[Note: this one will get more updates and editing as more memories return...]
[Update 9/11/2016: This post appears to be done though it could use some editing, and if I get around to it, I have an idea for drawing some of the interiors and the second floor floor plan. Eventually. I didn't think so much would come back. But there you are. Memories are like that, I guess...]
[Note in Addition: There's a good deal more material in this post now than there was when I started it over a week ago. Updates, corrections, additions, etc. One of the things I've noticed is that I appear to be focusing on a particular time period in these "Houses" posts -- 1960-1963 or thereabouts. As I do the memory exercises, so much comes back -- sensations: the sounds and smells, the feel of fine fabrics, silks and velvets, the quiet in the tall living room in the house below, the sound of the piano when I played it vs when my brother-in-law did -- I was not good, he was very good; the overarching canopy of trees, big yellow leaves and spiky liquidambar seeds in the streets, the shimmering heat in the summer time, the perpetual fogs of the winter. I could go on and on describing the cascades of memory. This post would never end. The point that came to me, however, was that this place and a number of others during the period represented "stability" in the midst of what was really chaos, in my life certainly (there were all kinds of things going on in the background, some of them very unpleasant) but for many others as well. Thanksgiving period of 1963 of course represents a watershed-transformational epoch for the whole country, indeed, for the world. Nothing would ever be the same again. Perhaps in the end what I am focusing on in these posts without really trying to is the whole "stability" vs "chaos" vs "transformation" theme, which may in turn be a chief factor/theme in my life. Hmm. Will have to ponder it...]
This is where my sister lived during most of her first marriage. She married her first husband in 1956, and I think the house was sold in 1962 or 63. She divorced and remarried in 1965 and moved out to the country. [Memory trigger: my sister and her new [ie: second] husband lived in the house she bought with her first husband after the house above was sold. I'm not sure how long she and her second husband lived there, but it was probably a year or two before they sold that house and bought a property in the country. There may or may not have been a few stops in between. I remember several houses that were bought on spec to flip (back before house flipping became a thing) and they lived in them for a while, but I'm not sure of the sequence or when they were pit stops compared to the place in the country.... it may have been before or after. What I don't recall at all is if my sister got the 1962/3 house in the divorce settlement with her first husband. Maybe I never knew... Some things were not said...]
I don't have any interior photos of this house, unfortunately, but a few years ago one just like it was on the market in Greenwich, CT, and I snagged some pictures from that listing. As is my way, though, I've misplaced them, and so I will have to go by whatever memories I can recover without reference to contemporary or historic photographs.
[I've done quite a bit of probing since I wrote that paragraph. Apparently, the architect for this house was A. J. Thomas who became an advocate of high-quality, low cost multi-family housing and was very well known for his work during and after WWI. As far as I can tell, the original model of this house was built in Scarsdale, NY in 1922, not in Greenwich, CT, as I previously believed. If I recall what I was told correctly (and who knows about that), the plans for the house in Sacramento came through an offering in House and Garden magazine (which would have been in 1923 or 1924) but I haven't found that yet. I'm surprised at what I have found, though. [I found records that say this house was built in 1923, but I distinctly recall being told it was built in 1924. I wouldn't be surprised if it was started in 1923 and completed in 1924. On the other hand, it seemed like it had been there forever.]
This is a close up of the front entrance of the house in Scarsdale that was published in House and Garden in March, 1922:
And this is a distant view of the same house published in American Architect magazine in February 1922:
Sorry I was unable to rotate it.]
The Greenwich house was considered "Norman" in style, while the Sacramento one is pretty much a hybrid Norman-Spanish Revival. They were identical houses, though, with the exception that the Greenwich house (and the Scarsdale house) had a slate roof and the Sacramento one had a tile roof. Over the years, both these houses were expanded, the Greenwich house quite a bit more than the Sacramento one, so that the Greenwich house is now much larger than that one -- probably close to twice the size. [Research indicates the Sacramento house has not been expanded, although there was an addition of a swimming pool and pool house. Parts of the interior have been significantly remodeled, but otherwise the footprint and residential square footage of the house is the same now as it was when it was built.]
Rough plan of the first floor of the Sacramento house:
While quite fancy, this house is not really all that large. It had/has three bedrooms and two and a half baths in the main quarters, plus a maid's room and bath in the service area. There is a spacious, tile-floored foyer leading to a center stair hall, which was a step up from the foyer. The stair hall and all of the rest of the first and second floors (except the kitchen, butler's pantry and bathrooms) had oak wood floors. To the left from the stair hall was an arched wood-paneled opening to the double height living room which had a huge bay window at the far end.