Fabled Gables: 1416 Laguna Street

Original owner: Miss Elizabeth H. Knight

Year built: 1887-1888

Architect: Unknown

This week’s home is one of the earliest examples in the city to manifest fairy-tale-style architecture.

In approximately 1880, Elizabeth H. Knight acquired vacant lot 6 of block 71 on the Eastside of town. Between 1887 and 1888, she had a one-and-a-half-story residence built on the land. Even though Knight had the home designed, she never actually lived on the premises, which leads one to believe the home was built on speculation for a future owner to enjoy. Years later, area candy maker Charles M. Kingsley would inhabit the home.

Though constructed during the Victorian era, the home is essentially Eastlake in style and has a number of fairy-tale styles, unusual architectural elements for its day that give it a whimsical feel. To achieve this creative aesthetic, basic shiplap siding was used on the exterior (a very common attribute for homes at that time), but the true creative vision was achieved with the use of exaggerated, sawtooth, and half-circle shingles on the second story, along with a noteworthy high-pitched gable roof. In later years, the crawl space in the attic above the front porch was expanded to enlarge the upstairs.

Currently, the property serves as a legal, four-unit residential apartment house, due to the fact that additional improvements and modest expansions were allowed while preserving its original architectural charm.


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