Arts and Crafts Architecture
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Brown - Scott - Smith House (page 1 of 3)

Parkside view of an elegant brick townhouse showing a strong English Arts and Crafts influence. Photo by Howard J. Partridge.

Parkside (South) Elevation
James Nash Brown - Alice Scott - Reginald Knight Smith House
San Francisco, California

Ernest Coxhead was the architect of this baronial townhome on a steep hillside lot, completed at the end of 1895.  Irving Murray Scott, a local shipyard tycoon and prominent civic leader, offered the project as a wedding gift to his only daughter, Alice, and her first husband, James Nash Brown.  In 1896, only a few months after moving in, and less than a year into their marriage, Brown died.  Alice kept the house as a residence, even after her remarriage to Reginald Knight Smith in 1899.

Coxhead's abstraction of Old English architecture in this design is reminiscent of some of his most progressive English contemporaries.  This is hardly surprising, considering his English origins and formal training.  Coxhead had been a gifted architectural student, and most likely had direct exposure to the ideology of the English Arts and Crafts Movement.  His studies also provided him with first-hand knowledge of historic English buildings and their construction.   Before emigrating to California in late 1886 with his brother, Coxhead won a major award in a RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) architectural drawing competition.  One of his early employers helped secure his membership to the same institution shortly before he left his native England.  Photo taken in 2001 by Howard J. Partridge.

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