Charles Dickey Homes & Buildings - The California Years.
In 1905, Charles Dickey moved back from Honolulu, Oahu to California. This was a smart move, as the commissions in Hawaii were definitely slowing. He spent spent the next 19 years working and specializing in commercial construction (offices, schools, churches, etc.) throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, particularly in the East Bay communities of Berkeley and Oakland, where he had his office.
Perhaps the most important and prominent building that Dickey (and his then partner, Walter D. Reed) designed, during his years in California, was the prolific Claremont Hotel in the Oakland hills. This still-operational hotel is a massive wood shingled Elizabethan style structure, with Tudor and Queen Anne details, and over 300 rooms. Charles Dickey and Walter Reed beat out three other formidable competing architecture firms for this contract in 1906, the same year as the great San Francisco earthquake and fire. The hotel was finished in 1915, in time for the Panama-Pacific Exhibition. Learning from the San Francisco earthquake, Dickey went on to build many more commerical office structures that were seen to be cutting edge for the time in terms of both technical stability and their fire resistance. Many of these California buildings by Charles Dickey are still standing.
Charles Dickey designed relatively few residential structures in this time period, but those homes were in the Arts & Crafts, Tudor, Colonial Revival and other styles typical of this time period and geography. He tended toward using wood shingles, port cocheres, lanais and some other details he favored in Honolulu. His most spectacular residential accomplishment at this time was another joint venture with Walter Reed: the enormous, 43-room, $250,000 Walter Hart estate, built in the Berkeley area in 1909.
Another interesting project was Charles Dickey's contribution to the Panama-Pacific Exhibition (a beaux-arts extravaganza) where he completed the Hawaii Building, near the Lagoon of the present day Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina District of San Francisco. Features of this structure included a low profile hipped roof, but that was the only feature that likened this building to earlier Hawaii work or anything in the Hawaiian territorial style. On the contrary, this stuccoed building had three arched doorways on the facade and doric pillasters in the interior. It is said to have represented the natural beauty of the island and its plants and animals well, however. It was strategically placed near the California building, to help ensure traffic, and was believed to have had a significant effect on Hawaii tourism over the coming years.
READ PART I - Charles Dickey's Early Years in Hawaii - Dickey Designed Oahu Homes & Commercial Buildings
READ PART III - Charles Dickey's Return to Hawaii - Charles Dickey Oahu Homes & Commerical Buildings