Greene & Greene Virtual Archives
Mrs. Howard F. Mundorff House
Fresno, California, 1917
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Mrs. Howard F. Mundorff House
Fresno, California

With the defacto split of the Charles and Henry Greene in 1916 and the lack of economic confidence brought on by World War I, few residential jobs were commissioned during this time from the remaining firm. In early 1917, Mrs. Howard F. Mundorff, wife of a retired San Francisco baseball player, asked Henry for a design for a small house for a site in Fresno, California. The single-story plan was arranged around a courtyard much as Henry had done for Dr. S. S. Crow in 1909. The small project budget and the scarcity of old-growth trees that depleted the quality of good wood required painting the exterior surfaces. Decoration was minimal and the main source of innovative design was the use of indirect lighting for the living-room wall sconces and a modest organic design in the living room and hallway plaster moldings. A detailed garden planting plan, a swimming pool, and garage were also provided as part of the commission. This was the last residential commission constructed by the firm for four years.