stepped in and negotiated a deal with Zanger to move the house to Santa Clara.  Although the house had to be cut into four parts, today, that house, fully renovated, sits in full grandeur on its target site at 766 Madison Street…. Santa Clara’s gain, San Jose’s loss.

The house is currently on the market for $1,640,000, and has a Mills Act contract with the City of Santa Clara to reduce the property taxes and ensure its long term maintenance.

The unsolved story is about the origins of this house… Glory Anne and I disagreed on this, as she found no documentation that the house was built prior to 1889. The design of the house has Eastlake characteristics of that period, but I believe the core is a circa 1870 house of prominence. There was a plethora of circumstantial evidence that pointed to this being the James Lick Homestead that had been located further into the Lick Tract, and built in 1869. A deed had referenced a house in the subdivision that needed to be removed for the street alignments, and records show that Lick had a large house on that site. The only available pre-1889 photo (at history San Jose) showed only what looked to be a barn on the Homestead.

This is a research project for future historians. Today, it is great to see the house, and wish I had the money to buy it.


Petree House featured in Home Tour

August 19, 2014 Posted by Franklin Maggi

We had the opportunity about 5 years ago to prepare the landmark nomination for the Wolfe & McKenzie designed, 1903 Petree House, located at 102 S. 12th St. in San Jose’s Naglee Park. A prototypical house to be promoted in their 107 plan book 102 Designs, Frank Delos Wolfe and Charles McKenzie designed this 24 foot wide two story house to fit on a small lot and yet have four bedrooms. Dining took place in the centrally located living room, and the front parlor served as a small 11′ x 14′ social space.

Our clients, Seamus and Jennifer Turner, have lovingly restored their house, which is now under a Mills Act contract with the City of San Jose to insure long-term maintenance by redirection of some of the property tax assessment back to the owners. Their house are featured in this article by Mary Gottschalk about the Home Tour this Saturday, August 23, 2014.

102 South 12th Street  San Jose, California

102 South 12th Street
San Jose, California


Century 21 Determined Eligible by Keeper

July 15, 2014 Posted by Franklin Maggi

Along the theme of the last posting, the weekly listing of actions taken on properties by the Keeper of the National Register for June 30, 2014-July 3, 2014 included:


Century 21 Theater,

3161 Olsen Dr.,

San Jose, 14000306,





Mission Soledad listed on National Register

July 14, 2014 Posted by Franklin Maggi

Mission Soledad in Monterey County, California, known officially as Mission Senora de la Soledad, has been listed by the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district.

A number of Archives & Architecture staff members and associates worked on this nomination, including Jessica Kusz (lead), Franklin Maggi, Sarah Winder, Leslie Dill, and John Tabuena-Frolli. The archaeological firm Greenwood Associates of Pacific Palisades contributed archaeological information that was used in the nomination.

The nomination was reviewed by the California State Historical Resources Commission this last April. The Commission forwarded a favorable recommendation to the Keeper via the State Historic Preservation Officer Carol Roland-Nawi.

The draft nomination can be viewed on the California Office of Historic Preservation website here. The final forms will eventually be posted on the Nation Park Service’s website.

Mission Soledad