residential remodeling & new construction
My family history in Alameda dates back to 1906 when my mother's Aunt and her family relocated here after the earthquake. Her uncle built a home on Haight street and later another on Regent. None of that clan remains in town.
My recent history with Alameda started in 1991 when my wife Ann and I purchased our home here, but I first set foot here in 1969 to visit the infamous Island the Auto Movie Flea Market, one of the best flea markets ever. From 1979 to 1988 I lived in an industrial building on 5th Avenue near Embarcadero in Oakland. My loft window faced Encinal Terminal on Alameda's north shore where I watched the construction of Wind River campus. In my Oakland shop I built a boat in which I explored the island's north shore by water.
My first construction work in Alameda was in the early 1980's, when assisted master carpenter Bill Dohr who was renovating the exterior of the classic 1890s Victorian mansion owned by Allen Michaan, current partner of Antiques by the Bay. Since then, I have completed a wide variety of projects in Alameda and the East Bay, including restoring front stairs on Victorians and an excavated basement on our Oak Street home. In the last few years I became familiar with 'enforcement' work, where I assisted in helping two clients complete or modify previously unpermitted renovations to bring their homes in compliance with city code. In 2006 I applied to the City of Alameda Historical Advisory Board (HAB) when there was an opening for a licensed contractor. I was confirmed to that position by the City Council and at this writing I am half way through my term. The board has four other members, including two architectural and design professionals and two citizens at large with expertise in historical preservation. The purview of the HAB involves reviewing proposed external modifications to buildings built before 1943 when they are extensive, for the purpose of insuring they retain as much of their architectural integrity as possible. Serving on HAB has been an educational experience, and has given me better appreciation for the efforts of those on our other volunteer boards, such as the Planning Board and City Council.
Alameda has been a wonderful place to raise a family. Both our sons attended public schools in Alameda, the eldest having graduated and the youngest as of 2010-11 being a senior at Alameda High, where their mother Ann teaches 10th grade history. Our eldest son was involved in Alameda Children's Musical Theater and went on to perform in the school drama program as well as the Altarena Theater, before moving to New York to study acting. His younger brother has enjoyed several years of baseball in Alameda's Little League and Babe Ruth programs. Through the schools and other activities we have grown roots here and have gotten to know a lot of wonderful people and built a real sense of community.