National Register of Historic Places in Stanislaus County

National Register #88000551: Walter B. Wood House in Modesto, California Photo Courtesy Craig Blevins
(Click Photo to Zoom)
National Register #88000551: Walter B. Wood House in Modesto, California Photo Courtesy Thom Barner
National Register #88000551
Walter B. Wood House
143 Nebraska Avenue
Modesto
Built 1877

The Wood House one of the rare examples of Victorian architecture still in existence in Modesto. It is one of only six structures built before 1900 represented in the Historic Building Survey of Modesto.

The building, although modified and given a Queen Anne configuration, maintains an Italianate character in the manner of its decoration, even in the corner tower. It is thus a good representative of this style, and a rare one as well.

The first owner, Walter B. Wood, was a leading early Modesto businessman who made substantial contributions to the development of several local commercial enterprises.

Excerpted from the National Register nomination dated 7 April 1988.

The National Register gives the address of the Wood House as 814 12th Street. However, when we visited the 800 block of 12th Street in the summer of 2006, the block was occupied by a new, brick parking garage.

After we had published the photograph of the garage, several Modesto residents advised us that the residence had not been demolished but had been moved to the corner of State Route 32 and Nebraska Avenue soon after it was listed on the National Register.

Buildings that Moved

It's not just that the people of the American West are restless, the buildings themselves sometimes pack up and move when - for one reason or another - the neighborhood no longer suits them or the neighbors no longer want them or opportunity waits down the road.

And when buildings remain in place, they are often searching for their identities.

Acting Superintendent's Office, Yosemite
Alford-Nielson House, Ferndale
Alpine Hotel, Markleeville
Ashland Depot Hotel, Ashland, Oregon
Bagby Stationhouse, El Portal

Bayview Hotel, Aptos
Bridgeport Elementary School, Mono County
Carter House, Ashland, Oregon
Christian Church, Gilroy
Chuck's Railroad Room, Westwood

Colfax Freight Depot (Moved Twice), Colfax
Commodore Watkins House, Atherton
Coyle-Foster Barn, Shasta State Historic Park
Croll Building, Alameda
Dallam-Merritt House, San Francisco

Errea House, Tehachapi
Galarneaux House, Sacramento
Glendale School (Moved Twice), Sparks, Nevada
Gray's Station, Truckee
Hostess House, Palo Alto

Hodgdon Homestead Cabin, Yosemite
House at 2214 Clay Street, San Francisco
Hutton House, Saratoga
Independence Hall, Woodside
J & T Basque Restaurant, Gardnerville, NV

Jamestown Branch Jail (Moved Twice)
Jax Truckee Diner (Moved Twice), Truckee
Jorgensen Studio, Yosemite
Lake Mansion (Moved Twice), Reno
Lathrop House, Redwood City

LeConte Memorial Lodge, Yosemite
Little Church on the Hill, Oakhurst
Mansion House Hotel, Watsonville
Marcus Books and Jimbo's Bop City, San Francisco
McCredie House, Central Point, Oregon
Meherin House, Pismo Beach

Methodist Episcopal Church, Placerville
Migliavacca Mansion, Napa
Milton Masonic Hall, Milton
Moab Cabin, Moab, Utah
Mt. Buckingham School, Darrah

Nevada-California-Oregon Railway Depot, Alturas
Old Log Jail (Moved Twice), Markleeville
Old Mammoth Saloon (Moved Twice), Mammoth Lakes
Old North San Juan School, North San Juan
Old St. Patrick's Church (Moved Twice), San Francisco

Perry's Dry Goods, Gardnerville, NV
Phelps House (Moved Twice), San Francisco
Rengstorff House, Mountain View
Reno Arch (Moved Five Times), Reno
Roper House, Ashland, Oregon

St. James Catholic Church, Georgetown
Sylvester House , San Francisco
Tribune-Republic Building, San Luis Obispo
Tubbs Cordage Company, San Francisco
Tucker House, Martinez
Twenty Mile House, Cromberg

United Methodist Church, Nevada City
Wood House, Modesto
Yosemite Transportation Company
Yosemite Valley Chapel

Of the buildings and structures we have visited, the original Reno Arch holds the record for number of moves. It has been moved five times since it was built in 1926.

Jax Truckee Diner holds the distance title. The building moved from New Jersry to Pennsylvanis in 1948, then from Pennsylvania to Califonia in 1992.

Probably the most ambitious relocation occurred on July 4th 1904, when the Southern Pacific Railroad loaded most of the town of Wadsworth, Nevada, onto rail cars and transported the town thirty miles west to create a new town which became known as Sparks.

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