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 buildings influenced Bay Area architects Bernard Maybeck, Willis Polk, A. Page Brown, John Galen Howard, Julia Morgan, Edgar Mathews, Albert Farr, Joseph Worcester, A. C. Schweinfurth, Louis Christian Mullgardt and other practitioners of the First Bay Tradition.

Name Year Address City Sort Address Sort Name
Rieber House190415 Canyon RoadBerkeleyCanyon 0015Rieber House
Garfield Intermediate School 19151414 Walnut Street BerkeleyWalnut 1414Garfield Intermediate School
Foothills Congregational Church1914461 Orange AvenueLos AltosOrangeFoothills Congregational Church
Chapel of St John the Evangelist18911490 Mark Thomas DriveMontereyMarkChapel of St John the Evangelist
Churchill House1892486 Coombs StreetNapaCoombs 0486Churchill House
Williams House1907351 Homer AvenuePalo AltoHomer 0351Williams 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
Carrigan House189296 ParkSan AnselmoPark 96Carrigan House
Ferguson House18962511 BakerSan FranciscoBaker 2511Ferguson House
Osborn House18963362 ClaySan FranciscoClay 3362Osborn House
McFarland House1895400 Clayton StreetSan FranciscoClayton 0400McFarland House
Holy Innocents Church1890455 Fair OaksSan FranciscoFair Oaks 0455Holy Innocents Church
Bridge over Stow Lake1896Golden Gate ParkSan FranciscoGolden Gate ParkBridge over Stow Lake
Prayerbrook Cross1894Golden Gate ParkSan FranciscoGolden Gate ParkPrayerbrook Cross
Home Telephone Company1908333 GrantSan FranciscoGrant 0333Home Telephone Company
Carnegie Library: Golden Gate Valley19181801 Green StreetSan FranciscoGreen 1901Carnegie Library: Golden Gate Valley
Coxhead & Coxhead House18922421 GreenSan FranciscoGreen 2421Coxhead & Coxhead House
McGauley House18912423 GreenSan FranciscoGreen 2423McGauley House
Dettner Printing Co.1909835 Howard StreetSan FranciscoHoward 0835Dettner Printing Co.
Brown-Smith House18952600 JacksonSan FranciscoJackson 2600Brown-Smith House
Gillespie House18942940 JacksonSan FranciscoJackson 2940Gillespie House
Residence19022535 LagunaSan FranciscoLaguna 2525Residence
Spooner House18992800 PacificSan FranciscoPacific 2800Spooner House
Residence19123153 PacificSan FranciscoPacific 3153Residence
Waybur House19013232 PacificSan FranciscoPacific 3232Waybur House
Porter House19013234 PacificSan FranciscoPacific 3234Porter House
Sonntag House18972700 ScottSan FranciscoScott 2700Sonntag House
Murdock House18932710 ScottSan FranciscoScott 2710Murdock House
Residence19003647 WashingtonSan FranciscoWashington 3647Residence
Coxhead House189137 East Santa Inez AvenueSan MateoSanta InezCoxhead House
Episcopal Church of the Messiah1889614 North Bush Street Santa AnaBushEpiscopal Church of the Messiah
Sausalito Presbyterian Church1909112 Bulkley AvenueSausalitoBulkleySausalito Presbyterian Church
Osburn House
3362 Clay Street
Photographed 13 June 2012

The Osburn House is the shingled house on the right.

Brown-Smith House at 2600 Jackson Street in San Francisco Photographed 5 September 2019
Brown-Smith House at 2600 Jackson Street in San Francisco Photographed 5 September 2019
Brown-Smith House at 2600 Jackson Street in San Francisco Photographed 2 July 2012
Brown-Smith House at 2600 Jackson Street in San Francisco Photographed 2 July 2012
Brown-Smith House
2600 Jackson Street
Built 1895

This is one of my favorite buildings in San Francisco, designed by my favorite Bay Area architect, Ernest Albert Coxhead. It is perfectly located facing Alta Plaza on the north slope of Pacific Heights three hundred feet above San Francisco Bay.

2940 Jackson Street
Photographed 13 June 2012
2535 Laguna Street
Photographed 1 August 2012
3153 Pacific Avenue by Ernest Albert Coxhead The Coxhead building is on the right. As seen in this photograph, Pacific Heights and Presdio Heights contain disparate architectural styles which coexist harmoniously because of their scale, design and workmanship.

Villa Savoye in Poissy France Villa Savoye in Poissy, France, Near Paris
Photo Courtesy Wikipedia

3153 Pacific Avenue by Ernest Albert Coxhead 3153 Pacific Avenue

3153 Pacific Avenue
Built 1907
Photographed 17 October 2019

Ernest Coxhead used a Prairie School approach on this stucco house in which modular bands of windows and intervening stucco spandrels are projected from the face of the building.

Source: Here Today: San Francisco's Architectural Heritage by the Junior League of San Francisco, Chronicle Books, 1968

I think that this building anticipated the Bauhaus and International architectural styles by twenty years.

It reminds me of an Arts and Craft forerunner of the Villa Savoye designed by Le Corbusier and built of reinforced concrete in Poissy, France, between 1928 and 1931.

3647 Washington Street
Photographed 5 September 2019