Connections of a Judge, JUSTICE and a Lady.
Judge Johnson and Sarah Horrell House and the Hayman Cottage
The Judge Johnson and Sarah Horrell House and the Hayman Cottage in Napa is the winner of a 2019 Preservation Design Award for Restoration. Award recipients are selected by a jury of top professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering, planning, and history, as well as renowned architecture critics and journalists. In making their decision, the jury noted the incredible work done to unearth the home’s past, stating, “there was a major research project to discover the house’s history, and to return the structure back to its original beauty.”
About this project
The Horrell House had been neglected for decades with historical elements removed so that it was barely recognizable from its original Gothic Revival style. However, if you looked beyond all this you could see traces of its former glory – the sawn-off bargeboard, the old portico foundation, and evidence of shutters once adorning this old house. Many hours of research and discovery of its past revealed its important early Napa history and the family that built it circa 1856. There were only three families that owned the house until 1947, the last being the Hayman family that lived there over fifty years (1895-1947). The Hayman’s built a shingled cottage in the rear in 1907. After the Hayman’s sold the property, the main house was divided into poorly constructed multiple units and was disregarded for over a half a century. The 2014 earthquake rendered the structures inhabitable and at the same time provided the opportunity to rescue this property.
The City of Napa was founded in 1847 by Nathan Coombs. Johnson Horrell was an early resident of Napa having arrived at the age of 54 from Pennsylvania with his second wife, Sarah N. Pedley and their one year old daughter in about 1850. He took on a central position in public affairs for the city and county of Napa from its very beginning and was known throughout the community and state as a hard-working and skillful attorney. He was one of the first judges having been appointed Napa County Judge from 1852 – 1853. It wasn’t until the current owner purchased the house in 2015 and delved into the history of the house that is was discovered the house was much older than was originally believed. Researching various maps and deeds it was discovered the house was the first house built on the block probably in 1856, however it was located around the corner. It was moved to its current location in 1890.
Also, by chance Horrell’s name was discovered on a piece of paper tagged to the inside of the curved interior staircase confirming it was built by the Horrells. The construction of a Gothic Revival style home in early Napa was a bold statement by Horrell. The Victorian/Craftsman shingled cottage at the rear of the property was built by Luther and Eva Hayman in 1907. The old carriage house, possibly original to the main house, still exists today in modern downtown Napa.
Napa County Courthouse
The Napa County Courthouse is the winner of a 2019 Preservation Design Award for Restoration. Award recipients are selected by a jury of top professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering, planning, and history, as well as renowned architecture critics and journalists. In making their decision the jury noted the difficulty in updating historic courthouses, stating, “meeting ADA requirements and the specific needs of court construction without destroying the historic rooms is a tough challenge. This is a beautiful project, and the results are really impressive.”
At 3:20 am on August 24, 2014, the Napa Courthouse was damaged in the South Napa Earthquake. Registering 6.0 on the moment magnitude scale, the earthquake was the strongest to hit the Bay Area since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. While the Historic Courthouse was heavily damaged by the temblor, the other parts were relatively unscathed. After inspection, clean-up, and construction of a demising wall separating the Historic Courthouse, the Hall of Records and Annex were reopened. The Historic Courthouse was braced for stability, and construction on the repairs began in 2017. The grand reopening occurred on January 22, 2019.
About this project
Napa Courthouse consists of three parts: the 16,000 square foot Italianate-style section, known as the “Historic Courthouse,” constructed in 1878; the westernmost portion, known as the Hall of Records, constructed in 1916; and the Annex which connects the two, constructed in 1978 to replace the original jail.
Ackerman Heritage House
The Ackerman Heritage House in Napa is the winner of a 2019 Preservation Design Award for Restoration. Award recipients are selected by a jury of top professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering, planning, and history, as well as renowned architecture critics and journalists. In making their decision the jury noted the scope of the project, stating, “this checks all the boxes for what restoration does. They took something that was falling apart and put it back together.”
About this project
For decades, Napans saw this fine Queen Anne house, an early work by the county’s preeminent architect, Luther Turton, fall into disrepair and disappear behind overgrown landscaping and a rusting iron fence. Patchwork efforts to maintain the house were not part of a comprehensive plan to maintain its structural and historic integrity, and serious problems remained unaddressed. In 2010 a new owner brought the vision and wherewithal to launch a five-year restoration. She employed an architect and designer to craft a plan that would guide contractors in every detail of the restoration. The result is a house that is as impressive in appearance as when it was built in 1889, but much sturdier. And the people of Napa not only get to enjoy seeing this jewel restored from the outside – the owner has made the interior, furnished with period correct antiques, accessible to the public on a regular basis.
The 1889 Queen Anne house is a designated Napa City Landmark and contributing structure to the Napa Abajo Fuller Park District on the National Register of Historic Places. It was home to Civil War veteran Luther Hayman and to two of early Napa’s most prominent merchants, T.W. Mather and E.R. Gifford. An early example of the work of Napa County’s most famous architect, Luther Turton, the house features an asymmetrical facade; a prominent corner tower; a projecting gable edged with decorative bargeboard, two-story bay windows on two sides of the house that are flanked on the second floor by small balconies; varied siding types; varied roof shapes; a front curved porch surrounded by ornate balusters, corbels and spindle work; and 14 original stained glass windows. The interior features an elaborately carved redwood staircase in the foyer, redwood pocket doors, and wood floors throughout. The house shows an unusual degree of historical integrity, having had only minor alterations by the five families that had previously owned it. In thoroughly restoring the dilapidated house over five years and making it useable for tours and events that foster knowledge and appreciation of local history, great care was taken to retain and preserve the distinctive features, materials, and historic character of the property. Where alterations were made, such as creating a kitchen with fully modern functionality, colors and materials were chosen to be compatible with existing historic features of the house, as is called for in the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.
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