Construction Update Week #31

Based on current projections, we are now past the halfway point in construction at 500 Capp Street. With the foundation complete and essentials such as plumbing going into place, our team is now preparing to begin the second phase of restoration and conservation. This restoration and conservation will not only protect David Ireland’s work on 500 Capp Street, but also the fine Italianate architecture of the home.


Italianate style architecture became popularized in the United States in the 1840’s. Low-pitched or flat roofs, cornices, bay windows, and projecting eaves supported by ornamented corbels characterize the style. With the rise in wealth and infrastructure in California occurring during this time, it is no surprise that San Francisco has some prime examples of wooden Italianate homes. 500 Capp Street is one of them.


While 500 Capp Street is an excellent example of the Italianate style, its architecture is not particularly unique in a city teeming with examples. The historical significance of the house is related to its character at the time when David Ireland was in residence making modifications to many aspects of the house. Our current focus is on protecting these features, including the exposed plaster walls, the high gloss polyurethane finish on walls, ceilings and wood-work, and various installation artworks and alterations made by Ireland.


Architectural Resources Group (ARG) will be returning to the site over the coming weeks to begin the next phase of restoration. During this phase the walls, ceilings and floors will be restored to their 1978 condition, which marks the moment when Ireland first presented the home to the public. Before any of this can begin, ARG will be doing thorough research on the methods used by David Ireland in the 1970’s to create the unique aesthetic of the walls. The research will be a combination of archival and physical investigations, when the restorers will test a variety of techniques on sample pieces of plaster to restore the luster to the surfaces in a safe and sustainable way