Arts and Crafts Architecture
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Stadtmuller House

Exterior view of a Shingle Style rowhouse across the street from two of Knowles' other houses. Photo by Howard J. Partridge.

Oblique Front Elevation
Edwin W. Stadtmuller House in San Francisco, California

William Knowles* designed this cozy Shingle Style house around 1908 for a department manager of a wholesale grocer.  The client desired a living room with a high ceiling and an overlooking balcony.  Knowles' solution ties the living room at the right with a library at the upper left with a steeply pitched cathedral ceiling.  The Gothic, church-like appearance, specially evident in the modified Palladian window of the library, probably reflects the influence of Maybeck and Coxhead.

The house stands across the street from two of Knowles' other works, and is next door to Maybeck's Goslinsky house.  Like its neighbors, the shingled portion of the house displays minimal trim, with the shingles wrapping around corners and occasionally swirling around the openings.  Unlike its neighbors across the street, the first floor of this house rests on a distinct platform above grade level.  In this case, the platform may merely have been the result of a later garage addition.  But the concept was a common theme in the Shingle Style.  Foundations composed of boulders or roughly stacked clinker brick were the materials of choice, since they created strong illusions 0f anchorage, pre-industrial craftsmanship, and a kind of communion with Nature.  The concept of uninterrupted flow between interior and exterior spaces was one that did not really take hold for most architects and builders until the rise of modernism.  Photo taken in 2001 by Howard J. Partridge.

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