The Architecture of Mendocino
Mendocino is full of houses with interesting exterior features, but what’s underneath the outer gingerbread ornamentation is a whole other story. Come to the Kelley House Museum on July 27th at 4pm for “A Sunday Afternoon With”, featuring the Architecture of Mendocino presented by architect/ professor Tom Thomson.
Escola/Flannagan House being readied for 2nd story
Professor Thomson first visited Mendocino in 1964 and fell in love with the area. After a career teaching architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, he retired to Mendocino and built a home on Cahto Street. Describing himself as “a curious cat,” Thomson began investigating various buildings in town; more specifically, the interior load-bearing structures.
Mendocino has often been referred to as a “Victorian Village.” While it was built partly by New Englanders, there are Portuguese elements in the local architecture as well. This was brought by immigrants from the Azores Islands. Thomson says many other factors influenced local building styles. Environmental conditions, like strong winds, fostered steep roof rake angles to diminish wind-loading on building frames. A direct response to materials available locally resulted in houses being built using boards produced by the mill down by the river. Thrifty budgets sometimes meant property owners built their modest homes with scrap lumber from the mill.
Mr. Thomson will share history tidbits about the relationship of Portuguese family sizes to the number of dormer windows that might have been added to a house. Coal-burning fireplaces influenced room sizes. Practical considerations often dictated set dimensions for roof trusses and pitch angles. Thomson will display photos from his own collection as well as some from the Kelley House Museum archive, and will interpret why specific construction techniques were utilized.
Join us at the Kelley House Museum at 4pm, July 27th, for “A Sunday Afternoon With” featuring architect Tom Thomson