Original Architect: Irving Gill

Designer: Kim Grant Design

Designer: Signature Kitchen

Engineer: ARCE


Location: Mission Hills, SD, CA


Located near the northwest corner of historic Balboa Park, this landmark Mills Act home was designed and built in 1905 by famous architect Irving Gill who was a contemporary of Frank Lloyd Wright and worked for Louis Sullivan. J. Walsh Construction Inc was hired to ensure the renovation of the home was carried out in a manner consistent with Gill’s original aesthetic despite a need for significant modernizations and upgrades. Multiple remodel attempts had left the home in a relatively woeful and incomplete state but the “bones” of the house were so solid and Gill’s design cues so evocative that it was almost necessary to “listen’ to Gill’s architectural voice. In addition to completing previously unfinished work, the project involved adding 400 SF, installing a complete working kitchen, constructing a 2-story guesthouse and building a 600 SF swimming pool. Challenges included matching new windows to old, upgrading plumbing and electrical work within thin walls and carrying Gill’s theme of flush baseboard, casing and crown moulding throughout both the main and guest houses. At the rear of the home JWC altered the structure to create a nearly 900 SF great room including Living Room, Dining Room and Kitchen. Molding details and new flooring include clear, vertical-grain Douglas Fir made to look consistent with existing finishes. Where new walls had to be built at modern thicknesses due to current structural requirements, JWC fabricated door jambs and moldings out of multiple members in order to look as if they were monolithic pieces like Gill’s original design. When completed the home and guesthouse tallied 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, a Great Room, formal Parlor and Living Rooms, a Library, a home office, a 2-car garage, a swimming pool, a fire pit and outdoor entertaining area, a wine cellar and many other modern amenities including radiant heating, smart wiring and security systems, art lighting and other improvements such as lush landscaping and extensive decorative concrete work.