The Kaiser House

Oakland, California

• 2007 Partners In Preservation Award, Oakland Heritage Alliance

The Kaiser House, an Oakland Landmark, was Henry Kaiser's first home, a dignified Italian Renaissance Revival residence designed by renowned local architect William Schirmer and built between 1924-25. Henry Kaiser was one of America's boldest entrepreneurs, the father of American shipbuilding, and renowned for dams, highways and healthcare.

After the current Owners purchased the residence from a hospice, Jerri Holan & Associates determined that the grand staircase was structurally unsound, damaged balusters were a safety hazard, and 3/4 of the home’s foundation was severely deteriorated. The grand staircase and foundations were rebuilt in compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, original balusters were repaired where possible, and recreated where necessary. The exterior restorations included window repairs, replacing steel french doors at the Breakfast Room and adding a concrete patio to match the main staircase. Mechanical and electrical systems were replaced and all interior finishes were restored including floor leveling and refinishing, plaster repairs, and plumbing fixtures. An original landing was restored in the main staircase, the Library’s paneling was refurbished, Mrs. Kaiser’s famous gold, etched mirror was restored in the Master Bedroom, while Mr. Kaiser’s famous aquamarine green tile in all the upstair bathrooms, including the Roosevelt Room’s, was preserved against the Owners’ wishes.