Fabled Gables: 21 West Arrellaga Street

Original Owner: Louis and Jane Raffour

Estimated Year of Construction: circa 1890

Architect: Almon Hiscock

This all-redwood-designed Eastlake Victorian house was probably built around 1890 by Almon Hiscock and was known as the residence of highly respected restaurateurs Louis and Jane Raffour. Their restaurant was located near the present-day City Hall and was known for its distinguished menu and exceptional service. The Raffours operated their restaurant from 1878 until 1924. Upon the death of Mr. Raffour, Jane maintained the property for 44 years.

The decorative Eastlake style was named for Charles Locke Eastlake (1836-1906), a noted Englishman, author, architectural designer, and critic of the Gothic Revival style. In his book, Hints on Household Taste in Furniture, Upholstery, and Other Details, he advocated that both furniture and décor in the home should be designed with great pride. Manufacturers in the United States quickly caught on to his ideas from the book and used his drawings to mass-produce Eastlake-style and Cottage furniture.

The home’s architectural attributes include a spacious bay window on the lower level and a second-story gable where the siding has been cut with pointed edges and used in a decorative motif. Elsewhere there are simple yet ornamental brackets used to enhance the roof’s eaves and front porch.

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