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William A Whifler House 2017-04-29T00:57:13+00:00

Project Description

A home for his mom.

National Register of Historic Places

Recognized as the William A. Whifler House in both California and nationally for its historic architectural significance, it was the residence for Clara Foeppel Whifler, 1544 Drake Ave., Burlingame, CA.  Built in 1959 it was designed for the architect’s  mother as a home where she could spend her senior years. The house, which cantilevers over a small creek, was built on the site of a large formal garden that was parceled off from William Whifler’s childhood home.   Soon after its completion, the home was the subject of newspaper and magazine articles for its use of steel, concrete, and glass.  The home was added to the California Register of Historic Places in 2015, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016.

c 1958

Clara Whifler enjoys the outdoor courtyard at her new home c. 1960.    Designing his mom’s house, William took a bit of inspiration from his childhood home, the California craftsman bungalow next door.  It too was laid out around a courtyard.

Just visible through the far windows of the new glass, steel, wood and block house is the old bungalow craftsman, the old family home.

Clara Whifler entertains a journalist who’s come to do a magazine story on the unusual new home.   Her residence was featured in local papers and a trade publication for the steel industry.

This home Whifler designed for his mother Clara replaced a washhouse, detached garage, and large garden that been subdivided from his boyhood house next door.

Photo by Thomas Rex Hardy

Photo by Thomas Rex Hardy

Photo by Thomas Rex Hardy

Photo by Thomas Rex Hardy

Photo by Thomas Rex Hardy

Photo by Thomas Rex Hardy

Photo by Rebecca Raucher

Photo by Rebecca Raucher

One carpenter did most all the construction on the house.  The finish work was extensive, detailed, and unique, and it took the carpenter what seemed like forever to complete.

Photo by Thomas Rex Hardy

Photo by Thomas Rex Hardy

c 1930.  William A. Whifler stands in the family garden fishpond on the land he would design a home for his mother 28 years later.

3D  mockups created by Thomas Rex Hardy, AIA Architect.

Read the nomination for the National Register of Historic Places.

Newspaper articles.

View blueprints.

Old Family Home Photos

1540 Drake Ave., Burlingame, CA.  From 1920 to 1959 the Whifler family resided in this California Craftsman bungalow, its sprawling gardens would serve as the site for the future William A. Whifler Home at 1544 Drake.

Clara Whifler

The striking modern home designed by her son for his widowed older mom Clara Whifler fit her flamboyant side well.  She loved to show off her wild modern home.  Clara had been a young stage actress and continued on with community theater into her seventies.  A physically active woman, more than a few had observed her doing heavy gardening while wearing gold lame and leopard print outfits.

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