Ernest Coxhead

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Ernest Albert Coxhead
Died27 March 1933 (aged 69–70)
Alma materRoyal Academy of Arts, Architectural Association School of Architecture
PracticeCoxhead and Coxhead

Ernest Albert Coxhead (1863–1933) was an English-born architect, active in the United States. He was trained in the offices of several English architects and attended the Royal Academy and the Architectural Association School of Architecture, both in London.[1] He moved to California where he was the semi-official architect for the Episcopal Church. At the beginning of his career, Ernest Coxhead focused on designing churches, primarily in the Gothic Revival style. After the mid-1890s, Coxhead focused on residential designs. He was involved in the emergence of the Arts and Crafts style in California. He succeeded in designing residences that incorporated the elements and character of the English country house - shingled, Arts and Crafts style English Vernacular Cottages that combined elements from different periods for dramatic effect.[2]

Early life[edit]

Ernest Albert Coxhead was born in Eastbourne, East Sussex, the fourth of six children of William Coxhead, a retired schoolmaster. At the age of 15 Ernest became articled to civil engineer George Wallis. After five years experience in both public projects and residential developments, in 1883 Coxhead left Eastbourne for London. In London he worked for architect Frederic Chancellor, who restored gothic churches.[3]

Los Angeles[edit]

Coxhead moved with his older brother, Almeric William Sylvester Coxhead (1862–1928),[4] to Los Angeles, California in 1886, where he established an independent practice, and soon secured commissions to design several Episcopal Churches in Southern California.

San Francisco[edit]

Coxhead's success with these projects led to commissions for several more churches in Northern California. He moved to San Francisco and opened the Coxhead and Coxhead office in 1890, with Almeric as his business partner. Seventeen Coxhead church buildings were constructed, of which eleven are extant. In 1893 his Episcopal Church client, Bishop William Kip, died and Coxhead started to concentrate on residential work. His residences include townhouses in San Francisco and large homes in Palo Alto, Alameda, and Berkeley. [5]

From 1918 to 1919, Coxhead went to LeMans, France, to organize and direct the American Expeditionary Force's University School of Architecture, established by John Galen Howard, for members of the United States armed forces stationed in France. He was subsequently appointed Chief of the University Extension Field Work of the Fine Arts Department at the University School of Architecture in Beaune, France.[6]

Coxhead returned to the United States and lived in Berkeley until his death in 1933. A collection of his work can be found in the Environmental Design Archives at the College of Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley.[7][8]

Selected buildings[edit]


Residential by Coxhead
Year Address Name Notes
1890 11 La Linda Drive, Long Beach, California Bixby Ranch House [9]
2421 Green Street, San Francisco, California Coxhead House This home was occupied by Coxhead, his wife and three children from 1893 to 1903.[10]
1892 96 Park, San Anselmo, California
c. 1892 486 Coombs Street, Napa, California Churchill House (now Cedar Gables Inn)
c. 1893 37 East Santa Inez Avenue, San Mateo, California Ernest Coxhead House This home was occupied by Coxhead as a country residence, from c. 1893 to 1924; followed by ownership by Arthur Upham Pope and Phyllis Ackerman, from 1924 to 1943.[11] Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in San Mateo County, since April 6, 2000.[12]
1893 2431 Ellsworth, Berkeley, California Loy-Chamberlain House [13]
1893 2607 Hearst Avenue, Berkeley, California Goldman School of Public Policy
1893 2710 Scott, San Francisco, California
1894 2940 Jackson, San Francisco, California [10]
1895 2600 Jackson, San Francisco, California
1895 2511 Baker, San Francisco, California
1896 3362 Clay, San Francisco, California
1897 2700 Scott, San Francisco, California
1899 2800 Pacific, San Francisco, California
1900 3647 Washington, San Francisco, California
1901 3232 & 3234 Pacific, San Francisco, California
1902 2535 Laguna, San Francisco, California
1903 1777 Le Roy Avenue, Berkeley, California Allanoke Manor Listed as a City of Berkeley Landmark in November, 1986.[14]
1904 15 Canyon Road, Berkeley, California Rieber House
1906 160 Prospect Avenue, San Anselmo, California [15]
c. 1906 1 Canyon Road, Berkeley, California Torrey House
1907 351 Homer Avenue, Palo Alto, California Williams House [16][17]
76 Codornices Road, Berkeley, California [18]

Commercial and public[edit]

Commercial and Public Buildings by Coxhead
Year Name Address Notes
1906 Spanish–American War Soldier's Monument Portland, Oregon [19]
1908 Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Building San Francisco, California
1918 Carnegie Library Golden Gate Valley 1801 Green Street, San Francisco, California [20]
Prayer Book Cross Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California [10]


Churches by Coxhead
Year Name Address Notes
1887 Church of the Epiphany Los Angeles, California [21]
1888 Episcopal Church of the Ascension Sierra Madre, California
1889 Episcopal Church of the Messiah Santa Ana, California [22]
1890 Holy Innocents Episcopal Church San Francisco, California [10][23]
1891 Chapel of St. John the Evangelist Monterey, California [24]
1891 St. John's Episcopal Church Petaluma, California
1891 St. Peter's Episcopal Church Red Bluff, California
1905 Sausalito Presbyterian Church Sausalito, California
1914 Christ Episcopal Church Los Altos, California Presently known as Foothills Congregational Church.


  1. ^ "Ernest Coxhead Profile, University of California, Berkeley". Archived from the original on 2009-03-30. Retrieved 2009-03-26.
  2. ^ Robert Winter (1997) Toward a Simpler Way of Life, The Arts & Crafts Architects of California University of California Press.
  3. ^ "Pacific Heights Architects #1 - Ernest Coxhead". Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2009-03-26.
  4. ^ Michelson, Alan. "]Almeric William Sylvester Coxhead". Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD). Retrieved 2021-09-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ Richard Longstreth (1998) On the Edge of the World: Four Architects in San Francisco at the Turn of the Century University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-21415-3
  6. ^ Ernest Coxhead
  7. ^ "Ernest Coxhead Profile, University of California, Berkeley". Archived from the original on 2009-03-30. Retrieved 2009-03-26.
  8. ^ "Signature style / Ernest Coxhead / Strange talents / Idiosyncratic homes helped define bay tradition". 5 June 2004. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Bixby Ranch House, Long Beach, CA". Pacific Coast Architecture Database. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  10. ^ a b c d "Architect parted from norm". The San Francisco Examiner. 2007-01-13. Retrieved 2021-09-10.
  11. ^ Westerman, Anna; Humphreys, Rob (2011-12-18). "San Mateo bed and breakfast is listed on the National Register of Historic Places". SFGATE. Retrieved 2021-09-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ "National Register #00000322: Ernest Coxhead House in San Mateo, California". Retrieved 2021-09-10.
  13. ^ Rego, Nilda (2007-11-04). "Histories of Berkeley homes tucked safely away". East Bay Times. Retrieved 2021-09-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ Thompson, Daniella (21 March 2008). "East Bay Then and Now: Allenoke Manor Was a Scene of Hospitality for 5 Decades. Category: Home & Garden Columns from The Berkeley Daily Planet". Berkeley Daily Planet.
  15. ^ "Barber Tract - Lot 8".
  16. ^ Gauvin, Peter (July 26, 1995). "Plans for Williams house hit snag". Palo Alto Weekly. Retrieved 30 June 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ "The Williams House". Museum of American Heritage (MOAH). Archived from the original on 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2009-03-26.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-02-19. Retrieved 2013-01-20.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Spanish-American War Memorial: Soldier, (sculpture)". Inventory of American Sculpture. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  20. ^ "San Francisco Point of Historical Interest: Carnegie Library Golden Gate Valley". Retrieved 2021-09-10.
  21. ^ "Church of the Epiphany". Los Angeles Conservancy.
  22. ^ "- History Episcopal Church of the Messiah". Archived from the original on 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2009-03-26.
  23. ^ "Holy Innocents Episcopal Church, San Francisco". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  24. ^ "St. John's Chapel". Retrieved 30 June 2016.

External links[edit]