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704 Second Street
Ramsey Badawi and Ania Mieszkowska

Exterior: Located on the southwest corner of Second and Cross Streets is the last surviving example of Gothic Victorian architecture in Woodland. Built in 1873, two years after Woodland became a City, it was featured in DePue’s 1879 Illustrated History of Yolo County and looks almost unchanged. Gothic Victorians are known for their steep eaves, high pointed arches, and front gables—all of which are found here. The two front gables project over the large entrance porch and the steep eaves protect high-arched second-story windows. The arch motif is repeated at the top of the supporting columns of the deep and inviting lattice-worked front porches. Like most Victorians, there are two entrances—a formal entrance to the front parlor, where you will enter, and a second entrance into the main family room. The house was extended south in the in the 1940s and again in the1990s. The latter extension maintained the original gothic style.

Interior: There is much to see both in terms of the original architecture and the historical pieces collected by the owners. The Front Parlor has the original ceiling rosette, wainscotting and marble fireplace, together with an early 19th century “walking” spinning wheel and a sleigh bed of similar age. The Back Parlor, with a number of Victorian and earlier pieces, opens onto the western porch. The house’s southern expansion allowed the creation of a modern kitchen on the west side – note the antique “speculaas” cookie molds which the owners still use every Christmas. On the east side is the “Great Hall”, filled with historical furniture and artifacts. Note the spiraled staircase at the north end of the “Great Hall”. The Library on the northeast corner just before you exit the house has elaborate ceiling moldings, an original ceiling rosette and a treadle sewing machine manufactured in 1874.

Gardens: Victorian homes often do not lend themselves to the California outdoor lifestyle. Not in this case. The house’s southern extension allows a smooth transition to the outdoors, including a covered porch for outdoor dining off of the kitchen, a Gazebo at the far end of the property, and numerous spots for gatherings for small groups of people.

Ownership: The house was originally built by William Callen, whose widow sold the home in 1877, following her husband’s untimely death. Webster and Minnie McGrath owned the home for about fifty years, renting the upstairs rooms to lodgers (see photo display of exterior stairs). By the1980s the house was vacant and boarded up. In the 1990s the house interior was stripped to the studs, retaining only the ceiling rosettes and the marble fireplaces. John and Pegee Laugenour purchased the home in 1995 and completed the reconstruction (note the ornate “Ls” on the glass at the entrances). For the current owners, Ramsey Badawi and Ania Mieszkowska, it was love at first sight when they purchased the house in 2004.


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