From Del Monte Corporation to Griffin House in Los Altos Hills

Friends of the Griffin House: Jonathan Baer, Steve Aced and George Espinola

Please click Part 1 and Part 2 for From Del Monte Corporation to Griffin House in Los Altos Hills presentation

Part 1

Part 2

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Del Monte Corporation grew out of the great western migrations of the 1850s - 1870s. It began in 1916 as California Packing Corporation (Calpak), the consolidation of four companies, one of which was Griffin and Skelly. Calpak began marketing its products under the Del Monte brand name the same year. The name was taken from the world-renowned Hotel Del Monte in Monterey, built in 1880 by millionaire Charles Crocker and operated by the Southern Pacific Railroad.

Griffin House, c 1901

Jonathan Baer, president of the Friends of the Griffin House, will speak on the history of Del Monte Corporation and a founding father, Willard Griffin. Steve Aced will talk about some of the unique structural systems in the house. George Espinola will speak on the architects.

In 1901 architect Frank Delos Wolfe designed a home for Willard Griffin in Los Altos Hills. The house is now within the boundaries of Foothill-DeAnza College. The speakers will tell about the campaign to preserve this historic home, now on the National Register of Historic Places.

For more information please call (650) 776-9226

About the speakers

Jonathan Baer

Jonathan Baer is a senior executive of The Threshold Ventures. He brings a unique perspective to the world of startups. He has been both a venture capitalist and the founder and CEO of two venture backed companies, eBoomerang, an enterprise software company, sold in 2006, and Artificial Muscle, Inc., a spinout of Stanford Research Institute (SRI). As a principal and founder of Threshold Ventures, Jon works with companies around the world as an advisor/mentor, working on specific projects and, when appropriate, taking on interim operating roles. He has worked with a wide range of software, telephony, hardware, and services businesses. Earlier in his career Jon was a general partner at Oscco Ventures, a Sand Hill Road early-stage venture capital firm and pioneering Silicon Valley firm. He has invested in a range of companies including Landec, Peerless Systems, and Coinstar.

Steve Aced

Is president of The Remodeling Project, providing a broad range of residential design and construction related services to the South Bay Area. Because many of the older materials and building methods are not standard today, historic design and construction requires someone dedicated to and familiar with historic preservation.
It is a different process from a standard remodel and requires close attention and control of all aspects of the design, review, and construction. It also requires someone with experience in working with historical commissions, planning departments, and building inspectors. Preserving and restoring an historic house requires special and constant attention to every detail of the design and construction process.

George Espinola

George Espinola, AIA Architect, wrote Cottages, Flats, Buildings and Bungalows: 102 Designs From Wolfe & McKenzie, 1907 (Bay and Valley Publishers, San Jose, 2004). It documents the voluminous output of these two prolific architects in the early part of the 20th century, especially their mammoth influence on the residential character of downtown San Jose. Besides appealing just to historians, Espinola, himself a local architect, unearthed an original version of the book through interlibrary loan 15 years ago. He updated its contents with stories, background information, and historical facts to produce this new book.








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