A Cottage Transformed

When Bill and Angela Ganci first saw the stucco-clad house at 1014 Paru Street in February, 1997, they saw a great renovation opportunity, and they took it. They stripped the stucco from the outside and banished the dropped ceiling and the wood veneer paneling from the inside. In so doing, they restored the 1884 home to its original Victorian style. The Gancis, who recently renovated five homes in Oakland, spent six months on their Alameda cottage and transformed it into a charming home in which to raise their family, which includes Alison (31⁄2 years old) and Will (18 months).

A major task during this Paru Street renovation was repairing the wood exposed when the rough stucco was removed. Angela said that after they disposed of the stucco, Bill came home and said, “Honey, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that the house is still standing. The bad news is that it’s only because all the termites are holding hands!”

The wood required an extensive amount of epoxy repair and refinishing, but the ornamentation, recessed decorative wood panels, and frieze borders unveiled by stucco removal made the effort worthwhile. “We were excited to see how much original detail was still there.” The stucco stripping also revealed other details original to the design by architect A.W. Pattiani: fishscale shingles underneath the front gable and brackets below the entry and side soffits.

Another highlight of the Gancis’ restoration was the removal of the concrete and iron rail entry. The restored entrance features a wooden staircase surrounded by decorative turned spindles, newel posts, and balusters. The addition of a small window with sash trim provides a balanced look to the front porch.

The crowning finish to this Victorian cottage is the beautiful multi-hued symphony of color used to compete the restoration. The color palette features marine blue, deep teal, dove gray, eggplant, and mustard gold, with rich Lancaster white trim.

AAPS salutes the Gancis for a restoration job well done and for a good joke, too!