Greene & Greene Virtual Archives
Dr. Nathan H. Williams House
Altadena, California, 1915-16
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Dr. Nathan H. Williams House
Altadena, California

The Dr. Nathan H. Williams House, built in 1915, is unique among Greene & Greene homes. The windows and entry door organization is axially symmetrical with the street elevation. The exterior is clad in Gunite, a blown-on cement, and each Gunite-clad pillar of the rear porch and the front balcony has perforated abstract designs in wire mesh panels. Sunlight is shielded from the house upstairs with deep and low eaves and downstairs with hoods over the windows. Henry Greene showed his confidence in Gunite as a construction material by embedding the downspouts in the exterior walls with the material. The floor plan has a central hall with a staircase rising at a right angle. The interior surfaces are painted and all rooms are large and welcoming. Applied decoration is scarce, except for a twisted-rope border and some flower medallions carved into the white marble living-room fireplace. This unusual work was featured in a 1917 issue of American Country Houses of Today.