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explains, “had a couple of busi- nesses in downtown San Diego” and was wise enough to let his wife make the decisions. “She had some really good ideas. She did a remarkable job.” Sherwood knows of which she speaks. Before moving to Burlingame, “We had a house designed for us in Del Mar—a very modern house. The architect had worked with Philip Johnson early in his career. It took a year to do the designing, and he spent a lot of time educating us.” Although Sherwood studied architecture in graduate school, when it came to restoring her bungalow, “what influenced me most was working with an architect to build a house.” The experience taught her to appreciate what she had, and change it as little as possible. The Sherwoods might have stayed in Del Mar in that very modern house had it not been for the commute. She and her husband, both librarians, ended up working in opposite parts of the county—one in El Cajon, the other in Coronado. It didn’t make sense to stay in Del Mar. So they began looking for something more central. They discovered the neighborhood with the pink sidewalks before they found the house of character.

“I had a sense that there was something different about it. There were some things that reminded me of Northern California. There are three wood shingled houses on San Marcos that looked very much like the Berkeley Hills. And I like the curved streets. I took pictures of the neighborhood even before we bought here.” Like her predecessor, Sher- wood loves her kitchen. “Once we saw it, that was it. It just hooked us.”

And what about that garden? “My son was in the last year of high school when we moved into this house. After he got his bach- elor’s, he joined AmeriCorp and worked in the Oakland Schools.” It was a tough assignment. The students had emotional prob- lems, family problems, academic problems. But they liked working in the school garden. “They really liked weird plants. So he would find plants that were purple. He started getting interested in the colors and shapes of the leaves, because the kids would get excited. ‘This plant has leaves two feet across!’” Soon the school garden couldn’t contain her son’s discoveries. “He actually started bringing plants home. He’d see things up there that he’d never seen down here before, so he started bringing plants in his luggage when he came down, wrapped up in bubble wrap. Until then, I hadn’t really been that adventuresome with plants. I just wanted to have things that were easy to maintain. So a lot of the plants in our garden are because my son got interested in unusual plants. He’s in Chicago now, but when he comes home, he still gives me plant advice.” (But not plants, to the relief of the airport luggage screeners.)

Now that she’s achieved every

old house restorer’s dream, to have her home on a home tour, does Sherwood have any advice for the novice renovator? “Well, go to the Old House

Fair. We’ve been going from the

beginning. We got information about foundation repair. Heating systems. We had some of that horrible tex-coat that had to be taken off. So we talked to paint- ers. We took advantage of a lot of other things—the craftsmen, the furniture in the booths. It kept us focused on keeping the house more of a period house than we might have done just on our own. Because so much of the original woodwork, the kitchen, the various built-ins, were in such good condi- tion. We were very fortunate that no one had painted the woodwork. We are just so pleased that we have all these details from 1924.” The Old House Fair takes place Sat., June 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the corner of Beech and 30th St. in South Park. There will be booths with

dozens of Old House experts to offer advice and insight, or to schedule an appointment or estimate. You’ll find painters, electricians, carpenters, founda- tion experts, window makers, wood refinishers and plumbers. There will also be lighting manu- facturers, antique restorers, landscapers, furniture makers and stained glass artists. And be sure to bring along a photo of your house, because SOHO will again be giving flummoxed homeowners the chance to “ask the experts” about history mys- teries. Just as important, there will be lots of food—some of it even healthy—musical entertain- ment, and the house tour, which includes five vintage homes. For more information, visit: theold-

San Diego Uptown News | June 10–23, 2011


Not just for contractors anymore, the Old House Fair showcases craftspeople and artists, as well as tradesmen.

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