House on Virginia Way in La Jolla designated ‘historical’

In a sea of houses painted shades of beige, off-white and light gray, a dark gray 1920s Tudor Revival style house sits up in the hillside of Virginia Way. The San Diego Historical Resources Board (HRB) designated the property, known as the Anna Vickers House, as historical during its Sept. 28 meeting downtown. The designation was listed on the “consent agenda,” which means there was no discussion on the item.

The Anna Vickers House, located at 1419 Virginia Way, was designated under HRB Criterion C, which reads: (The property) embodies distinctive characteristics of a style, type, period or method of construction or is a valuable example of the use of natural materials or craftsmanship.

Brett and Michelle Lanuti, represented by Ione Stiegler of IS Architecture, were the applicants seeking the designation. The historical resource research report was prepared by IS Architecture.

According to the HRB statement: “The house continues to convey the historic significance of the Tudor Revival style and retains integrity from its 1928 period of significance. Specifically, the resource exhibits a steeply pitched gable roof; brick veneer; board and batten siding; tall, narrow windows with multi-pane glazing; a front facing gable on the main façade; gable wall dormers; and a massive chimney.”

The house is named for Anna Vickers, who constructed it as her personal residence. It was designed by the firm Webber, Staunton & Spaulding and built by Henry Barkey.

“Popular in the 1920s and 1930s, Tudor Revival architecture is loosely based on a variety of late Medieval English styles and influences, but unlike some English prototypes, Tudor Revival style houses exhibit steeply pitched gable roofs that dominate the facades,” staff reports read. “Relatively uncommon before World War I, widespread adoption of masonry veneering techniques in the 1920s accompanied a dramatic rise in the style’s popularity as even the most modest examples began to closely mimic the brick and stone veneers of their English prototypes. Tudor Revival style houses usually include the use of stucco as well as wood cladding and brick or stone veneer, depending upon the subtype.”

The house was modified several times, primarily in the last 16 years. Modifications included relocating the basement stairs from the interior to the exterior, adding the shed dormer (a feature that extends the height of living space) and adding a new roof. However, HRB reports these modifications do not significantly impair integrity of design, materials, workmanship or feeling.