His designs were mostly residential, crafted of wood, glass, concrete block and steel; and sublime in form as to bring to mind names like Rudolph Schindler, Richard Neutra, or Frank Lloyd Wright.
William Whifler’s life and architectural creations were grounded in the communities of San Francisco’s Mid-Peninsula. He married his Burlingame High School sweetheart Jean, attended The College of San Mateo, graduated in architecture at Stanford University, raised his family in Hillsborough, and went on to become Professor and Co-Founder of the Department of Architecture at the College of San Mateo.
At a time when tracts of Eichler homes were erected en masse, Whifler was commissioned by those seeking something extraordinary, something custom, modern, and warmly human. Whifler’s clients wanted to both own and live within a work of art.
Relatively few have seen his creations. And many have been lost to “makeovers” or teardowns. This home, untouched by time, designed for his mom and sited in the expansive garden of his childhood home, is a jewel of design, and now a recognized national treasure.
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.