Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Carmel by the Sea - Hugh Comstock’s Architectural Signature - Inside "Hugh W. Comstock Residence formerly known as Obers"

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Hugh Comstock and his wife Mayotta built
 “Hugh W. Comstock Residence
as their private residence and office in 1925.


The picture above shows the original
structure shortly after being built
for $1,000.


The approximately 20 x 20 square foot
floor plan  consisted of a living area


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with a signature Comstock Carmel
stone fireplace on the first floor,

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and a petite bedroom above the living area.

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In this tiny cottage, Hugh built the ceiling
low over the first floor living area.

The open beam ceiling exists today
as it did over 80 years ago -

intersecting the bottom of the top tier
of the south facing three-tier
mullioned window at 90 degrees.
(seen from outside in this picture from 1924)


Or this current picture 



The bedroom over the living area is reached by
the staircase in the foyer, 

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which features an open balcony enclosed with
another Comstock signature,
a highly detailed hand hewn
low railing ornamented 
with pierced 
flat wood balusters. 

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This light fixture is thought
 to be an original to the home.


Comstock, also famous for his use of space,
 incorporates two twin beds and


a door for storage in the slant of the steep roof line. 

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The bedroom over the living area contains the
east facing eyebrow window with
diamond-pane leaded glass
(seen from the outside below)

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and the south facing narrow arched
 three-light casement window. 
 Features Comstock would incorporate in his
 future cottages, The Studio and Our House.


In 1940 Hugh Comstock added a
 two story addition to the west side
 of the cottage.




On the first floor a kitchen, dining room
and lavatory were added.




In this new addition Hugh incorporated
 his new Post-Adobe
construction on the first floor.
 The original brick floor
 and fireplace still exist




as well as the Post-Adobe brick walls.



The picture below shows the south elevation of
the home after this addition.




Upstairs Hugh added a master bedroom
with adjoining bathroom
 and east facing deck,
and a sewing room
with west facing deck for Mayotta.




The plans above were drawn by Hugh Comstock.
  The balcony outside Mayotta's sewing room
 is shown on the plans
to the left and would be
 the west facing elevation
toward the sea.



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Today Mayotta’s sewing room is a cozy bedroom,
 featuring the south facing eyebrow window with
 diamond-pane leaded glass and




Wooden French doors leading to a balcony
 with yet another signature
 Comstock hand hewn low railing,
 this time of double pierced
 
flat wood balusters similar in style to the
 interior staircase and balcony.



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Hugh Comstock’s architectural signature
 is visible throughout this historical cottage
located in the Historical Hill District of
Carmel-By-The-Sea.  


We have the longtime current owners to thank,
as they have lovingly maintained
 and restored this charming home
 both inside and out.

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Photo Credits
Black and White photo of Hugh and Mayotta outside “Obers” donated by Harrison Comstock to the Henry Meade Williams Local History Department, Harrison Memorial Library.


Black and White photo of Comstock personal residence “Obers” in 1925 – Photograph Images of America Carmel A History In Architecture, Kent Seavey page 81, courtesy of Pat Hathaway, Historic California Views.

Black and White photo of Comstock personal residence “Obers” circa 1940 – Photograph Images of America Carmel A History In Architecture, Kent Seavey page 117 Photograph by Morley Baer, courtesy of Montery Peninsula College.

House plans courtesy of Carmel-by-the-Sea City Hall Files

*Color Photos by Al Saroyan Masterbuilder
**Color Photos by M. Vincent
All other color photos by L. A.Momboisse