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by Bill Kimberlin
December 15, 2010

The critics call it vernacular architecture. It is the method of construction based on the resources and traditions of a local area. I guess that's why I live in a house that looks like a barn. It is a Sea Ranch style house whose design was originally developed by the American architects Charles Moore, Joseph Esherick, William Turnbull, Jr.and landscape architect Lawrence Halprin.

These four men looked at the coastal building styles and choose to incorporate the "look" of the barn and agriculture buildings in their original design plans for the first Sea Ranch development.

I like how simple the buildings are, which consist of simple timber-frame structures clad in wooden siding or shingles with no overhanging eves or gutters and long sloping roofs.

Halprin, renowned landscape architect, drew on the Pomo Indian's earlier philosophy, "live lightly on the land," in his contribution, designing and siteing all structures to blend onto the natural setting and minimizing the visual as well as physical impact upon the landscape.

It seems to me, that we should follow these principals more closely in downtown Boonville. Then maybe, we wouldn't have an art gallery, whose design looks to have been inspired by a bowling alley, right across the street from an authentic mid 1800's hotel, where the author Jack London stayed on occasion.


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