National Register of Historic Places in Marin County

National Register #80000818: William Bradford House 1 October 2004
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National Register #80000818
William Bradford House
333 G Street
San Rafael
Built 1883

William Bushnell Bradford, born in Massachusetts, was a prominent San Francisco merchant associated with the development of the fish packing and canning business on the Pacific Coast.

Bradford came to California in 1872 or 1873 and started a fish packing business up the Sacramento River. With Sidney Booth, he organized the Black Diamond Canning Company.

Subsequently he became one of the founders of the Alaska Packers Association. He made several business trips with the fishing fleets to Alaska and was involved in the purchase of Alaska Packers Star ships. One of these was Balclutha, now docked at the Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco. Alaska Packers subsequently became part of the Del Monte business empire.

The Bradford house is an outstanding example of the Stick/Eastlake style, an elaborate tradition of building in wood which flourished in the region, particularly in the 1880's. All the elements of the style are here: the high steep roof, complex plan, and irregular silhouette. The eaves are supported by large brackets, as is the extensive "L" shaped veranda, whose turned columns and squared, incised capitals are particularly well shaped.

The patterning of the façades (a combination of horizontal shiplap and vertical board and battens punctuated by two stick work belt courses) adds to the visual delight of the house.

The furniture-like turned cross beams under the front gable, and the complex bracketed entrance canopy are especially fine examples of the Eastlake mode. Most of the wood ornamentation is in good condition.

In comparison with houses recognized already as examples of the style, such as the Niehaus House in Berkeley and the Nightingale House in San Francisco, the Bradford House is their equal in design, decoration and proportions.

Adapted from the NRHP nomination dated 6 June 1980.

At the time of the nomination, the house had been divided into seven apartments.

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