Copyright 2008-2020: Justin Wood
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Cornwell : 1961
Cornwell Residence, a 1961 4 bedroom / 2 bath Streng Brothers home on just over 4 acres, in impeccable condition.
Fifty-eight years ago, there wasn’t a whole lot of modernity in north Orangevale, an agricultural hamlet crisscrossed with streets named after fruit and nut trees. It’s most famous modern landmark, the Googie Orbit service station, landed around 1963. As you move North, granite outcroppings begin to emerge, heaving out of the earth like giants teeth or enormous prehistoric eggs. The landscape begins to gently undulate, dusted with homes tucked into the ridges and valleys.
In 1960, The Cornwell family decided to buy a 5-acre plot of land overlooking those granite outcroppings and build one of those “odd-looking modern homes” on it. Down a long, gravel driveway, off a rustic stretch of Cherry Avenue, you’ll find their house.
This is a rare example of an early Carter Sparks Streng Brothers Design. A slight modification of the original “601” plan, there are not many of these left in original condition. The features which make this home unique: grooved hemlock ceilings, hanging kitchen island cabinet (and all kitchen cabinets made of regional oak) and concrete block fireplace, didn’t last too long as the Streng Brothers aimed to make the homes more affordable and eliminated these features.