Steve Lewis fell in love with a nearly century old, U-shaped house in southeast Fresno when he learned it was designed by architects Charles and Henry Greene — the brothers who designed the Gamble House in Pasadena.
The 3,300-square-foot colonial revival-style home on the corner of East Balch Avenue and Eighth Street in Fresno is known as the Mundorff Home. It was named after Mrs. Howard F. Mundorff, the wife of a retired San Francisco baseball player, who commissioned Henry Greene in 1917 to design the house.
Lewis, a Fresno State professor, and his wife, Nancy Ellis, have lived in the house for eight years. They are moving to Santa Rosa this summer and are putting the four-bedroom, three-bathroom home with guest house up for sale. The price: $349,000.
“This is definitely the coolest house I’ve ever lived in,” Lewis said.
The house, the only Greene & Greene design in Fresno, sits on half an acre and is shaded by three large Sycamore trees. Fruit trees on the property also produce pomegranates, grapefruits and almonds.
The front door opens into an entryway with hardwood floors and round arches leading to the bedrooms on the west side of the house and to the living areas on the east end. A family room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the center courtyard.
The tile fireplace, an element found in most Greene & Greene homes, is still in tact in the living room, but painted over. The ceiling is framed by wide crown moulding with decorative grape and leaf details.
A swinging door separates the dining room from the butlers pantry, a small kitchen with original cabinets and the maid’s bedroom. A small basement, a rarity in Fresno, exposes the craftsmanship of the home with thick redwood beams.
Two of the bedrooms have attached bathrooms with painted brick walls and octagonal floor tiles. A sunroom was added to the third bedroom in 1930.
A garage in the back of the property was converted into a guest house that can be rented out. The house is on the local register of historical resources.
To see a gallery of photos from the Mundorff Home, click here.
This is the first of an occasional series about interesting houses and buildings in the central San Joaquin Valley.
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