We are thrilled to showcase so many Oakland treasures this weekend at our Fall Fundraiser – Bernard Maybeck’s Guy Hyde Chick House, the home’s botanical garden and 400 year old oak trees, and the homeowner’s eclectic art collection.
Here is a sneak peek of one of the curated tours guests will receive at the event!
In opposition to the imitative, dumbing-down of European architecture in the Bay Area during the nineteenth century, what we have come to know as the Victorian Era, some architects – Bernard Maybeck, Willis Polk, and Ernest Coxhead – turned to craftsmanship, the use of native building materials like cedar and redwood, and a belief that architecture should harmonize with the region’s nature, climate and landscape. Influenced by the English Arts and Crafts Movement as well as the French neo-medievalist Viollet-le-Duc, Maybeck felt that ornament should not be nailed on, but should emerge from and elaborate modern constructional methods. After he moved to the Bay Area in 1892, when he was thirty, Maybeck designed houses that expressed with his own idiosyncratic sources of inspiration: Swiss chalets and concrete warehouses; quatrefoils and truss roofs. As we see in the Chick House, he produced a craftsmanship of elaboration, where the joining, interlocking and even collision of structural members or building materials became a springboard for high-wire acts of architectural design.
Mitchell Schwarzer is Professor at California College of the Arts, San Francisco and Oakland, where he teaches the history of art, architecture and urbanism. He is the author of Architecture of the San Francisco Bay Area: History and Guide, (William Stout Press, 2007).
Tickets are available on Eventbrite.