Ernest Albert Coxhead (1863-1933)

Ferguson House Ferguson House
2511 Baker Street, San Francisco
Built 1896
Photographed 13 June 2012
(Click Photo to Zoom)
Murdock House
Murdock House
2710 Scott Street, San Francisco
Built 1893
Photographed 13 June 2012
(Click Photo to Zoom)

Ernest Albert Coxhead was born in East Sussex, England. He became an architect through apprenticeship rather than academic training.

When he was fifteen, he began working for a civil engineer who designed public projects and residential developments. After five years, he moved to London where he restored gothic churches.

In 1886, Albert and his brother Almeric moved to Los Angeles. They established an independent practice and designed several Episcopal Churches in Southern California.

In 1890, the brothers moved to San Francisco. Their firm, Coxhead & Coxhead, built seventeen churches of which eleven are extant. Ernest designed the buildings, and Almeric managed the construction.

After the death of Coxhead's client, Episcopal Bishop William Kip, in 1893, Coxhead & Coxhead turned to residential work in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Alameda and Berkeley.

Coxhead's shingled Arts and Crafts vernacular buildings influenced Bay Area architects Bernard Maybeck, Julia Morgan, Edgar Mathews, Albert Farr and other practitioners of the First Bay Tradition.

The First Bay Tradition began in the 1880s as a reaction to the Victorian and Beaux-Arts architectural styles which were predominant at the end of the 19th century. Although the First Bay Tradition had much in common with the Eastern Shingle Style in the United Sates and the Arts and Crafts Movement in England, buildings designed in this style are unique to San Francisco, Berkeley, and other parts of the Bay Area.

First Bay Tradition buildings are characterized by:

  • Sensitivity to their surroundings and the unique requirements of the site and client
  • Natural materials, particularly redwood and shingles
  • Modern building methods and materials blended with witty historic details
  • Emphasis on craftsmanship, volume, form, and asymmetry.

In other words, pretty much everything a McMansion lacks.


Name Year Address City Sort Address Sort Name
Bridge over Stow Lake1896Golden Gate ParkSan FranciscoGolden Gate ParkBridge over Stow Lake
Brown-Smith House18952600 JacksonSan FranciscoJackson 2600Brown-Smith House
Carnegie Library: Golden Gate Valley19181801 Green StreetSan FranciscoGreen 1901Carnegie Library: Golden Gate Valley
Carrigan House189296 ParkSan AnselmoPark 96Carrigan House
Chapel of St John the Evangelist18911490 Mark Thomas DriveMontereyMarkChapel of St John the Evangelist
Churchill House1892486 Coombs StreetNapaCoombs 0486Churchill House
Coxhead & Coxhead House18922421 GreenSan FranciscoGreen 2421Coxhead & Coxhead House
Coxhead House189137 East Santa Inez AvenueSan MateoSanta InezCoxhead House
Dettner Printing Co.1909835 Howard StreetSan FranciscoHoward 0835Dettner Printing Co.
Episcopal Church of the Messiah1889614 North Bush Street Santa AnaBushEpiscopal Church of the Messiah
Ferguson House18962511 BakerSan FranciscoBaker 2511Ferguson House
Foothills Congregational Church1914461 Orange AvenueLos AltosOrangeFoothills Congregational Church
Garfield Intermediate School 19151414 Walnut Street BerkeleyWalnut 1414Garfield Intermediate School
Gillespie House18942940 JacksonSan FranciscoJackson 2940Gillespie House
Holy Innocents Church1890455 Fair OaksSan FranciscoFair Oaks 0455Holy Innocents Church
Home Telephone Company1908333 GrantSan FranciscoGrant 0333Home Telephone Company
McFarland House1895400 Clayton StreetSan FranciscoClayton 0400McFarland House
McGauley House18912423 GreenSan FranciscoGreen 2423McGauley House
Murdock House18932710 ScottSan FranciscoScott 2710Murdock House
Osborn House18963362 ClaySan FranciscoClay 3362Osborn House
Porter House19013234 PacificSan FranciscoPacific 3234Porter House
Prayerbrook Cross1894Golden Gate ParkSan FranciscoGolden Gate ParkPrayerbrook Cross
Residence19022535 LagunaSan FranciscoLaguna 2525Residence
Residence19123153 PacificSan FranciscoPacific 3153Residence
Residence19003647 WashingtonSan FranciscoWashington 3647Residence
Rieber House190415 Canyon RoadBerkeleyCanyon 0015Rieber House
Sausalito Presbyterian Church1909112 Bulkley AvenueSausalitoBulkleySausalito Presbyterian Church
Sonntag House18972700 ScottSan FranciscoScott 2700Sonntag House
Spooner House18992800 PacificSan FranciscoPacific 2800Spooner House
St. John's Episcopal Church189040 Fifth StreetPetaluma Street 05 0040St. John's Episcopal Church
St. Peter's Episcopal Church1895510 Jefferson StreetRed BluffJeffersonSt. Peter's Episcopal Church
Waybur House19013232 PacificSan FranciscoPacific 3232Waybur House
Williams House1907351 Homer AvenuePalo AltoHomer 0351Williams House

Architectural Styles | Architects