Designed by San Francisco architects Sidney and Noble Newsom in 1924, the Fritz Henshaw house in Piedmont, California is among the earliest and largest Storybook works in the state. Its design was reportedly inspired by Marie Antointette’s medieval hameau on the grounds of Versailles, and like that remarkable group of structures, every detail is carefully conceived to further the illusion of antiquity. The tinted stucco finish is patinated to suggest age, while the roof eaves and rake are rolled to suggest medieval thatch. Casement windows with lozenge-shaped muntins complete the bucolic image.
Too often, such defining features of Storybook Style homes are lost in misguided attempts at modernization; to the current owner’s great credit, these charismatic details have all been carefully preserved.