When my contractor invited me to an open house to view his latest
project–a renovation and addition to a 1927 Spanish Colonial home in Palm
Haven –I jumped at the chance to legitimately snoop around one of the most
historic, eclectic neighborhoods in San Jose.
A neglected two-bedroom one bath in disrepair when acquired by John
Ammirato of Ammirato Construction is now a four bedroom, two and half bath
dream home. While it has all the modern creature comforts, including an impressive
master suite, renewable resource cabinets, solar panels, and data networking
throughout, painful efforts were made to preserve the home’s original
Like re-roofing the composite roof with reclaimed vintage clay tiles.
And keeping many of the home’s original features: the living room sconces,
fireplace mantel, arched doorways, built-in hutch, and coved ceilings.
“The living room hasn’t changed,” said Rita Strena, whose family owned
the home for more than 60 years before selling it to Ammirato. “But John
improved it. It has a new life now.”
Ammirato worked extensively with Stonelite Tile–which has been in
business in San Jose since the 1920s–to design the detailed tile work
throughout the house. Some of it was hand pressed and painted using
original plates and molds from the early 1900s.
Ammirato, who has built several Spanish-style homes in Palm Haven, made
design decisions along with his wife, Linda, referencing books like Red Tile
Style, California Romantica, Casa California, and George Washington Smith:
An Architect’s Scrap Book.
The result is modern, stylish living while honoring the home¹s historic
past down to the gutters and porch brackets.
Here’s the complete slideshow: