387 Richmond Avenue
1910 Cottage Bungalow
The owner of 387 Richmond Avenue wasn't really banking on finding a house with great charm back in 1998 (the height of the dot com boom). She just wanted something in decent shape. She moved into the Richmond house after the previous owner evicted (reportedly) drug dealing renters and repaired the damage. The house was comfortable, functional and most importantly – affordable.
Real restoration work really began a year and a half ago. Staying true to the period, contractors Jim Acevedo and Kel Marchbank, carefully rebuilt floors, added period molding, baseboards, and bead board, and replaced fixtures with Arts & Crafts reproductions. The owner’s free-standing bookcase was built into the dining room, and looks as if it was always there.
Ceilings were replastered, environmentally friendly marmoleum placed in the kitchen, and low VOC paint put on the walls. The current owner did find the original back of the house when the attic access was created, and it was apparent that the kitchen used to be much, much smaller.
The original windows were replaced by energy efficient glass and the wall heater was replaced by a more efficient furnace (and AC, just because).
Many people had urged the new owner to maximize property value by adding a rear rental unit, or at least a garage. Instead, Acevedo & Marchbank built a pergola to shelter a dining table that seats 12, put in outdoor lighting, and installed the beginnings of a watering system.
It is also interesting that the house has not only a full attic, but a full basement, which is accessible only through a very cramped entry on the outside of the house.
Now the house is even more comfortable, functional, and charming.
During the research on the history of this house and its occupants, it was discovered that there was a second home on the property at one time. Beginning in 1940, the San Jose City Directory began listing both a 25 Richmond Avenue (the number of this house prior to renumbering) and a 25 1/2 Richmond Avenue, and the structure appears on the Sanborn Fire Maps of the area. The last time the second structure was listed in the City Directory was 1963, and there is no trace of the home now.