Honors to Central Alameda Home

auctions by bay

The third of five preservation awards given by the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society at its 16th-annual Preservation Awards event, held May 23 at Auctions by the Bay Theater (above), was presented to the owner of a home on Schiller Street.

“R-E-S-P-C-T! Aretha Franklin had it right, and so did Claudia Bowman, the restorer of 1715 Schiller Street,” said Jim Smallman, a retired teacher and the presenter of the first restoration award. “This charming 1925 vintage cottage has been restored inside and out with wonderful attention to detail, and respect for what it is.”

The home was designed as a “starter, with two bedrooms, as well as a nice backyard garden, Smallman shared. Ignoring the idea that it wasn’t worthwhile to restore such a small house, Bowman instead created “a gem.” “The house maintains its integrity and contributes generously to the street scene on Schiller,” the presenter explained. “This is really nice work! The restoration acknowledged the old wisdom that sometimes ‘less is more.’ ”

Bowman had to deal with a leaky roof, a sinking ceiling, falling plaster dry rot and trouble with the home’s electrical and plumbing systems. She also revived the made the exterior look like its old home, replaced the aluminum windows with wooden ones, restored an old china cabinet to its former glory and had the floors refinished.

“In short, while there was serious restoration needed on this house, the work was done in such a way that the integrity of the house was maintained – or should one say, recovered,” noted Smallman.

Janet Levaux