05 November 2004

Wurster’s Jensen Cottage
expansion on appeal

Photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004

Stockton-born architect William Wilson Wurster (1895–1973), namesake of Wurster Hall on the U.C. campus, was one of the most influential American residential designers of the mid-20th century. From 1944 to 1950, he was dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT and from 1950 to 1959, dean of the Architecture School at U.C. Berkeley.

His major works include the Golden Gateway Redevelopment Project and Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, Cowell College at U.C. Santa Cruz, and a number of office buildings. But it is his residential work for which Wurster is best known—especially the Gregory farmhouse (1926–27) in Santa Cruz and the Butler house in Pasatiempo (1931–36).

Both the Gregory and the Butler houses are documented in the book An Everyday Modernism: The Houses of William Wurster, edited by Marc Treib (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996) following a major exhibition of Wurster’s work at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Another house documented in the exhibition and in the book is the Edgar Jensen house, commonly known as the Jensen Cottage (1937) at 1650 La Vereda Road. The Jensen Cottage comes before the City Council on Tuesday, 9 November. Neighbors are appealing the ZAB decision to approve a large addition to this significant example of Second Bay Region architecture.

Today’s Berkeley Daily Planet is running a detailed commentary by historian Ruth Rosen and architect Chris Adams.

A public hearing on a landmark designation proposal for the Jensen Cottage was continued by the Landmarks Preservation Commission pending the Council’s vote on the appeal.


Blogger Daniella Thompson said...

The Edgar Jensen House was designated a City of Berkeley Landmark on 6 December 2004.

14 January, 2007 17:48  

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