2010 Home Tour Photos

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The 1877 Tucker Mansion was on the Martinez Historic Home Tour This grand Victorian mansion was built in 1877 by retired sea captain John Tucker. The 4-story, 5,200 square foot house is today listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Address: 110 Escobar Street. Owners: Joey and Linda Piscitelli.

The Captain Tucker Mansion was on the Martinez Home Tour
Visitors arrive at the front door of the mansion where they are greeted by a costumed docent, Pat Corr. Note the elaborate Victorian gingerbread on the exterior of the building. Also note the height of the porch ceiling.

The Captain Tucker Mansion was on the 2010 Martinez Home Tour
The main stairway of the home epitomizes the opulence that characterized large Victorian homes. The present owners completely renovated the house -- right down to the plumbing and wiring inside the walls. Missing period detail, such as wainscotting, was replaced where needed. The walls were covered with reproduction Victorian wall paper.

Here we see the home's owner (center) asnwering questions from visitors while standing in the Breakfast Room -- decorated for the upcoming Halloween holiday.

A 1926 Craftsman Bungalow on the 2010 Martinez Home Tour From an opulent Victorian mansion we move to a Craftsman bungalow built in 1926. The Arts & Crafts movement was a reaction to the "over decorated" Victorian aesthetic and emphasized simplicity of form, local materials and visible craftsmanship. Address: 1425 Highland Drive. Owners: Jeff and Vivian Rouball.

A Craftsman Home dining room on the Martinez Home Tour Dining rooms of Craftsman homes typically included hardwood floors and varnished (unpainted) woodwork -- such as wainscotting, door molding, window molding, and built-in sideboard & china cupboard. All designed to showcase the craftmanship that went into construction of the house. Note the Art Deco slipper shade chandelier.

A library wall in a Craftsman Home on the Martinez Home Tour The living room and music nook retain their hardwood floors. Extensive bookshelves cover an entire wall from floor to ceiling and enable the room to do double duty as a home library.

The bookcase is actually a secret door to another room.  Martinez, CA. Can your find the SECRET DOOR in this bedroom? Scroll down to see how the hidden door is opened -- and to see where it leads. Note the built-in bookcase with molding -- another typical Craftsman feature. A traditional pineapple bedstead has been placed in the room.

A wall sconces is the handle of a secret door to a hidden room.  Martinez, CA.
Janie Mori, a docent in the bungalow, demonstrates how to open the secret door -- which is disguised as the built-in bookcase. The wall sconce is actually the door handle.

A secret room reached by a hidden door bookcase.  Martinez, CA.

The secret door leads to a hidden room -- which has been set up as a small study.

An understated Storybook House on The Martinez Home Tour
Here we have a 1928 house that shows the influence of the Storybook Style. An extension of the Arts & Crafts movement, storybook homes were the result of nostalgia for the pre-machine age. There were extreme examples which looked like Hansel & Greta's cottage. Address: 1025 Brown Street. Owner: Sharon McNalley.

Front door of a Storybook House on The Martinez Home Tour

Brigid Bailey is the docent greeting visitors at the front door of the home -- which was designed by Walter W. Dixon, a Bay Area architect who was prominent in the 1920's. Docents at each home do their best to help orient visitors -- and to point out features of interest in the house.

Living room of a Storybook House on The Martinez Home Tour The elegantly simple living room of the house features hardwood floors -- which provide the perfect canvas upon which to display Persian carpets. The windows extend down to the tall baseboards, and the window moldings have rounded corners.

Dining room of a Storybook House on The Martinez Home Tour A built-in sideboard and China cupboard are meant to display the craftsmanship for which Arts & Crafts homes are known. The architect's 1920's home plans have been framed and are displayed on the far wall.

Architectureal plans for a Storybook House on The Martinez Home Tour Here we have the cover sheet of Architect W.W.Dixon's beautifully hand-penned plans for this home. During the mid-1920's, Mr. Dixon published a magazine entitled "Home Designs & Garden Beautiful".

A restored Wedgewood stove in a Storybook House in Martinez CA An eye-catching white porcelain Wedgewood stove stands in the kitchen. The stove has been restored to like-new condition -- and is very functional with its 4 burners and its double ovens. An electric clock and timer are built into the back splash. The central griddle and trim are all chrome-plated.

A 1939 MG VA Sport Saloon in Martinez, CA In front of the traditional 1-car detached garage sits a gorgeous 1939 MG VA Sport Saloon. Built in England, production of the car ceased the same year with the outbreak of World War II in Europe. Great Britain entered the War over 2 years before Pearl Harbor forced America into the conflict. Automobile owner: Richard Duncan.

A Victorian stick style cottage on The Martinez Home Tour This Victorian cottage, which dates to 1882, has been home to several notable people in Martinez including Doctor John B. Tennent. Originally much larger, the house was split and the other half was moved to the opposite corner of the block. It is an example of the Victorian Stick Style. Location: 524 Masonic Street. Present owners: Bruce and Cassie Campbell.

Red dining room walls in a Victorian Cottage on The Martinez Home Tour
Evonne Siguenza was a docent at the home. An item of interest that Evonne pointed out to visitors were the examples of Martini art on the walls behind her. Martinez is the birthplace of the Martini -- and a bronze plaque across the street from this house marks the location where saloon owner Julio Richelieu mixed up the first "Martinez Special" in 1870.

Musical instruments used for decor in a Victorian Cottage in Martinez CA As can be seen in the living room, music is the theme of this house. Both of the owners are musicians. In fact, the owners were performing at the Martinez Museum with some of their other instruments on the day of the Home Tour.

A Victorian Cottage bathroom on The Martinez Home Tour The Victorian bathroom contains both new and old elements. The cast iron claw foot tub is still in use, and fits in well with the otherwise contemporary decor.

A Victorian Cottage bathroom in Martinez CA
A nod to modern comfort and convenience is this up-to-date shower. Though new, the shower is lined with "subway tiles" -- which were already appearing in the kitchens and bathrooms of late Victorian Era homes, the tiles being then considered a practical and hygienic development for bathrooms, kitchens and wash rooms.

The homeowners' cat seems nonplused by this classic automobile which appeared in her driveway on the day of the Home Tour.

A 1945 ranch style Adobe House on the Martinez Home Tour This Alhambra Valley home was constructed in 1947 of adobe blocks manufactured on the site and baked in the summer sun. The mission-style clay roof tiles were also made on the site, and were fired in a kiln on the property to make them weather-proof. The early California adobes gave rise to Ranch Style homes and this is a superb example of the transition between the two architectural types. Location: 3 Millican Court. Owners: Frank and Sandra Hall.

The living room of a 1945 Adobe House on the Martinez Home Tour The fireplace in the living room came from one of the 60+ wineries that existed in and around Martinez before passage of the Eighteenth Amendment (Prohibition) in 1919 brought about their demise. The thickness of the adobe walls can easily be seen around the window openings. The walls are 16 inches thick.

Tile flooring and vertical plank doors in a 1945 Adobe House in Martinez CA
The tile floor, purchased in Fremont right after World War II, is original to the house, and remains in excellent condition. An example of the hand-made plank doors, imminently suitable for an adobe home, can be seen leading from the dining room to the breakfast nook and kitchen.

A sensitive expansion of a kitchen in a 1945 ranch style House in Martinez, CA The 1940's kitchen has been expanded and updated with new appliances. However, the original cabinetry remains. The additional cabinets required when the kitchen was enlarged were fabricated by a Martinez cabinet maker to match their older counterparts.

Beehive fireplace in a bedroom of a 1945 Adobe House in Martinez, CA The house features radiant heating throughout. But the beehive fireplace in the master bedroom provides supplemental heat. Thanks to the thick adobe walls, the house is warm in the winter, and no air conditioning is required in the summer.

The roof rafters extend over and beyond the thick adobe block walls to form a loggia behind the house. The mission tiles can be seen through the open sheathing of the roof. The flooring of the loggia consists of clay floor tiles laid in a diamond pattern with concrete poured between.

The living room of a Frank Lloyd Wright Inspired Ranch House on the Martinez Home Tour The Mahogany paneling in the living room was very popular in the years following World War II. The "wall of glass" to the right was intended to integrate the indoor living area with the outdoor living area -- a radical departure from traditional pre-World War II home design.

A Frank Lloyd Wright Inspired Ranch House living room in Martinez, CA
The indoor living area is on the right. The outdoor living area (the patio) is on the left.

The patio of a Frank Lloyd Wright Inspired Ranch House on the Martinez Home Tour The patio area behind the home is very accessible from the living room and is very private. There are no other houses visible behind this secluded home because it was built on a small ranch.

A bathroom expansion in a Frank Lloyd Wright Inspired Ranch House in Martinez CA The master suite and master bath were added onto the original 1947 house. Because there are no neighboring houses nearby, large windows were placed in the master shower. A 150+ year old barn, built by Tom Griffin's grandfather, can be seen in the distance.

A kitchen update in a Frank Lloyd Wright Inspired Ranch House on the Martinez Home Tour
Cabinetry abounds in the streamlined 1950's kitchen. Though updated with modern appliances, the kitchen retains its original look and feel.

Visitors to Martinez Take the Martinez Historic Home Tour The Home Tour is a fun event to go on with your friends. These women know each other because they are all Red Hat Ladies, i.e. members of the Red Hat Society.

The home of John Muir in Martinez, CA

The John Muir House was also on the Martinez Home Tour. This Victorian mansion was completed in 1882 by John Muir's father-in-law, Dr. John Strenzel -- who is often referred to as the Father of California Horticulture. John Muir himself is today referred to as the Father of our National Park Service.

The home office of John Muir in Martinez, CA This is John Muir's study. When he was not camping in the wilderness, this was the very place where John Muir wrote his books, magazine articles, letters to presidents, and penned his other correspondence -- until his death in 1914.

A Monterey Colonial style of adobe home in Martinez, California. The Martinez Adobe is located on the grounds of the John Muir House. It is one of three extant adobes remaining in Martinez. It was built in 1849 by Vicinte Martinez, for whom the town of Martinez is named, as his own home. The style or architecture is often referred to as Monterey Colonial.

The Martinez Adobe houses the nation's largest exhibit about the de Anza Expedition. The Martinez Adobe currently houses the nation's largest exhibit of the 1775-1776 de Anza Expedition. The de Anza party traveled over 1200 miles through uncharted territory from Mexico to present-day San Francisco.


The Martinez Adobe houses the nation's largest exhibit about the de Anza Expedition.
These mannequins are part of the de Anza Trail Display in the Martinez Adobe. Juan Bautista de Anza led almost 300 people, including 30 families, from Northern Mexico to Nuevo California (Alta California). These men and women, under the subsequent leadership of Jose Joaquin Moraga, established both the San Francisco Presidio and the San Francisco Mission.

The Martinez Museum is also on the Martinez Home Tour The Martinez Museum is housed in the Borland Home, constructed in 1890 as a combination residence and dental office. During the Victorian Era, combining a professional office and a home was a common practice. Location: 1005 Escobar Street.

An antique automobile parked in front of the Martinez Museum in Martinez CA This classic automobile was parked in front of the Martinez Museum during the Home Tour. The granite walls of the County Finance Building can be glimpsed through the junipers. The Finance Building is on the National Historic Register.

Musical entertainment on the Martinez Home Tour The Home Tours feature live music in several locations along the tour routes. Outside the Martinez Museum are these two musicians: Jonathan Bluemel on banjo and Jill Cruey on fiddle. A Home Tour bus can be seen in the background.

A classic car parked at the Martinez Museum during the Martinez Historic Home Tour This spiffy 2-door sedan with its stylish white wall tires and yellow wire wheels was also parked in front of the Martinez Museum during the Home Tour.

The volunteers of the Martinez Historical Society put on the Martinez Home Tour Volunteers from the Martinez Historical Society both plan and perform the work during the home tours -- including the sale of tickets depicted in this photo. Gay Gerlack (left) was Chair of the 2010 Home Tour. Kathie Parker (center) is the Treasurer of the Historical Society.

The cost of the Tour was underwritten by our community-minded sponsors; please mention them when possible. These are the PLATINUM sponsors:

Cole Real Estate

These are the GOLD sponsors:

Community Focus

And these are our SILVER sponsors:

Shell Western States Federal Credit Union
Republic Services
Les Schwab Tire of Martinez
Bisio / Dunivan

And these are our Bronze sponsors:

Leading Edge Pest Management
Connolly & Taylor Chapel

The above pictures are provided by photographer Carter Wilson. Contact John Curtis by email if you have corrections or additional information for the captions underneath the above photos.