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gilroy historically speaking The Legacy of Architect William Weeks A mong the hundreds of buildings designed by eminent architect William Weeks during his prolific career, Gilroy enjoyed the distinction of fifteen notable structures. Neighboring communities enjoyed even more of his talents. Weeks designed twenty- seven buildings for Hollister, twenty-eight for Monterey, and Salinas boasted thirty-six of his timeless and beautiful buildings. In Santa Cruz, even today, the most famous building on the Boardwalk remains his elegant 1907 Casino building. Watsonville came out far ahead when it came to Weeks-designed buildings, because for a long time he made the community his home base. He designed forty public and commercial buildings, including two high schools, a hospital and the Apple Annual Hall, which could seat 3,000. Weeks was born in Canada to a designer- builder father. When he was young, the family moved to the United States, living in Colorado, Kansas, Washington State, and finally settling in Oakland. Weeks had developed affection for Watsonville after living there during construction of his earliest work, the 1892 First Christian Church. He established an architectural firm, and lived in Watsonville for 18 years before returning to the Bay Area. Many of the city’s large, stately Queen Anne style homes in the city’s older residential areas are Weeks-designed. When word of Weeks’s design talent spread, he was sought out by other cities. He drew up plans for banks, hotels, the- aters, schools, factories, hospitals and even jails, focusing mostly on cities in California’s central and Coastal regions. At the height of his productive career, Weeks had offices in five cities, including 38 San Francisco, and employed a staff of 30, which included a brother. His son, Harold Weeks, joined the firm in 1924. Following the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, Weeks was a major force in helping the city to rebuild. But whether he designed large structures, such as the brick Spreckels Sugar Refinery, academic buildings at Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo, or San Jose’s DeAnza Hotel and Medico-Dental buildings, or smaller edifices such as those typically found in towns like Gilroy, Weeks was best known as the architect of the ordinary citizen. He sought practicality in his work, and chose materials to fit within the abilities of local builders and craftsmen. In Gilroy, after receiving funds from millionaire Andrew Carnegie for the establishment of a local public library, Weeks became the project’s most prominent architect. The present Gilroy Museum on Fifth Street began as a Weeks-designed Carnegie library, completed in 1914. A stroll through Gilroy’s historic neighborhoods and along portions of Monterey Street reveals some Weeks structures of timeless artistic attraction and durability. Weeks favored the Queen Anne house style, and designed four prominent examples in Gilroy: the Willson House at 7341 Alexander Street, the Dunlap House at 7320 Forest Street, (an older farm-style home remodeled by Weeks into a Queen Anne,) the stately Holloway House at 7539 Eigleberry Street, and the Dr. Clarence Weaver House at 60 Fifth Street. His other noteworthy styles were Classic Greek Revival, Gothic and Spanish-Mission styles. Along Fifth Street besides the Gilroy Museum (Classical Greek Revival style), is the 1929 Wheeler Hospital building at 650 G M H T O D A Y M A G A Z I N E MARCH / APRIL 2015 Written By Elizabeth Barrett Fifth Street, an example of Spanish Eclectic or Mediterranean Revival style. Mediterranean Revival buildings in Gilroy’s downtown are the Milias Apartments (former Milias Hotel) at Sixth and Monterey Streets, the former Ellis Garage building opposite the Milias Apartments (now a furniture store,) and the Habing Family Funeral Home at F W'FBVvV&W''7G&VWG2FR&V&V6G&V( 26W'f6W2'VFrf&W"`6G&V( 2RbfVVR26WRbVFFW'&V&WffFRGW&&ƗGbvVV2'VB7G'V7GW&W0v2WfFVBSrvVv&W'2G&VBFFV"FvFR&v'&6B&Vf&6V@67&WFRv&v'VFr6FV@bfVVRv6vVV2@FW6vVB"f"F2FR&7wVpv7BFRGv7F'66'VFr&Vf&RBfǒ&VvFvfRFVƗ6V@&V6W6RBv2BWF7W'&VB( 6V6֖07FF&G2( FRvVV2'VB66v2PbFW"7V67G'V7GW&W2v6&VgW6VBF'VFvRS2w&V6W'2BFR6P&&VG'rFFRFvFRb6V2&7v66B#RFRV"BvVV2'VB6F&&&&vևFF6