The Peterson House
The Peterson House has been listed on the National Register for Historic Places because of its architectural interest. It is of post and beam construction and there were very few of these structures built in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Albany, California came into being after the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 when people were anxiously fleeing San Francisco. At that time, land speculators began to develop Regents Park where people purchased their land and then lived in tents while their homes were being built. According to local stories, the Peterson House was the first built in Regents Park. It is considered representative of the social changes that came about after the earthquake.
The house is a detached one-story cottage built of wood either in 1906 or shortly thereafter. It was originally rectangular with a living room, kitchen, two bedrooms, bathroom and two open porches. As it was originally built, it was gas-lit and there was an outhouse in the back yard. Architecturally, the house was built with expressed frame construction. With this kind of framing, there are 4 x 4s exposed on the exterior of the home instead of 2 x 4s inside the walls. The frame of 4 x 4s is built on the subfloor and then, on the inside of the house, 1 x 4 boards are nailed across the posts. Then lath and plaster or wood paneling is attached to the 1 x4s. On the outside of the house, double courses of wood shingles were attached to the 1 x 4s which were behind the posts. This means that the actual framing of the house remained exposed.
Originally, the foundation of the house was made of brick which has now been replaced with cement. Also, the brick vent for the woodburning stove in the kitchen was enclosed as a fake fireplace in the living room. The brick vent has been considered a hazard and has been replaced with a working fireplace. The kitchen has been modernized several times and has been restored to its original condition. The front bedroom is in original condition and the rear bedroom has its original fittings and woodwork that are also intact.
Between the two bedrooms, and originally opening into both of them, is a bathroom with a footed tub and a basin. These still have their original brass fittings and brass light fixture. There is also a small room behind the rear bedroom that was most likely a storage room. It was entered from the rear porch and, in the 1930s, a toilet was installed in this room. It has since been converted into a full bath with the original wainscotting retained.