Selection of GEM candidates: 1127 F Avenue and 532 Marina Avenue


By Mary Farley, CHA volunteer and chair of the GEM committee, and Jamie Jamison, ACH Board Member and GEM Committee Member

This article is the third in a series on CHA’s Going the Extra Mile award.

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Each year, the GEM committee reviews historic homes and properties that have been nominated by ACH members. GEM Award finalists must have completed a recent restoration or renovation project faithful to the historic character of the house by December 31 of the previous year. The GEM committee researches the history of each house before making their selections. The GEM Committee of the Coronado Historical Association is pleased to announce this year’s finalists in a series of articles over the coming weeks. The winner will be honored at the annual National Preservation Month Symposium on Thursday, May 21, 2021. These are the GEMs of Coronado. These owners really Go the extra mile.

1127 avenue F

Photo: Mary Farley

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In 1925, Coronado saw the collaboration of renowned architects Richard Requa and Herbert Jackson, with builders AE Keyes and the Reed Brothers culminate in our next handsome GEM nominee, 1127 F Avenue. This Mission Revival “castle-like residence” was originally built for Michigan furniture maker WA Gunn. It was designated a historical resource in 2004 and received recognition under the Mills Act on October 30, 2016. It was used as an illustration for the 1926 Requa article in San Diego Business titled The architectural style of Southern California.

The original cost of the house was $ 56,558, which was well over ten times the average cost of a typical Coronado house at that time. Notable residents include Albert H. Lahman (1952), Sherman Hartland (1961), and Eugene H. Ephron (1969).

In her Masters thesis in 1982, Mary Taschner wrote: “In 1924 Requa had opened another elaborate home for William A. Gunn of Coronado. While not as big as Del Mar Castle, House Gunn has many of the same [castle-like] features… The Gunn House has a long, sprawling plan with a sloping wing and varying roof levels [and] dominated by a huge tower or turret. Because the Gunn House is smaller, there is only one tower that serves as both the entrance hall and the upstairs turret room. Perhaps because the Gunn house looked more like a house than a castle, Requa paid more attention to the garden than it did at Del Mar Castle. He turned Gunn’s land into a pie shape. a formal Moorish garden with a tiled fountain, pergola and a slatted house. As with the Harding house, Requa also included quarters for the servants at the other end of the garden.

“When we started I was optimistic and thought the job would take a maximum of 2 years. It has become a 4-year opus, ”recounts Brian Mariotti, his odyssey to renovate 1127 F Avenue. Brian recalls his initial feeling of an “old Hollywood, Spanish vibe” upon entering the house, but noted that the rest of the house did not share what he and his wife Shannon liked about the facade and the interior. entrance hall of this “Coronado Castle”. The floors upstairs were wall-to-wall carpeting with popcorn ceilings above. The incongruence is not surprising as the house has changed owners several times since its birth in 1925. In fact, the house seemed to lose a bedroom and gain a bathroom over time, going from 6 bedrooms to 5 bedrooms. 5 bedroom and 6 bathroom 4 bedroom and 7 bathroom bathrooms from the 70s to the late 90s.

Brian and Shannon with their team led by San Diego architect Kim Grant and Papenhausen Construction set out to restore what they might be replacing with old materials or replicated items. Brian added with gratitude that Grant, who specializes in historic homes, and Papenhausen “were particularly good at presenting all of our options to us, but my wife and I always chose the most historically accurate option by default. We love the old and lived vibe. ”

All windows have been scuffed and painted by hand. The popcorn ceilings upstairs opened and rose up. Over 100 year old wooden ceiling beams have been added, most with hand painted details. A century-old terracotta floor was found for the main level and Mexican Moorish tiling for the stair risers. Additions to nascent Moorish influences are sprinkled throughout. Moorish stars and patterns are found encrusted on the floors, walls and ceiling.

On the main level, a family room has been added to the west wing of the house, meticulously reflecting the style of Requa’s facade. The dining room was pushed to capture what had once been an outdoor space, and custom glass doors demarcate the space between the stone columns along the back wall facing the courtyard. The backyard space presents another living space including a large living and dining room pavilion. A putting green, a dog track and a swimming pool with a diving board complete the entertainment area. Carefully preserved century-old olive trees intertwine beautifully with newly added 250-year-old stones around the pool area and Moorish ironwork elements on the facades of the guesthouse’s converted original garage as well as the new garage.

Photo courtesy of Tontz Construction.

532 Marina Avenue

Kathleen Stengel, who grew up taking the ferry to Coronado’s Strand Beach, has always remembered peace, the great outdoors and connecting with nature with affection. After settling her mother’s estate and realizing that they no longer had a home in San Diego, Kathleen began looking for one. Always drawn to historic homes, especially those in need of love, the Stengels have moved into a historic cottage at 910 F Avenue.

Having admired Lorton Mitchell’s work in Coronado, the Stengels hired him as a builder and Dorothy Howard as an architect to design and rebuild the 910 F Avenue back house in the historic cottage style. Kathleen and Jim were still based in Cincinnati, coming to Coronado for as much sun infusions as possible while starting to envision retirement and a home forever. Julie Goodwin, their real estate agent, showed them 532 Marina and Kathleen fell in love. However, the first offer did not work. “Two years later, Julie alerted me that Marina was in receivership and I was surprised at how worried I was that the new owners would not take care of the house, even worse demolish it, because she was not designated historic. I felt like I had to save this house ”. As fate would have it, the escrow collapsed and Jim made an offer which was accepted without Kathleen’s knowledge. He wrapped up a picture of the house and gave it to his wife for Christmas.

This house is now a GEM nominee. A Dutch neo-colonial house, built in 1929 by AM Southard, builder, and Edgar V. Ullrich, architect, the house was designated a historic resource in 2018 and received Mills Act recognition on December 24, 2019. The renovation la most recent was carried out by TONTZ Construction with Kevin Rugee as architect.

The house was originally built for Charles F. De Long and his family. De Long was the nephew of Philadelphia millionaire Frank E. De Long, who invented the clothing hook fastener. Frank himself, then moved to Coronado after several visits with his family living at 532 Marina. The De Long family only resided at the property for five years, moving after Ms. De Long’s death in 1933. Another resident, a tenant, was Commander Robert H. Caldwell, Jr. Caldwell was awarded the Cross of the Navy while he and his young family lived in the house. He was recognized “for his extraordinary heroism in action as the commander of a submarine on a war patrol.”

One of the house’s most notable residents was Nick Reynolds of the Kingston Trio, who lived there as a child. Captain Stewart S. Reynolds, USN, and Mrs. Reynolds moved their family into the house in 1933. The Navy family occupied what would come to be known as “The Reynolds House” for six decades. They were active in the community in many ways; everything from hosting senior military officials to participating in local tennis tournaments. Nick spent many of his childhood years at home and received his early musical education there.

“We chose Kevin Rugee and Mike Tontz, who have always been a huge Lorton Mitchell fan,” to help bring Marina 532 back to life, explained Kathleen. They started with all the doors and windows removing all the glass to send to Los Angeles to be acid soaked to remove the old paint. Once restored, the windows were put back in place. What needed to be replaced was replaced with all the details appropriate to the period, including interior door fasteners and hardware. The original wood shingles were a darker brown cedar shingle to replace, and Eastern cedar, which was driftwood gray compared to dark brown cedar, was a perfect choice.

Surprisingly, the footprint of the house is the same as the magnificent wood floors and 680 original panes adapted to the time. The house itself is cheery, like the blue living room with red accent furniture, pillows, and curtains, many of which Kathleen herself has sewn up. The grounds deserve more than a mention as an extension of the home’s interior that resembles a colorful secret garden.

The Stengels have brought 532 Marina Avenue to a new life reminiscent of the Reynolds family era of home and a party-like approach to life. A general feeling of welcome with open arms as you walk around the house, the embodiment of the joy that comes with living by the sea, this is what the Stengel family returned to after “Going the Extra Mile”.


About Patricia Kilgore

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