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Francis House

The Francis House in Calistoga is the winner of a 2018 Preservation Design Award. Award recipients are selected by a jury of top professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering, planning, and history, as well as renowned architecture critics and journalists. In making their decision, the jury stated: “This is an amazing transformation!”

The Award will be presented on Friday, October 19, 2018 at a gala dinner and awards ceremony at Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. Tickets and sponsorship options are available at californiapreservation.org/awards.

About this project

The Francis House is an excellent example of the Second Empire style and includes features typical of the style including square floor plan, Mansard roof, ornamental shingles, bracketed eaves, pedimented dormers, projecting central pavilion, and semicircular and segmentally arched windows and doors. Based on the Historic Resources Evaluation Report prepared by Architectural Resources Group in 2008, the exterior character defining features of the Francis House include:

  • Angled orientation on lot resulting in three public elevations
  • Three-story height
  • Blocklike massing with projecting pavilions
  • Rough tooled and smooth-faced ashlar
  • Mansard roof with belcast eaves
  • Square and octagonal shingles
  • Pedimented gable dormers
  • Brackets and paneled frieze supporting eaves
  • Wood windows including: paired, double-hung windows with semicircular arched transom; semicircular double-hung windows; and segmentally arched, double-hung windows
  • Wood oriel window on north elevation
  • Stone window surrounds with articulated keystones and imposts
  • Symmetrical façade (east elevation) with three bays of openings
  • Main entrance with fanlight

The overall form and space of the residence has not changed and it clearly communicates the aesthetics of a Second Empire style residence and the sense of an 1886 residence in Calistoga.

The restoration of the Francis House to its original prominence has reinvigorated locals and visitors alike in this Northern Napa County community. Built in 1886 in the authentic Second Empire style, the Francis House is the only stone building left in Calistoga and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While it began as a family home for a prominent local merchant, James H. Francis, the property was converted to a hospital in 1918 and functioned in that capacity until 1964. During the 1920’s and early 1930’s two additions were constructed at the rear of the house to meet the growing demands. The hospital closed in 1965 and remained uninhabited for the next 50 years, and the property sustained substantial deterioration during this period of neglect. The restoration included stabilization of the exterior stone walls, which included grouting the void space between the exterior and interior wythes and stitching the wythes together with stainless steel rods and epoxy resin. The owners who painstakingly brought it back to its glory, have just opened it up as a full service bed & breakfast.

Project Team

Project Lead
Tim Heiman, SE
KPFF Consulting Engineers

Client
Richard Dwyer
Dwyer Properties

Architect/Landscape
Dina Dwyer
Dina Dwyer Interior Design & Dwyer Properties

Lead Engineer
James Mogannam, SE
KPFF Consulting Engineers

Consulting Engineer
Jared Armena, PE
KPFF Consulting Engineers