22 March 2007

Custom wooden windows by robot

Custom window restoration for Amy Tan, Presidio Heights (courtesy of Wooden Window)

The 16 March issue of the San Francisco Business Times is carrying the story “Historic window builder goes high tech,” about Oakland-based Wooden Window.

The company has just installed a Computer Numerical Control robot wielding 33 woodworking tools. It can now manufacture high-precision custom windows and doors in record time.

Refurbishing eight doors for a Presidio Heights home would have taken a two-man crew three days. The new machine did the job in a few hours, making possible same-day removal, alteration, and re-installation.

Wooden Windows has restored windows at the Mission Library in San Francisco, the Alameda County courthouse, the Bentley School, the Mark Hopkins Hotel, and Hamilton Field. Recent jobs include the home of writer Amy Tan and the chancellor’s residence at the University of California, Berkeley.

15 March 2007

Berkeley High School Gym & Warm Water Pool

Olla Podrida, 1932

Urge the City to join the CEQA lawsuit

City Council special meeting
Thursday, 29 March
5:00 pm
2180 Milvia Street, 6th Floor, Redwood Conference Room

See agenda.

Support a Landmark designation for the BHS Gym and Warm Water Pool

Landmarks Preservation Commission
Thursday, 5 April 2007
7:30 pm
North Berkeley Senior Center

Send a letter of support and/or attend the LPC meeting of 5 April. Please send e-mails and letters by 28 March to the LPC’s secretary, Janet Homrighausen, JHomrighausen@ci.berkeley.ca.us, with a copy to Marie Bowman, mariebowman@pacbell.net.

More information in Preservation Discourse.

10 March 2007

Maybeck’s design laboratory

Annie, Wallen, and Bernard Maybeck at home on Grove Street, 1900 (Jacomena Maybeck: Maybeck, The Family View)

Bernard Maybeck’s first 14 years in Berkeley were spent in a home-made house he constructed in stages on the corner of Grove Street (now MLK Jr. Way) and Berryman Street. Assisting him in adding to the house were his architecture students, all of whom went on to brilliant careers.

Maybeck would apply the principles tried out in this domestic laboratory to his early private commissions, the first of which was the Charles Keeler house on Highland Place.

Eight years after the Maybecks bought their Grove Street property, Ben’s cousin John built a house for his own family a block to the south, at 1423 Grove.

The story of the two cousins is told here.