Architect’s Test Lab and Family Home

A small modest home built on a $2500 lot, the site of an abandoned eucalyptus oyster pole farm.   20 La Salle Rd., Hillsborough, CA.  The family home was designed, and in later expansions built by William Whifler with a little help from his children.  As the family grew, so did the house.  From 1952 to 1965 the home underwent over eight additions, each serving as a test laboratory for new materials and design concepts that were incorporated into clients designs.

The 20 La Salle lot on the abandoned eucalyptus farm, 1951.

Carl’s red truck.  Carl was a German carpenter who built most of the original home and the second addition.

Original small house in 1952 would expand with eight additions.

When this photo was taken in the late 50’s, early 60’s, the first thee additions had nearly doubled the size of the house.

c 1956

Much of the living room’s finish is untreated redwood T&G siding, rich pure heartwood that has become as rare as the coastal abalones.

The home’s core then and today, the original 1952 living room fireplace.

Fourth bedroom was one of final seamless additions.

Original front entrance overhang with Whifler built light fixture.  He always complained how expensive and dull light fixtures were.

Light decks built by William Whifler were added in the late ‘50’s.

Workings of a kitchen expansion are revealed in the joined beams.  Darker section on the left was the edge of an exterior overhang.  Note the load bearing concrete block column on left with butting into its side, and steel support to the wood 4X12 above.  This design was used in the Ringwood and Drake residences among others.

An indoor barbeque was part of family room addition.  Note the Architect’s Jackson Pollock inspired paint work over a white concrete hood.

A hands-on architect, Whifler used his carpentry, masonry, cement, electrical, and plumbing expertise to prototype his architectural concepts.  The only building trades hired out were glazing and roofing.  For this bit of concrete block work he enlisted his uncle Gus visiting from NYC.

Roof and deck lines from three additions.

The residence grew and expanded organically with one addition seamlessly flowing into another.

Every corner provided space for a creation, and recreation.  This structure was originally a child’s sandbox.  After the kids grew, it was crafted into a fishpond.

Concrete triangle planting container crafted by William Whifler.


Margret Whifler Pardasani and Dhiraj Pardasani raise their children in the home built by her father.

View blueprints.

Home Workspaces.

At home Whifler divided his time between architecture/drafting, creating in the woodshop, and servicing and building TV’s and radios in his electronics lab.