604 Second Street, Brentwood, California is a turn of the century bungalow style home, simple in stylishness and finishes. The word bungalow is often used to mean any small 20th century home that uses space efficiently.
Believed to have been constructed from a catalog kit around the turn of the last century, the home consists of two bedrooms, one bath, living room, dining area, kitchen, nook, and laundry room in approximately 1177 square feet. There is a single car freestanding garage immediately adjacent to the residence. Both structures sit on a lot that is slightly less that one-quarter acre.
According to the current owners, Mike and Robin McClellan, the home was moved to its current location, in charming downtown Historic Brentwood, in 1919, from either Somersville or Nortonville, California. Both once prosperous mining towns, the communities fell into severe decline during the late 1800’s and a few of these homes – 604 among them — were relocated to Brentwood and the surrounding area.
Rich in history and culture, Brentwood began as a community in the late 19th century, and still is known throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for its agricultural products (primarily cherries, corn and peaches). In spite of urban sprawl, the quaint downtown, where 604 is located, is peppered with historic buildings and signs of days gone by.
604 was originally constructed of full dimensional lumber, vertical lathe interior walls, hardwood floors and ample wood frame windows. It was updated in 1926 to include an indoor laundry, breakfast nook and a more modern bathroom.
Still buried in the framing are the remnants of the original knob and tube wiring. The fireplace is made of locally procured rock – though it has not been used since part of the chimney fell away from the roof many years ago. Several windows contain “wavy” antique glass and some interior walls are covered with remnants of early 20th century wall coverings.
604 was previously owned by George and Margaret Wedgewood. George was a former Mayor of Brentwood and the home was a rental for many years. Margaret Wedgewood is Robin McClellan’s Great Aunt and the house was inherited by Robin’s Father, Wilmer White. The McClellans rented the home as tenants after Mike’s discharge from the Navy. They purchased the home in 1982 and continued to live at 604 for several years. Eventually they relocated to a larger home in Brentwood to accommodate their expanding family.
Although their careers took them to Hawaii and Washington State for over two decades, Mike and Robin say that they could not part with their first home, and rented it to various relatives during their time away. It was during this time that the home fell into significant disrepair. Age, weather, deterioration and termites have taken their toll.
The McClellans returned to Brentwood to care for Robin’s Mother and to be close to their daughter and grandson. Nearing retirement, they are faced with the option to repair and remodel their old family home to suit their needs or purchase a modern tract home. They decided that the latter was not an option. They say that they have “so many good memories [at 604]” that they “cannot part with it.”
Their plans to remodel not only include making many necessary repairs, they will add approximately 341 square feet to accommodate a third bedroom and new master suite — complete with a second bath and walk-in closet. The entire home will be renovated and will include replacement of the severely deteriorated front porch, foundation repairs, complete new plumbing, heating and electrical systems, insulation, new bathrooms, a fully remodeled kitchen and a fully remodeled laundry.
Exterior upgrades include new windows and exterior doors, siding, trim, decking, handrails, roofing, gutters, downspouts, garage door and opener and paths, patios and driveway. All building products will have an emphasis on energy efficiency, sustainability, and green building products and technology. Where possible, existing vintage building materials will be recycled and incorporated into the renovation. The owners are excited about integrating new, modern appliances and conveniences within the charm and era of their home.
The existing single car garage will be replaced with a new 960 square foot freestanding, detached garage, which will contain a storeroom and office. The garage will be Mike’s “man cave” where he and his car club buddies will restore vintage cars such as his cherry 1963 Ford Thunderbird. The classic T-Bird rests beneath a canvas cover patiently awaiting its new digs.
After a year of design, planning and procuring approvals and permits, Mike and Robin are ready to turn a shovel and see the home of their dreams become a reality. They say that they “look forward to making many more good memories in the future.”