153 Race Street - Duignan House
1922 Prairie-Style Bungalow

Early History. Race Street got its name because, prior to 1906, Race Street formed the eastern boundary of the San Jose Fair Grounds which included a race track for horse and dog racing. The fairgrounds were moved and the acreage was subdivided and sold in the early 1920s. In 1922-23, the house at 153 Race Street was built using house plans by San Jose architect Frank Wolfe. [Drive by 1163 Martin Avenue or 540 Menker Avenue for two other houses built with the same plans.] The house was named for its primary owner May Duignan who lived in this house from 1940 until her death in 1989.

Features. The living room and dining room feature egg-and-dart ceiling molding. The floors are the original oak floors. The fireplace was originally brick with a very simple mantel. The previous owners added the beautiful oak mantel. The current owners added the gas insert (the old firebox was collapsing and could not be repaired) and the tile surround over the brick, following the style of fireplaces in many homes in this area of San Jose.

The dining room hutch isn’t all as old as it looks. A prior owner removed the top portion. The current owners restored the cabinets and glass doors.

Most of the window glass in the house is original. All the door are original except those leading to the back porch. Notice the frames of the doors and windows and their unusual square upper corners.

The floors in the kitchen, hall and bedrooms are all the original Douglas fir floors, recently discovered and refinished after removing carpet and linoleum that protected the floors for 90 years.

The original kitchen had a built-in breakfast nook that was removed in the 1990s when the kitchen was modernized. Fortunately one of the original cabinets was saved (it was painted white for most of its long life, but is now red). The kitchen ceiling features box beams that were popular in houses at that time.

The long hallway running behind the living room is another unusual feature. Most houses built at that time had no hallway (bedrooms opened directly off the living room, dining room, or kitchen), or had an abbreviated hallway around which the bedrooms were clustered.

The original house had only one bathroom. The second bathroom now attached to the master bedroom was created by the previous owners who converted a service porch that once led from the kitchen to the back yard.