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Semas House
  • Semas House
circa 1912

The Bungalow, an all-American housing style with roots in India, has the informal air of resort architecture. In 1912 the noted late 19th - early 20th century architectural firm of Wolfe and Mackenzie designed this Bungalow in the style then in vogue. This dwelling represents one of the largest and finest unaltered homes in this architectural style in the City of Santa Clara. Built on a rectangular plan, this two-story home is characterized by a steeply pitched side-gabled roof with slate shingles punctuated by a large shed roof dormer. A distinctive clinker brick chimney pierces the expanse of the street-facing roof, and rafters and gable end boards highlight the recessed eaves. Four square wooden pillars, the lower ends of which are also sheathed in clinker brick, support a characteristic full front porch.

The first half of the 20th century saw several changes in ownership. The first owner was banker Fred Birge, whose wife Eva Morse had recently passed away. He was followed by C A Nace, a prominent Santa Clara printer from 1915-1919; C W Koenig in the early 1920s; George W Lyle, the County Sheriff in the late 1920s; EE Strickland, president-manager of St Claire's Laundry in 1932 and M J Semas in the later 1940s-1950s.