Nearly forty contributors and supporters gathered to celebrate the newly renovated Carriage House in the Gardens of the Meyers House this past Sunday afternoon. Led by Board President (and Alameda Sun co-Publisher) Dennis Evanosky, the event featured a Proclamation from Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer, remarks and thanks from Curator George Gunn, and delicious homemade refreshments. Among those also in attendance on the lovely autumn afternoon were docents and volunteers at the Meyers House and Garden, current and former Museum Board members, other MHG supporters and contributors, and Vice-Mayor Frank Matarrese.
The Meyers House is a City of Alameda Landmark, designated Historical Monument Number 26. It was constructed in 1897 for noted Alameda architect, Henry Haight Meyers. He is best known locally for designing the First Presbyterian Church and the portal to the Posey Tube. His descendants bequeathed the house and gardens to the City in 1993, and the City transferred the grant deed to the Alameda Museum in 2013.
Records show the first mention of the Carriage House on the grounds of 2021 Alameda Ave. dating to 1899. Through the years, and at least a couple of renovations, the building has served not only as the carriage house, but housed the pump for the well and the tank for the fuel to heat the family home.
Last year, Curator Gunn brought the Museum’s Board of Directors to see the dilapidated condition of the building and began a campaign to raise money from the community to reconstruct, renovate and modernize the structure. Gunn was able to mobilize more than sixty-five contributors, who raised more than $25,000 towards the project.
Now, the building offers a warm and inviting exhibition and gallery space for the public to enjoy. The space is being inaugurated with a show of works by Alameda pioneer family member and artist Edwin Siegfried. Noted for his early oil paintings and later pastels, Siegfried lived from 1889 through 1955. His family’s estate was only a few doors down Alameda Ave. from the Meyers house. The exhibition includes many of his works and additional biographical material about the artist.
Mayor Spencer’s remarks and Proclamation were enthusiastically received by both the Curator and the assembled supporters. The Mayor reminded those gathered of the importance of the Museum’s mission to preserve City documents and artifacts and to inform and educate the public about Alameda’s storied past, urging “I encourage the public to join me in supporting and patronizing the Alameda Museum and the Meyers House and Garden to learn more about our City’s long and rich history.”
The Meyers House, located at 2021 Alameda Ave. in Alameda, is open twice each month, on the second and fourth Saturdays, from 1-4PM. Your $5 admission includes a docent tour of the Meyers House Museum, a visit to a large display of Alameda house styles and details, a glimpse into Henry Meyer’s architectural studio (built later, in 1935), a viewing of the exhibitions in the newly renovated Carriage House, and full access to walk the gracious gardens. Learn more on our website here.
Article and Photos by Adam Gillitt except 2014 photo of George Gunn by Dennis Evanosky.